So sorry these posts have been delayed, the chemo schedule really got in the way of publishing them……….
My father and I finally arrived in Miami, 15 minutes past one after our flight was continually delayed. We had missed our connection flight to Key West and seemed a little stuck. Luckily, we had called Vinny and Deanna before takeoff as they were just passing through Miami and told them we would not reach our connection. They waited around for us and we all drove out to Key West together.
The drive though the Keys was nice and scenic. The 7 mile bridge near Marathon was a definite highlight as was passing though all the small towns. However, highway 1 is the only road through the Keys and at times can be slow, switching between 1 and 2 lanes.
During the drive, I spotted many birds from the backseat of Vinny’s car, including a Short-tailed/Broad-wing type buteo that was sitting on a wire as we drove by at 40 mph. Although this bird had little-to no streaking on the breast (going too fast couldn’t tell) usually a mark of a light-morph Short-tailed, I remembered that juv. Broad-wings can still show a small amount of streaking. I would see a few Broad-wings on the trip which had noticeable streaking. I had a sinking feeling this bird was a Short-tailed.
When we arrived at our hotel, Deanna and I took a walk to see if we could see anything. As we wandered around the marina behind the hotel, I noticed a Green Heron sitting below us, looking intently at the water. We moved onto a lower dock and sat watching him. I snapped away while Deanna noted the bird’s behavior, etc. He made continued stabs at the water until suddenly he ducked down and pulled out a huge fish (at least for his size)! I was amazed that he would actually attempt to swallow that thing. It took him about 15 minutes of swallowing halfway, throwing it back up, a little rub against the dock (not sure why) until he finally got it down! Talk about determination! Although I don’t usually name birds, Deanna and I decided on Seaweed as a good name for this committed heron.
Although, I am not a photographer, I took 237 photos of this guy! Here are a few below:
After spending a good amount of time with Seaweed, Deanna and I went to go watch the sunset, an incredible one at that! Unfortunately, the few clouds in the sky blocked the ending.
A few other random shots from Day 1:
For the 1 and a half of sunlight we had when we arrived, day 1 was pretty decent with some nice times spent with individual birds. However, we knew what was coming for the next day!