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Hey Everybirdy, 
 
  Got rained out at work today a little early so I headed over to  Orlando 
Wetlands since I hadn't been there yet this year.  I got reminded  that I 
should've been going a little more often.  While I didn't find  anything out of the 
ordinary, it is a great place to wander around as it  certainly is a place 
where a surprise or two could easily be hiding.  
  After signing in, before even passing the restrooms, were half a  dozen 
Blue-gray Gnatcatchers foraging on the edge of the berm.
  A little further out a pair of juvenile Red-shouldered Hawks  were 
leap-frogging along several dead snags. A few Little Blue and  Great Blue Herons, 
Great Egrets, Glossy Ibis meandering out in the marsh.   About 1/4 mile further 
and I found a rather pale Red-shouldered Hawk pouncing on  a frog.  Spotted a 
Purple Gallinule about 50 yards out from the road, and  while continuously 
scanning saw a pair of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks skimming  the cattails on the 
south end of one of the cells.
  While the sun was still quite strong, the thunder clouds were moving  in 
from the east and I decided for a quick walk through the hammock trail.   Not 
one mosquitoe bite?!?  hmmm.  A Tufted Titmouse and several  Northern Cardinals. 
 I made it to the Lake Searcy outlet and was going to  walk back along the 
road when lightning flashed and not a second later, the sky  crackled liked 
sizzling bacon overhead and an enormous thunderclap had me decide  to walk back 
through the woods!  Hit the parking lot, turned and saw a  pillar of smoke 
rising out of the hammock not 150 yards from where the trail  wound through.  That 
thunder did sound pretty close!!
  Several Barn Swallows, mostly juveniles, were perched on the wires  along 
the exit road.  Got to get out there more often.
  For those who've never been, it's a lot of walking, and in this  heat, a 
couple of bottles of water is recommended, but it's worth the sweat.  

See you out there!

Thomas J.  Dunkerton
Titusville, FL
_www.pbase.com/boidpikchas_ (http://www.pbase.com/boidpikchas)  


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