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

It Was A(nother) Very Good Year

USA | Tuesday, 1 January 2019 | Views [94]

No snow?  AdLib

No snow? AdLib

THE HOLIDAYS PASSED WITHOUT MUCH FANFARE.  And nary a flake of snow.  Except for a few golf carts decked out in lights blaring carols and some half-hearted fireworks, Christmas and New Year weren’t much different than any other day in Florida.  Not that we noticed the fireworks.  Sixty may be the new Forty, but Nine O’clock is the new Midnight!  


      Red Cockaded Woodpecker

Our first days in Fort Myers — and our last in Naples — were cold.  Not Colorado or North Dakota cold, but anytime the temperature is less than my age, shivering is permitted.  The predicted heavy rains never materialized but long-pants and socks were the uniform of the day.  


       American Bittern

Connie’s goal for the year, birding-wise, was to record 365 species in the US — one for each day — so before we left Naples we revisited the birding hotspots in search of a few species we had missed.  The first day we found a rare snail kite and a crested caracara in the 10,000 Islands area.  Back in Corkscrew we saw our first American bittern of the year and Connie heard a black-throated green warbler, whose song is so high pitched that I can’t even detect it on a recording.  Then we added not one, but six, yellow-crowned night herons at Ding Darling NWS.  But the creme de la creme was an endanger Red Cockaded Woodpecker.

nn     nn

   Snail Kite                                       Crested Caracara

On the penultimate day of the year on the Fort Myers Beach we saw an American oyster catcher and a common loon, bringing her American total to 359.  Considering that we spent a month in Africa, I think we should give her credit, don’t you?  All-in-all she had 826 species world-wide.


       Yellow-crowned Night Heron

(BTW, according to her i-Phone ap, Connie’s daily walks added up to just over ten million steps, about 4435 miles.  No wonder she needs new sandals!)


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John and Connie, Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

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