Jump for joy...

     The sky was azure blue, not a cloud to be seen. The Editor was having her morning coffee on the porch and listening to the birds. The aroma of the coffee drew me to the porch also. A rare respite from the recent stormy gray skies, this morning was particularly clear after the previous nights thunderstorms. As I joined her with my cup in hand, one particularly loud and melodious Mockingbird began serenading us.

     Per the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology “The Northern Mockingbird enjoys making its presence known. It usually sits conspicuously on high vegetation, fences, eaves, or telephone wires, or runs and hops along the ground. Found alone or in pairs throughout the year, mockingbirds aggressively chase off intruders on their territory.” This Mockingbird was being true to the above quote as it flew back and forth from the oak tree to the top of “the General”, our Bald Cypress tree. It would sing loudly for a while and then it would leap straight up in the air about 2-to-3 feet and start singing all over again.  It literally seemed to be jumping for joy! The local Tricolored Heron and a Snowy Egret seemed oblivious to the Mockingbird’s antics and intently hunted for minnows in the outgoing tidal flow. George, the Yellow-crowned Night Heron just watched as the Great Egret did a pit check under its wings. Gotta be fresh to start the day. 

Well, our re-roofing project finally got done, now on to the kitchen re-do. The Editor and I are jumping for joy too! I think we will not try jumping out of any treetops though. We don’t have wings yet. But if we did we would be jumping even more. Blessings. Harry

This Northern Mockingbird was singing its heart out as we sipped our morning coffee

Every few minutes it would stop and leap into the air as if jumping for joy!

The local Tricolored Heron was not impressed with the Mockingbirds song..

Neither was the Snowy Egret as it hunted for minnows in the falling tide

Got one!...now why does that dumb birds song keep ringing in my head?

Nice tune...got one too!

George, the Yellow-crowned Night Heron greets the morning..

The Great Egret does an under wing pit check..

Got to be "fresh" to start the day

The renovations and roof and are done..time to JUMP FOR JOY!

Guess who is coming to dinner?

     Gray skies continue to rumble. Each afternoon this past week we have been greeted by sudden downburst and thunderstorms. It is hard to complain though because the rain is much needed in these parts. The mornings, however, have been pleasant for the most part with only scattered clouds and lots of sunshine between the rains. While we prepare to launch another major project in re-roofing the house, we pray for a break in the weather.                   

     I continue to do bird stewarding several times a week. There is little activity on the Broward other than George, the Yellow-crowned Night Heron and his family, and an occasional Roseate Spoonbill flying up the river. Once all these house projects come to a close we can settle down to our old dock routine and have some folks over for dinner. Dinner is what is happening at the beach and guess who is coming to participate? Poor Mr. Fishy was just swimming in the surf when he felt a strange tightness envelope him and snatch him out of the see. He was now a "flying fish" headed for the dunes in the beak of a Royal Tern who just called home to tell the wife the dinner guest would soon arrive. Mr. Fishy is coming to dinner and he is it.

     A pair of Oystercatchers gave me a fly by as they circled the beach several times. These are one of my favorite shorebirds. Last season they were unsuccessful in fledging any chicks due to predation. Hopefully they will have better luck this year. As I scanned the beach a pair of eyes popped up out of the sand. It was a Ghost Crab, hoping to latch on to one of the unsuspecting hatchlings as they ventured out from the dunes. The Laughing Gulls continue to try and rob the Royal Terns of their dinner guests every chance they can get. The poor Terns do all the work only to be attacked as they try to feed their young. When will this avian violence ever end?

     My brother and sister-in-Law invited us to dinner this past week to celebrate my recent birthday (64th).  I love Miss Lori’s fried chicken. And no one dared tried to steal it from me either.  Summer officially starts on Wednesday. Hope you have a great one! Blessings. Harry

Guess who is coming to dinner? It is Mr. Fishy...

