Nature Notes 10-17-10: Birds, Butterflies and Beach

What an awesome,  beautiful day for a nature journey.

We started out early, the whole family, for a trip to Ft. Morgan. The Hummer/Bird Study Group (www.hummingbirdsplus.org) sets up twice a year during migration to band migrant birds. We went last year and really enjoyed it. This year, my husband came along. If you go, they’ll be at Ft. Morgan through the 21st. As soon as you drive onto the property you’ll see a few cars stopped along the road. Park with them. The bird banders are set up on both sides of the road in the trees. We didn’t stay long but had the chance to watch a Cardinal and a Western Pine Warbler being banded, measured and weighed. I got to release the Western Pine Warbler. I just love it.

The Western Pine Warbler I got to release into the wild

This is the height of the Monarch Butterfly migration to Mexico. Our coastal area is the route they take year after year. There were a lot of monarchs today but I was told there were swarms of them last weekend. According to http://www.monarchwatch.org, our latitude of 30 degrees N would put the peak between Oct 12 and Oct 18; this week. Oh well. 

Two Monarch Butterflies resting in the grass

If you want more information on Monarch Migration and tagging the Monarchs, check out the Monarch Watch website. There is also great information on butterfly gardening.

Next we ventured to the beach. The Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge is so beautiful and peaceful. We walked around in the sand for a while, getting our beach exercise that we were deprived of all summer during the oil spill disaster. While there were tar balls to dodge and scrape off of our shoes after the walk back to the car it wasn’t as bad as I expected. Few people were at this particular spot but it is fairly secluded so I didn’t expect a lot. The sand was absolutely beautiful and white. I do hope the snowbirds don’t stay at home this year. They’ll miss out.
The temperature today was in the low 80s. The sun was hot (I got a little burn) but the air was clear and coolish; the perfect fall day.

Bon Secour beach

On the way home, we stopped at Pappa Rocco’s for a pizza lunch. Yum.

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