I had the great pleasure to lead 45 members from Venice Audubon through some of our most treasured areas in Citrus Co. This group was here for several reasons. They wanted to see what we had to offer and to have fun birding. I have never had the pleasure of leading this many avid birders before and would very gladly do it all over. We started out at Pepper Creek with a lot of activity from Robins galore, but not too many species on the walk. The Pepper Creek eBird link of species can be seen here. Our next stop was lunch at Charlie's Fish House where we were served in a very timely fashion. The waitresses and of course the chefs were very efficient. Next up was going across the street to the trollies for a run to 3 Sisters Springs. We started by viewing the Manatees and then on to the marsh areas for a little birding. There was quite a bit of activity, but time constraints limited our viewing. I took the above photos as we waited for our ride back on the trollies to City Hall. Beth Perez, Volunteer Co-ordinator, gave some history of the improvements made at the springs. The eBird link of the species at 3 Sisters can be seen here. Next up was a trip out to Ft Island Beach where we were not disappointed. The tide was in and the shore birds were in abundance. Our most species of the day was here. In addition to beach area being wall to wall birds; we spotted a Clapper Rail and then were delighted with several of them calling back and forth. BUT, thanks to one observant person in the Venice group I was given the opportunity to get good photos of the rarest bird of the day. A Snow Goose appeared on the beach! This goose is henceforth to be known as a legitimate "snowbird." The eBird list of species at Ft Island Beach can be seen at this link.
Again it was a pleasure meeting all of you and perhaps giving you an insight, if somewhat brief, into the treasures of Citrus County.