Mr. Fishy is indeed coming to dinner today..but not by choice

A Brown Pelican does a low flyover..

The Oystercatcher is one of my favorite shorebirds..

The Oystercatcher is one of my favorite shorebirds..

A pair of Oystercatchers circle the beach..

Ring-billed Gull, Juvenile..

I see you there Mr. Doohickey...Ghost Crab looking to attack a hatchling..

You fill up my senses...

     The late John Denver’s second number one hit of 1974 is a classic I will always remember. Although it is called Annie’s song, it is appropriate for the moment (the Editor’s middle name is Anne too). This past week our senses were filled as well as our house. Seemingly tons of boxes came with the furniture and we were overwhelmed with the task of putting them away.  We are on the last couple of boxes finally.

     I took another respite at the beach on Sunday to watch over the nesting shorebirds again. I was up late working on the pictures and up early this morning coming up with this missive. Annie’s song came to mind. It is a peaceful melody. The same peace came to me as I watched a Laughing Gull caring for it’s new hatchling in the sand dunes. Although the egg laying and hatching part of the job is done, now they have to feed and raise the hungry little beak that never seems filled.  It is a new beginning. The Editor and I too had a feeling of thanks that the new floor is down and the furniture is in. It too is a new beginning, but then came the task of emptying all the full boxes that were stacked up nearly to the ceiling in some rooms. As I was leaving the beach to head home I saw a fisherman being stalked by a Great Blue Heron. It was intently waiting on any fish or bait that might be thrown his way. I rolled down the window as I went by and got a frame-filling photo of this magnificent blue hereon.

   When the Editor saw the photo her eyes were filled with amazement at the sheer beauty I was able to capture. I hope your senses are filled too as you have a new beginning also this week. Blessings. Harry

The early morning fishing was good for this Osprey

This Royal Tern now has the seeming unending task of filling up a hungry little beak..

This Laughing Gull is doing some nest repair after the rains..got to keep that nest in shape..

No rest for the weary..got to get another fish..

I see you there Mr Doohickey..Brown Pelican cruising the surf zone.

The Great Blue Heron filled up my senses as well as the frame..

Time to hit the beach..

     Summer weather is here and many folks are hitting the beach. Our flooring is down and the furniture arrived on my birthday. Got to sleep in our bed instead of the floor. On Saturday, we picked the three pups up from our friend who has been keeping them for the last five weeks. They are so happy to be home. Been so busy with the move in, have not had my dock time so I too decided to hit the beach as a bird steward again.

     Our local Huguenot Park beach hosts the largest nesting colonies of Royal Terns and Laughing Gulls in Florida. The Royal Terns are still nesting on eggs or sitting on hatchling chicks as are the Laughing Gulls. Due to the heavy afternoon rains and Florida thunderstorms they have been staying in the dunes. I only saw one gull with a chick on the beach. Soon, however there will be thousands. The Brown Pelicans were there in good numbers. The overcast skies were a welcome from the sun but not the best light for capturing the birds in their true colors. One plucky Boat-tailed Grackle walked by me with a real swagger. Guess he was trying to impress the females on the beach.

     Everything happens for a reason. On my way home from bird stewarding the Editor called in a frantic asking where the water shut off valve was. While installing a last piece of baseboard, the contractor busted another water pipe in the bathroom. Fortunately, the new waterproof floors held up fine and they were able to deliver our furniture the next day. My office flooring however had not been replaced and did not fare so well. Now I get new office flooring too. I will be hitting the beach more often this summer and hope to have more photos of these nesting shorebirds to share. As soon as I get all these boxes unpacked that is.

Time to hit the beach...Boat-tailed Grackle struts down the beach trying to impress the gals

The Royal Terns are nesting and still in the dunes..

Synchronized Pelicans fly up the beach ...

The overcast sky made for some high key shots...love to see the pelicans soar by

Got my eye on you Mr Doohickey...Gotta hit the beach now...

email: selsorhd@me.com

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