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The Daily Bucket is a regular feature of the Backyard Science group.  It is a place to note any observations you have made of the world around you.  Insects, weather, fish, climate, birds and/or flowers.  All are worthy additions to the bucket.  Please let us know what is going on around you in a comment. Include, as close as is comfortable for you, where you are located.


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Tallahassee Florida - February 25, 2013

On Friday and Saturday we had two days of rain with over 6 inches at my house.  Saturday we had two out of town guests and a long standing plan to take them out and show them the natural wonders of the eastern Panhandle.  Fortunately the rain held off until mid-afternoon and we were able to get out and see some stuff.  It was dark and not good for photography so I gave up mid-day and left the camera in the car and missed some good stuff at St Marks in the afternoon which I'll list lower down.  All of the pictures are from Wakulla Springs and none of them are really sharp.

Arriving at the springs at 930 we discovered that the resident flock of black vultures were just getting going for the day.  A manatee was briefly visible across the spring and mullet were active in the shallows.  One large alligator was on the far shore and this medium-sized one was cruising about in the swimming area.  I had been told numerous times that alligators never entered the swimming area.  Perhaps they never enter when there are people swimming.  The grebe does not appear to be concerned.

All of the other images are from the boat tour which every visitor to the eastern Panhandle should experience.  Birds, alligators, and turtles can be seen in abundance and sometimes other animals as well (we saw two brown water snakes on this tour).

Ospreys nest in the Bald Cypress growing in shallow spots on the river.

Hooded Mergansers - these are migratory birds and not as well habituated to the boat as the residents.  The other migrants on the river on Saturday were American Coots, an American Wigeon, and a small flock of Lesser Scaup.  The Scaup were something of a surprise as they usually favor more open water close to the coast if not actually in the Gulf of Mexico itself.
We saw a couple of turtles who were basking in very unusual positions.  Lots of Anhingas as well like the guy on the left but no good pictures.
And of course a lot of these guys.
The Wood Ducks are always in the shady back waters and resist photography.  The colors are bright but blurred.
At St Marks the Gulf was fogged in and there was relatively little to be seen.  Ducks were much less in evidence than earlier in the winter - quite a few species but only one or two of most of them.  No loons but a few horned grebes.

At Headquarters Pond we were treated to a Sora feeding in plain view as well as a Snipe.  Both were right off the end of the platform.  Also in the area were about 10 juvenile alligators (each about 2 feet long).  I had left my camera in the car!

That's it for me.  What's going on in your neck of the woods!

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