Friday, April 5, 2013

Quick stop along county road 721 aka 9 mile grade


We occasionally drive to Sebring which is about 35 or 40 miles northeast of our home. We choose to travel a good part of it on “back roads”.  They are not only shorter but also you get to see a great deal more. Five or six miles into the journey we pass a small pond that tends to dry down a great deal this time of year. It is always a treat to stop and see what is there.


We have seen spoon bills, wood stork, egrets of all types, many water birds. Today was no exception. (Remember to click on the pictures for a closer view.)

Black necked stilt

This black and white beauty is a black-necked stilt. It is easy to see where it gets the name. The plumage is black on top and white below. When it flies the wings show black underneath with the long red legs trailing out behind the white tail. It is quite a sight. Although not rare in our area, it is uncommon in most of Florida.

Another sighting in this small wet area, it may not be deep enough to classify as a pond, was a sandhill crane. She is very busy as you can see.

Sandhill crane on nest

These are very large birds. They stand 36 to 40 inches tall and have a wing span of 80 inches. To see one gliding toward you reminds you of a small Piper Cub. The adults are all over gray with a bare red cap. They tend to be talkative when disturbed or as they fly over. They have a low and loud musical rattle. You would not mistake the sound with ant other creature.

Not on the trip but this morning we had a visit from four wild peacocks. There seem to be at least two flocks that move around at will. This is the smaller grouping. They are excitement for the neighbors visiting grandchildren.

Peacocks in yard

I hope that you enjoy these pictures. Again, Lou was the photographer of choice as her snaps of the stilt and sandhill crane were superior to mine.

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