To Westminster Woods to see Gram today. On the platform at the lake, this juvenile Osprey was begging non-stop.
Back at home, the cylinder feeder was visited by a lone male American Goldfinch that has been hanging out in the back yard since last Thursday.
Today I took the Birding Small Town Coastal Florida tour offered by Florida’s Birding and Photo Fest–the first birding tour I’ve ever been on. Florida Park Ranger Joe Woodbury led us through Washington Oaks and environs. We started at the beach, at dawn, which, at first blush, looked desolate.
By and by, birds appeared: Black-bellied Plovers, Brown Pelicans, Black-necked Stilts, Willets, a Belted Kingfisher, Royal Terns, Monk Parakeets. In the dunes behind us we heard Eastern Towhees, and in the parking lot a Gray Catbird and Carolina Wrens. At Washington Oaks we saw several species of migrating birds, including a female Painted Bunting, a Magnolia Warbler, a Blackpoll Warbler, a couple of Black-and-white Warblers, a couple of Yellow-throated Warblers, and several Black-throated Blue Warblers. Farther south along A1A we saw three Florida Scrub-Jays, up on the wire along the road. One came down to the sidewalk to duel with a centipede. Altogether, we counted 46 different species of birds on the tour. Other flying creatures included Great Southern Whites, which were everywhere. One participant on the tour was Janis Paushter, whose gorgeous photos are here: http://www.janispaushterphotography.com/
A multi-banded Florida Scrub-Jay
Today’s post starts with a guest picture. After I left for work this morning, my better half spotted this Rose-breasted Grosbeak on the window sill of our bedroom window and snapped a shot (and promptly texted it to me!):
I couldn’t wait to get home and spot one myself. So, a little after 5:00 p.m., I set up the camera and tripod on the deck and waited . . . and waited. The usuals appeared, including Northern Cardinals, a Gray Catbird, Downy Woodpeckers, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Carolina Wrens, Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, Blue Jays, Northern Mockingbirds, and Mourning Doves. Around 6:00 p.m., a pair of Barred Owls began calling to each other in the woods behind my neighbor’s house.
Finally, around 7:00 p.m., a Black-throated Blue Warbler appeared:
Black-throated Blue Warbler
He was followed by a Northern Parula:
Then a Swamp Sparrow:
And, finally, a male Common Yellowthroat:
It’s been raining ever since I got home today. In the late afternoon, I saw a juvenile Brown Thrasher. It was perched on one of the sturdy vines growing on the pergola. It had brown eyes and it was fluttering its wings. It’s the first juvenile bird I’ve seen in my back yard this season.
Went down to see Gram at Westminster Woods this afternoon. Right outside the doors of her building a juvenile Wood Stork was looking for a meal at the water’s edge. More pics of juvenile Wood Stork in Westmister Woods gallery.
Juvenile Wood Stork
It was an overcast, cool day. In the late afternoon, after work, I was sitting at the kitchen table writing a letter when something yellow in the trees caught my eye. The picture below, uncropped and unedited, gives an idea of what I saw. Though not very sharp, it’s clear enough for identification: a Cape May Warbler, a first in my back yard!
Cape May Warbler
A short time later a Black-throated Blue Warbler showed up, the first time this spring:
Black-throated Blue Warbler
And then shortly after that, a Black-and-white Warbler came to the bubbler.
About an hour and a half before sunset, my better half and I sat out on the deck to wait for the magical five minutes when birds tend to converge on the bubbler. We didn’t see any of the spring visitors I’d seen earlier, but we did watch two different male Northern Parula take extremely cautious baths in the bubbler.
After riding the trails at Hanna Park, I headed out to the lake to see what birds were about. An Osprey was overhead, clutching a fish with the usual headfirst orientation. But the fish was upside-down!
At home, the suspected Worm-eating Warbler (now confirmed!) showed up again. I photographed it from inside the house, through tinted glass:
A male Northern Parula showed up for a bath late this afternoon.
A few minutes later another male Northern Parula–with not so much red and black on its breast–appeared and performed his own ablutions. Then he flew up into the oleander, and began to make a series of buzzy trills. He flew up higher into the trees, and the trills grew fainter as he worked his way toward my neighbor’s woods.
The Nashville Warbler showed up a few minutes after that and flitted around in the oleander.
Earlier I caught sight–for about two seconds–of an unknown bird at the bubbler. My impression: reminiscent of a Carolina Wren, but not the right coloring, and dark stripes on its head. I suspect it might have been a Worm-eating Warbler.
Haven’t seen the Hermit Thrush in a few days, so perhaps it’s already taken off on migration.
Late this afternoon a Nashville Warbler reappeared at the bubbler.
And in hummingbird news, I’ve now seen two male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds vying for nectar at the feeder. There’s also a green anole who’s found that it really likes hanging out on top of the feeder. The other day a Ruby-throated Hummingbird appeared for a sip and was most put off by the anole’s presence. It circled the feeder, wagging its tail feathers energetically, then flew off. A minute later, the anole leapt back onto the side of the house.
A few American Goldfinches are still lingering in–or maybe passing through–the area.
A lone male Ruby-throated Hummingbird stops at the nectar feeder throughout the day. He’s also visiting the honeysuckle growing wild in the woods behind our house.
The Hermit Thrush still appears late in the afternoon for its bath. The bubbler is a very popular spot these days. The Gray Catbird likes to drink and bathe. Tufted Titmice and Northern Cardinals have been taking baths lately. And Northern Parula are back for their quick dips.