Sunday, January 10, 2010

Day 2 - Ivory-billed Expedition 2010

We got a little bit of a late start leaving our hotel in Montgomery, AL this morning.  26oF.  Record lows all across the South.  Outside the window at the hotel, we saw a Eurasian Collared Dove puffed up on a wire.  Sure is cold!  We decided to get off the interstate and take back roads down to Ponce De Leon, FL, so we hopped on Hwy 331 S and headed toward Brantley.  This is a beautiful scenic drive with lots of pine plantations and patches of mixed oak.  Spanish moss hangs off branches of the oaks and little clusters of Mistletoe can be seen like puff balls in the tops of the oaks.  Very cool and odd at the same time.  The pine plantations remind me of Michigan and northern Wisconsin, except that here in AL, there are rolling hills instead of the flat northern Wisconsin landscape. 

We stopped for gas in Elba, AL and found this cotton field.  I'd never seen one before, so, naturally, we had to check it out!  We've seen Loggerhead Shrike, Black and Turkey Vultures, Red-tail Hawks, Brown Thrashers, a Pileated Woodpecker, flocks of Robins, Starlings, Sparrows and Red-wing Blackbirds as well as quite a few Mockingbirds.

By noon we were in Florida - 725 miles from home.  A balmy 34oF and a gorgeous adult Bald Eagle flew across the Highway.  Taking Hwy 87S from Elba is very scenic and its hard to keep track of all the birds we are seeing.  White Ibis in a pond and a Great Egret flying overhead.

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