Tuesday, September 13, 2011

St. Marks NWR

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Northern Harrier, St. Marks NWR
St. Marks NWR [gallery][map] is an absolutley gorgeous widlife refuge south of Tallahassee on the gulf coast and southeast of the Apalachacola National Forest.  It's a massive refuge (68,000 acres) with a beautiful drive through the refuge, even with nice public restrooms.  They did this one right.  When you enter the refuge, I'd recommend driving slowly to the lighthouse, taking stops along the way when you see interesting things. Once at the lighthouse, get out, put on plenty of bug spray, and walk the trails along the coastline.

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Pied-Billed Grebe, St. Marks NWR
Last time I was there, their website told me that there were six whooping cranes nesting in the refuge, so keep your eye out.  I never saw them, but there was plenty of other wildlife to see, and the scenery was beautiful.  The best time to come here is when birds are migrating.  The last time I was here was in March 2010 (it's a 4-5 hour drive from where I live).

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Anhinga, St. Marks NWR
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Northern Harrier, St. Marks NWR
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Northern Harrier, St. Marks NWR
Here's list of species I saw on that day:

Birds
Pied-billed Grebe X
Double-crested Cormorant X
Anhinga X
Great Blue Heron X
Great Egret X
Snowy Egret X
Little Blue Heron X
Tricolored Heron X
White Ibis X
Black Vulture X
Turkey Vulture X
Osprey X
Bald Eagle X
Northern Harrier X
Common Gallinule X
American Coot X
Willet X
Laughing Gull X
Royal Tern X
Savannah Sparrow X
Song Sparrow X
Red-winged Blackbird X
Common Grackle X

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