FL Trip: Day 1-Mar 30-Key West Arrival

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.

Upon landing, I took this random shot, so happy to finally be in FL after all the delay

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:

Seaweed patiently waiting on his perch

Down he goes!


Come on-go down!


What is it going to take to get you down??

Perhaps some rubbing will do the trick!

Let's give it another go

Just a little bit further!

Down ya go!

Seaweed looking content after his dinner

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.

Another look

Saving the best shot for last, in my opinion

A few other random shots from Day 1:

There were statues everywhere, this one was byfar my favorite!! Are those Leicas??

Brown Pelican downing a fish

Key West is famous for its Key Lime Pie. Wonder if the Key part came from the FL Keys?

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!


This entry was posted in Elsewhere Birding, FL Trip Mar-Apr '10. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to FL Trip: Day 1-Mar 30-Key West Arrival

  1. Deanna says:

    Reading this brought back some great memories of our trip to Key West! We had a great time watching Seaweed, didn’t we? Can’t wait for the next installment!

  2. Marcy K says:


    What camera do you have? Your photos are always superb and I enjoy them thoroughly! Marcy

    • Alex Burdo says:

      Hey, thanks Marcy. For the shots in those photos I’m using my trusty Canon Powershot SX1. Also, a good amount of my shots are taken through my scope or bins using a Powershot S90.


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