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Updated: 03/13/2014 02:59:36PM

Gettin’ lucky at Shamrock

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By Abbie Banks

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A group of about a dozen Venice Area Birding Association members gathered recently at Shamrock Park in Venice. As we pulled up into the parking lot, most of the group already had their binoculars raised in search of feathered friends up in the trees. We were a tad bit late because a truck driver had driven his truck into a bridge on I-75, which had an effect on pushing more traffic on U.S. 41.

Andy White, the leader of this day’s birding trip, was patient and nicely waited for us. Andy and Steve Freedman do a scrub jay survey at the 80-acre park. The land is mostly scrub, scrubby flatwoods, mangrove swamp and just a bit of tidal swamp. Shamrock Park is one of the last local stands of habitat for the endangered Florida scrub jay. Many people also utilize this park for biking and hiking. It is conveniently located for those who like to be out into nature.

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