The day was bright and sunny with a warm breeze. We were on the way to the Venice Area Birding Association’s first birding field trip of the new season. For the last six years or so, we have done our kickoff trips at Pineland Preserve or as it is more commonly known, Laurel Landfill. As the years have passed, it seems birders are given fewer and fewer opportunities to visit this wonderful birding site. Now, we can only access the entire site on Saturdays. In previous years, we could go there on any weekday. But no problem — we had a great day of birding with a small group of old-time friends of VABA.
Almost immediately upon passing through the gates, we sighted a flock of white ibis along and a line of double crested cormorants flying overhead. Several anhinga were drying their wings as they sat on low shrubs along the marshland. A lone kingfisher was basking on the top of a small tree, catching the early morning sun. How lucky can you get, seeing a red shoulder hawk just sitting on a pole and watching us as we were watching birds?
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