Sunday, April 30, 2017

Space Coast Airport - February 10, 2017

Came here to look for the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, and found it in about a minute just sitting up on the fence.  They are such cool looking birds!  Also saw a few vesper sparrows (only my second time ever seeing them) mixed in with a few savannahs.

Morning at Jetty Park - February 10, 2017

First stopped to look for the long-tailed duck, but he wasn't there at the time.  Next, on to Jetty park to see if I could find the purple sandpipers or common eider, but again out of luck!

First time at this park and seems like a pretty good place to look for birds.  Not too far from Merritt Island.  Didn't find the purple sandpiper, long-tailed duck, or common eider, but I will try again this afternoon.  Here are some photos of birds in the nice morning light.

Juvenile Lesser and Great Black-backed Gulls
Lesser Black-backed Gulls
Royal Terns
Sandwich Tern
Snowy Egret
Loggerhead Shrikes

Morning Moon - February 10, 2017

Before leaving early this morning, I decided to get one shot of the very bright moon!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Eagle at Bystre Lake - February 5, 2017

I also stopped to see what was at Bystre Lake in Brooksville on my way home.  Not as many birds as usual, but this bald eagle flew pretty much right over me.

Turkeys in Brooksville - February 5, 2017

I went looking for a Harris' Sparrow today, which was originally found by another local birder, Murray Gardler, who I just happened to meet at the Sparrow Drive the other day! I couldn't find the sparrow, but I did see this really nice looking group of wild turkeys in the same general area.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Bird Banding at WeekiWachee - February 4, 2017

This may be the last year of the bird banding study at WeekiWachee Preserve.  Apparently, there were many birds recaptured over the ten years, but when they were, it was always at the same spot as previously captured, as opposed to another area in the park.  Last time I went was in 2015, and it is always interesting to be a part of.

Palm Warblers
Savannah Sparrow
Grasshopper Sparrow
House Wren
Swamp Sparrow
LeConte's Sparrow

Sunday, April 16, 2017

January 2017 Recap - 152 Florida Bird Species

Last day of the month, and I decided to re-visit Pine Island before work this morning.  Someone spotted a gull-billed tern here yesterday, but after a thorough search, no luck, and no great photos to share from today.

However, this month was a great start to the year.  There were 152 different species of birds across the state, which included six "life birds": Brown Booby, Smooth-billed Ani, Groove-billed Ani, Vesper Sparrow, Yellow-breasted Chat, and Ash-throated Flycatcher.

I also saw many other species of animals while out looking for birds this month: dolphin, manatee, bobcat, deer, otter, raccoon, marsh rabbit, yellow rat snake, black racer, gators, and several species of turtle.

I traveled much of the state from St. Marks in the North, to Merritt Island in the East, to Lake Apopka & Circle B Bar in the middle, and there was so much to see!  I think some of my best images of the month were actually landscapes from all of these great places.

Although I don't have a birding goal for February, I am now well on my way to my goal of 251 species for the year.  I am hoping to get to 200 by the end of migration in May and to 210 by the end of June challenge.  Hopefully, there will be enough fall/wintering migrants at the end of the year to get me the rest of the way.  If I can get to 251, I will have more total species this year than all other years combined!

Fred Howard - January 30, 2017

Went to Fred Howard beach this afternoon after work, and I actually did find one more bird for the January list, the piping plover.  I also stopped at Sims Park in New Port Richey on the way home and added Muscovy Duck to the list.  The total now is 152, which is pretty good for just one month of birding!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Hernando Beach - January 29, 2017

I spent a lot of time today trying to figure out which bird species I still had the possibility of seeing this month that I have not seen already in January, and where I could potentially see them.

I decided to stick close to home and look for a brown thrasher in the Walmart parking lot, and a house finch in the Hernando Beach area along the wires...

There was no thrasher at Walmart; however, when I got to Hernando Beach, I not only found the house finch and brown thrasher, but a Baltimore Oriole as well!  I am just about the only person who has seen one in Florida this month!

Those three birds got me to my goal of 150 for the month, and there are still two days left to find more!

Baltimore Oriole
Brown Thrasher
House Finch
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-breasted Merganser
House Sparrow
Eastern Bluebird

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Otter & Bobcat at St. Marks - January 28, 2017

Aside from all the bird species, there were also a couple of interesting mammals at the park today!  First, two otters were chasing each other all along the road at the start of the drive.  They were fin to watch because they were very active and noisy!

Next, toward the end of the day, at the start of a walking trail, there was a bobcat.  He turned right off back into the woods, but I did manage to get a couple of photos.  After walking the trail and getting back to the car, I found him again along the road, but again just for a few seconds.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

St. Marks NWR - January 28, 2017

Still trying for 150 species in January, I made the trip up to just past Tallahassee to go to St. Marks National Wildlife reserve.  After spotting 81 species just within the park, it is easy to see why this is one of the best birding spots in the state.  This was only my second trip here, the first one was in February 2016.

At the end of the day, I am still three short of my goal and not sure where else to look the last few days.  January has been such a good month for birds so far!

Some of the best birds of the day I did not get close photos of.  There were two common goldeneyes, which are actually very rare.  I also saw a few brown nuthatches, but they were pretty high up in the trees.  I did get several photos of more common species to share!

Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Swamp Sparrow
Canvasback and Redhead Ducks
American Oystercatchers with Brown Pelican
American Wigeon
Northern Mockingbird
Gray Catbird
American Robin
Bald Eagle Nest
Close-up of young baby eagle with adult