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Hi all - 

    Well, I set up the booth at the Florida Birding Fest in Clearwater on Thursday morning, then drove east to Titusville in hopes of seeing the shuttle launch that evening.  As we hit Orlando, my sister called to tell me that the launch was postponed.  Darn.

    So, since we were almost there, we decided to keep on truckin' over to Merritt Island NWR to see a few birds.  After crossing the bridge from Titusville, the gate was manned, and the guard said that all of Merritt Island was closed until the Shuttle was launched - regardless of how long the delay.  Darn, again.  Now, we hear that the launch is scheduled for Monday, so if the guard was accurate, there will be no birding on the refuge this weekend!

    We made the best of a frustrating situation and checked out Blue Heron for the first time - nothing unusual, but a very neat place.  The best thing of the day happened as we drove west from Blue Heron towards Orlando, about halfway to the airboat place, as a gorgeous adult Caracara flew right over the car.  I have never seen one quite so far north in FL before, and it was a lifer for my wife.  That, plus a really nice sunset, put me in a better mood for the drive west.

Clay Taylor
Swarovski Optik