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Hey FloridaBirders,

Thanks to T.S. Hanna and personal "had to get done" things around the home,
I have not been able to get my kayak wet until this afternoon. Its been
about a month so I had to make the effort to get back into a little
on-the-water birding.

This time I stayed close to home and tried Lake Munson on the south side of
Tallahassee. For all the years I have been in Tally, I have not once thought
about canoeing or kayaking the lake. Maybe it had something to do with the
fact that the lake was the stormwater runoff dumping ground for a good part
of Tallahassee.

But despite the problems this 300-plus acre lake has had in the past and
still has today, it is still one beautiful lake (above the water surface).
Totally surrounded by tall cypress, you can coast right through many of
these magnificent stands, the lake is quite easy to paddle. Several large
areas of emergent woody vegetation are located in the center of the lake.
The downside is that there are large areas of the lake that are choked with
hydrilla and the northern area has scattered water hyacinth.

But despite the lake conditions, birding was not that bad. Birded the lake
from around 1530 to 1730 hours. The weather was partly cloudy with the
temperature in the middle to upper 80s with a light south wind. Birds seen
were:
* Pied-billed Grebe - 3
* Anhinga - 19+, males, females and several juvs.
* Great Blue Heron - 8
* Great Egret - 9
* Little Blue Heron - 6, all first fall birds
* Black-crowned Night Heron - 3 adults
* Wood Stork - 1
* Turkey Vulture - 2 flyovers
* Wood Duck - 7
* Bald Eagle - 2, one adult with a trace of dark feathers on the pure
  white tail, the second a young bird, not able to age.
* Red-shouldered Hawk - 2 seen, 1 adult and one 1st. year, plus 1 heard.
* Common Moorhen - 3 juvs.
* Barred Owl - 2 heard, one at 1400 hrs. on the south side of the lake
  and the second at 1515 hrs. on the north side.
* Belted Kingfisher - 4, at least 2 were males, had going away views of
  the other two.
* Red-bellied Woodpecker - 2 heard
* Pileated Woodpecker - 2 seen and 2 heard
* Carolina Wren - 1 heard
* Northern Cardinal - 1 male
* Boat-tailed Grackle - 3

Plus one osprey nest on the top of a lone cypress in the west central part
of the lake. No osprey were seen.

And not one gator was seen, wonder why?

Of an interesting side note, most of the cypress trees and emergent woody
vegetation were covered with bright pink elongated egg clusters. These
clusters were located from 1 to 3 feet above the water surface. From what I
could determine with my references, these clusters are apple snail eggs.
Can someone confirm that these are indeed apple snail eggs? With all these
eggs, I only observed one apple snail, a quite large one adjacent to some
egg clusters. There are literally several thousand clusters of these eggs.

Good birding,

Harry Hooper
Tallahassee, Florida




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