Date: April 14, 2015
Weather: thunderstorms this morning, sunny this afternoon
Temperature: start 71º
Wildlife count: Gator, Swamp Rabbit, snake
Year List: 249
Birds: Bobwhite, Eastern Meadowlark, Cliff Swallow, Eastern Kingbird, Red-winged Blackbird, Tri-color and Great Blue Heron, White-crowned Sparrow, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Brown Thrasher, Northern Cardinal, Brown-headed Cowbird, Mourning Dove, Killdeer, American Coot, Boat-tailed and Great-tailed Grackle, Tree Swallow, Snowy Egret, Northern Mockingbird, Black-bellied & Fulvous Whistling Duck, Common Gallinule, Black-throated Green Warbler, Great Egret, White-faced and White Ibis, Black-necked Stilt, Blue Jay, White-eyed Vireo, Mottled Duck, Savannah Sparrow, Purple Martin, Cattle Egret, Black & Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Gull-billed Tern, Roseate Spoonbill, Lesser & Greater Yellowlegs, Laughing Gull, Northern Harrier, European Starling, Marsh Wren, White-tailed Kite, Least Bittern, Orchard Oriole, Barn Swallow, Whimbrel, Willet, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Purple Gallinule, Northern Shoveler, Little Blue Heron, Merlin, Belted Kingfisher, Blue-winged Teal,
As thunderstorms were threatening, as soon as we had finished breakfast, we drove the 1 mile over to the Skillern Tract and walked several directions from the truck. We enjoyed views of a Black-throated Green Warbler and many other birds before the thunder and distant lightening drove us back home. A few minutes after we arrived home, the rain began. We used the lull to sweep and quickly mop the floors.
With plenty of leisure time, we completed the consolidation of our bird list, and found that there were several doubles in the old list, so we are down below 500 again, but that will soon change. As the temps cooled, we decided to make an oven dinner and needed a few ingredients. At 2, we left and did a little birding. The rain stopped, the skies cleared and we spent the rest of the afternoon in the refuge, enjoying the lovely afternoon.
In Winnie, we grabbed the few items from the grocery and came home to make Dutch Oven Pork Chops with peaches and stuffing, only we made it in our deep cast iron skillet in the oven. We added a fresh salad and it was a great meal. The campfire was lovely with a delightful sunset.