A Drab Beginning

On our journey to South Florida, we left Columbia this morning under a low, gray overcast; unfortunately, the weather conditions did not improve all the way to Dalton, Georgia, where we are spending the night.  Light rain was spaced along most of our route and dense fog shrouded higher elevations of the Cumberland Plateau.

Needless to say, birding from the Interstate was not terribly productive under such conditions.  Red-tailed hawks were reliably abundant along the highway, joined by a fair number of turkey vultures, red-shouldered hawks, American crows, Canada geese and, near bodies of water, ring-billed gulls.  A flock of wild turkeys fed in the corn stubble of a Missouri farm and bald eagles were observed in each State, from Missouri to Tennessee.

After a night in Dalton, we'll continue our trek to Southwest Florida and bird sightings should pick up in the warmer (and hopefully sunnier) latitudes of the Southeast.  I'm still hoping for one of those unexpected encounters but, after today's drab beginning, my chances seem less likely on this exodus from winter.  More to follow in the coming days.