April 23, 2015

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/

florida.scrub-jay

A multi-banded Florida Scrub-Jay