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vagabonds3 "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness." Mark Twain

Audubon Christmas Bird Count

USA | Saturday, 15 December 2018 | Views [75]

Three of forty-seven, Christmas Count

Three of forty-seven, Christmas Count

IF IT SEEMS LIKE WE ARE REPRISING the Winter of ’16, not only have you been following Vagabonds, you’ve been paying attention!  So it won’t come as a surprise that we are in Naples again.  We remember so much we could probably navigate without GPS, but why would we want to?  

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   Birding from the Boardwalk             Or from a Swamp Buggy

We have done a lot of birding in the Ten Thousand Islands, on Marco Island and various parks around Naples.  Our favorite spot is Corkscrew National Wildlife Sanctuary and the adjacent CREW preserve.  We like it so much we bought an annual pass to offset the $14 pp (good for 2 days) Audubon entry fee.  Although our visits are restricted to the 2-mile long boardwalk, Connie is still confident she will reach her US goal of 365 birds, one for each day of 2018.  

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    Big Gator . . .                                   and Babies

She added a couple on Saturday when we assisted in the Audubon Annual Christmas Bird Count, a “citizen-science” program that’s been ongoing for more than a century!  We got to meet some local birders and ride in a swamp-buggy to some pretty remote areas of the Santuary.  Our group of six recorded 47 species, more than 1000 individual birds and a nest of baby alligators.  All 59 volunteers counted 119 species for the day, not too shabby!


   Naples Philharmonic and Chorus perform Handel's Messiah

We weren’t the worst dressed couple at the Naples Philharmonic performance of Handel’s Messiah, but at least no one commented to our face.  We had good seats with great views of the oboe and bass players.  The Messiah was originally performed at Eastertime — not sure how it became associated with Christmas — but everyone still stands for the Hallelujah Chorus just like George II did during the first performance. Some traditions never die.  I wonder if King Donald the Last would deign to stand.



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John and Connie, Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

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