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It's really Spring, as far as the birds are concerned. The Red-Winged Blackbirds are here, one of the first birds to return at home. Their buzzy trill is unmistakeable.

Robins and Cardinals are all through the park, singing and hoping to find a mate to take north with them.

And yesterday, as I walked out for the newspaper, I saw 2 mockingbirds performing what I think must be a mating dance. They faced each other on the road;  the one I assume was the male did a little hop forward, little hop to the side, little hop back , little hop forward, little hop to the side..... I could just imagine him saying: "take me, I'll be a great mate, I'll bring you insects, build you a fine nest, take me"...... The female did a few little hops in return, seeming to say:"maybe, I don't know, I can't decide, show me what you got"....

Today, I saw them again. He was chasing her all through the treetops and over the grass, trying to catch her and mate with her and she was staying 3 wingbeats ahead of him. Ah, Spring love!

I have a picture here for Dame Maddie; she desperately needs a new bonnet and I thought perhaps she would like to have this one of mine. Dame, you can trim it with feathers and ribbons and make it as fancy as you'd like. This is my dress hat, the others I have with me are baseball caps and not suitable for a Dame of your standing.
I think this would look lovely on you, Dame.

The rest of the pics today are some of the wildlife here in the park.

Mud baths are so good for the skin
A Glossy Ibis; you'll see one of these for every 100 White Ibis
One of the Sandhill Cranes; they stand about 5 feet tall
The endangered Gopher Tortoise; he is about the size of a basketball and very shy; digs long tunnels
The Tricolored Heron
The Kestrel, our smallest American falcon, 10 1/2 inches. I've only ever seen him here, but he is elsewhere

Well, must go and finish our laundry now, so we can go to the fair. Cheers!

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It's a nice hat, auntie, but I think it's a bit too big for my delicate Damely proportions.... *snob*

I know how finely proportioned you are, but perhaps your Mum could use this hat as a template and make one that would be just your size.

I think the style would be very elegant on you and it also keeps the sun out of ones eyes (it's prime purpose in sunny Florida).

I meant *sob* (I'm a tired bunny today). As fur mummy making anything, all she can make is a mess. (She has just sold her tin tent today though....)

Don't cry; I'm glad you're not a snob. Perhaps you or your Mum could join a crafts class; there are many good ones out there.

Glad that the tin tent is sold, though. One less thing to take care of.

If I see any more good hats around, I'll try to take a pic for you. Meantime, just remember that a Dame does not need anything but her good looks and her good breeding. <3

Thanks! I try.....to be amazing. ^_~

Well there you go. I didn't know the American Kestrel was your smallest falcon. I would have guessed the merlin (your pigeon hawk) which is our smallest. Do they hover in one space in the air like our kestrel?

The Merlin is 12", the Kestrel is 10 1/2". He sits on a wire until he sees something, hovers and swoops on prey, then comes back to the wire.

Oh, glossy ibis have been turning up in Britain in recent years.

Their range is coastal here, west of Texas to S. Carolina; winters coastally north from there to Maine. The White has a much larger range. There is also a Scarlet Ibis, from S. America, came to Florida. I have never seen one in the wild. Scarlet all over, except for the black wing tips which the White also have.

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