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Moments that resonate

Moments that resonate

Moments occur while birding, that can be as simple as a moving branch, as mysterious as fog or as unexpected as a long look at a hard-to-see bird. And they may resonate long after the moment is over

September 23, 2011 | Posted in Key Life, Top Box | Read More »

Looking at birds’ bills

Looking at birds’ bills

One of the first things that I look at on a bird is its bill. Why? One, bills help to identify birds. Second, you can see as well as hear the “music” coming from their mouths. Last, you can get a sense of how they feed and occasionally a tantalizing peek into their mouths

September 16, 2011 | Posted in Key Life, Top Box | Read More »

Birding Leffis Key

Birding Leffis Key

The Coquina Baywalk at Leffis Key is a gentle place to bird and getting there is part of the experience for me. I start out early from the northern end of LBK, walking over the Longboat Pass Bridge. A brown pelican with a gray back and frosted head startles me by flying out from under the pilings

September 10, 2011 | Posted in Key Life, Top Box | Read More »

Birds bask in late afternoon light

Birds bask in late afternoon light

One late afternoon last February my wife and I birded in the Fruitville section of Sarasota. Bathed in that light, birds appeared striking as their light colors were bright and dark colors appeared darker than usual. This made for some mysterious sightings and a memorable afternoon

July 29, 2011 | Posted in In the news, Top Box | Read More »

Winter weather creates moods

Winter weather creates moods

Fog: white, mysterious and transitory, shrouds and conceals. But it also highlights birds and shorelines in a way that sunlight cannot. I love walking in it, experiencing its mystery and savoring its moods. Here’s how it, and stormy gray skies, a close cousin, unfolded for me a few days last winter on LBK

July 15, 2011 | Posted in Key Life, Top Box | Read More »

Birds line Whitney Beach end to end

Birds line Whitney Beach end to end

My wife and I are doing our morning walk on Whitney Beach when we hear a sound like “music” coming from children’s metallic party horns. The source is four laughing gulls landing on the beach, all morphing from their drab winter colors into their brilliant summer plumage. Wing joints are held slightly away from bodies, an indication that they are breeding ready. Two facing each other appear to have a mutual interest. They open their black bills, revealing blood red mouths. All four walk away; it’s a double date

June 17, 2011 | Posted in Key Life, Top Box | Read More »

A gentle morning on Leffis Key

A gentle morning on Leffis Key

There are some mornings I want birding to be a gentle spiritual activity. Recently, a morning at the Bay Walk on Leffis Key was just that. Walking over the Longboat Pass Bridge to Anna Maria Island, there’s a highflying osprey moving on a straight line. It’s wings methodically go up and down as if on ball bearings. The base of the wing is cupped where it’s joined to the bird’s body, creating the look of a parachute. The moment is gentle

March 25, 2011 | Posted in Key Life | Read More »