A warbler, a dove and a falcon at Hawk’s Bluff

Palm Warbler perched on a log, yesterday morning on the Hawk’s Bluff trail in Savannas Preserve State Park.

Yellow under the tail and constant tail-wagging help ID this bird. It is not skittish and will pose for pictures.

Hawk’s Bluff trail is a mile-long loop. Much of it passes through scrub habitat on the Florida Coastal Ridge.

From the higher parts of the ridge, you can see down to the wetlands and Lake Eden to the west.

Sandhill Wireweed is a deciduous shrub that is blooming now. The flowers are feathery and pretty among the cacti, sand and fallen trees.

Sandhill Wireweed is endemic to Florida and found nowhere else in the world. It grows in sandhills, scrub and dunes.

I spotted a couple of Common Ground-Doves. This one was closer to me.

They are much smaller than Mourning Doves or pigeons. They nest and forage on the ground and are good at not being noticed.

A dove the size of a sparrow, the Common Ground-Dove forages in dusty open areas, sometimes overshadowed by the grass clumps it is feeding beneath. Its dusty plumage is easy to overlook until the bird springs into flight with a soft rattling of feathers and a flash of reddish-brown in the wings. These small, attractive doves are common across the southernmost parts of the U.S. from California to Florida.

Reindeer or deer moss lichen likes this habitat too.

Looking closer, it was two members of the Cladonia family – Jester lichen (Cladonia leporina) on the left and Evans’ deer moss (Cladonai evansii) on the right.

Lichens, which are fungi and algae living in symbiosis, do not have roots and get all their nutrients from the air. They only grow where the air quality is good. That’s good to know!

I think this is some type of dayflower in the spiderwort family.

It wasn’t a very birdy day for me, but I did get a few shots of this American Kestrel. There was a high haze that gives this photos a weird sky backdrop.

These petite falcons are here all winter.

This one is a male, as it is “rusty above with slate-blue wings and two black slashes on the face.”

I also spotted this fine specimen of Canis lupus familiaris. She dogged me on the trail. Ruby is the younger of my two German Shepherds.

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