Morning Observations

Sitka Blacktail Deer

Weather: Contrary to the forecast, skies were clear this morning. As the morning went on, the clouds started moving in from the South and Southeast. Temperatures were in the lower mid-30s when I went out, but there was little bit of evidence that there had been a light frost. There was a light breeze out of the south when I sat for a while at the spruce tree.
As of early afternoon it is mostly cloudy with temperatures in the upper 40s.

Birds: The flickers were not active around the house this morning, though I did hear them calling in the distance a few times.

The juncos seem to be dispersing, or maybe they just were elsewhere in their territory this morning. I did see a small group of them down along Lincoln Street by the highbush cranberry.

There were a few Goldeneyes and Buffleheads by Sage Beach. The tide was in.

There was a song sparrow singing on the same perch as I observed previously along Lincoln Street.

With the high tide, Indian River estuary was flooded, making the ducks a little less concentrated (and more difficult to see). I did see quite a few mallards.

There was a kingfisher flying around the estuary making rattling calls that lasted a long time. After the first one went on for so long, I counted the second one to about 8 seconds (while flying). It does not sound like the bird takes a breath, but it’s hard to imagine that it could fly for that long and not breathe in at somepoint.

While I sat and enjoyed the warm sun at the point near the river mouth, I observed a single male Common Goldeneye feeding. I also saw a Song Sparrow feeding on the beach. It was within about 10 feet of me feeding in the gravel and seaweed that had washed ashore.

There were hundreds of gulls in the area near the mouth of Indian River but not in the estuary. They did not seem to be trying to feed or anything. Perhaps this area provides a relatively calm location for them to rest and when the tide is right and they are hungry, they fly to where the herring are spawning (north of town). That would explain the large numbers of gulls I have seen flying that direction from the house (though I have not seen them flying back in significant numbers, that could be due to the timing of tides and darkness).

I did not see it, but Melissa noticed an eagle flying overhead with a branch.

Flora: There were leaves coming out on an elderberry along Lincoln Street. The dune grass near the point was also sended up new growth. Crocuses in the old garden have grown out a lot in the last few days, though none are blooming yet.

Other Observations: The deer were back around noon today. They fed for a little bit in the old garden before wandering down toward Kelly Street. I am now thinking that both deer are probably males (I think they are the same ones that have been around previously), although I have not noticed conclusive evidence one way or the other yet.

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