Thursday, March 23, 2017

Lake Dan - January 15, 2017

This was a new park I found by looking at Ebird to see what else was around Brooker Creek.  It was kind of hard to find, but a nice place to walk, and I found 33 bird species along the way.

Brooker Creek Parks - January 15, 2017

First stopped at the "Brooker Creek Scenic Horse Trail" which I had never been to before.  Looked like a good place if you have a horse, but pedestrians are not allowed.  I did get a nice shot of a yellow-rumped warbler before leaving and heading to Brooker Creek Preserve down the road.

Brooker Creek had 27 bird species, nothing too exciting, except a turkey since I haven't seen one so far this year.  One more for the list!

Jenkins Creek - January 14, 2017

Only got out for a little while this afternoon, but still got a few shots at Jenkins Creek.  Not really anything to post from earlier in the day at Weeki Wachee, although there were a few interesting species at that park including tree swallow, ruby-crowned kinglet, and towhee.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Smooth-billed Ani at Fort DeSoto - January 13, 2017

Had to try to see this smooth-billed ani this morning.  These are very rare for Florida, usually found from South America up to the Caribbean.  Got lucky, spotting it just seconds out of the car.  Had to follow it for a a while to get any decent photos, but it was fun to watch, squawking every time it flew.  I didn't have too much time at the park since I still had to work a half day today, but it was long enough to at least see the bird for a while!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Morning Moon - January 13, 2017

On the way to the car this morning, the moon was exceptionally bright, so I decided to take a quick photo before heading out to the park!

Lettuce Lake - January 11, 2017

Got to stop at Lettuce Lake Park in Tampa for about an hour this morning.  Found 33 species, which is pretty good for that amount of time.  Heard my first baby bird of the year, a great blue heron, although it was too far away and hidden to see.  My two clearest photos of the day were of this downy woodpecker and a black-crowned night heron.

Birding Hernando (afternoon) - January 6, 2017

I tried to stop for the unusual Harris' Sparrow in Brooksville today.  There were many other birders there, but none saw it.  I did find many kestrel, killdeer, and a couple of goldfinches.

On the way there I did see some black-bellied whistling ducks (first of the year), blue-winged teal, and hooded mergansers at the Walmart parking lot pond.

Finally, it was back to Bystre Lake for the second time today.  Although there still weren't many species, a pair of peregrine falcons showed up and did a mating dance similar to the bald eagle where they grab talons.  It was pretty interesting as I had never seen it before.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Bystre Lake - January 6, 2017

Aside from all the sandhill cranes, it was so extremely foggy on the lake this morning that I couldn't find too many other birds, but I didn't mind at all because the fog made for some pretty nice photos.  I also did some additional editing in photoshop, especially on the first photo!

Buffleheads in Spring Hill - January 5, 2017

Both today, and back on January 3rd, I was able to photograph a few bufflehead ducks at the college.  On the 3rd, there were one male and one female, but today there were two females.  Perhaps a family?

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Brewer's Blackbird at Jenkins Creek - January 5, 2017

Visited Jenkins Creek today to look for the female Brewer's Blackbird, seen by other birders recently, and by me last winter.  This is a very unusual bird for Florida (usually found out West), but for some reason, this same female (identified by the white pigment in her eye), keeps returning to this area year after year since 2011.  Two years ago I saw her at Bayport, but today she is just a few miles away at Jenkins Creek.  No one would ever notice this amazing, and yet drab, bird as she blends with the boat-tailed grackles that are always seen there.

Bayport - January 4, 2017

This morning I was able to stop at Bayport briefly, and saw a my first sharp-shinned hawk for the park and for the year.  Also, on the drive in there is a nice pond that today was full of wood storks.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Pine Island - January 4, 2017

Back to Pine Island again this morning, and there were gulls everywhere!  There was some nice morning light shining on the shorebirds as well.

Red-breasted Mergansers
Least Sandpiper (above) and Reddish Egret (below)