Tom & I arrived Sunday around 10:30 and went directly to the Mulberry Tree at Bay Pier. First sighting was male & female Rose-breasted Grosbeak munching Mulberries.Walking back to the fountain, there were 3 Indigo Buntings on the ground. Just around the first corner a Magnificent Frigate Bird and Short-tailed Hawk. was overhead. Next up, a Nashville Warbler and Blackpoll Warbler. These were before the fountain. We birded this area till lunch and headed for North Beach to lunch. Busy tables! There were very few spaces available. The out to the beach for Oystercatchers, Skimmers, Mergansers, etc. Next to the end of North Beach and out for this Black-bellied Plover. We had 50 species in about 3 hours. The eBird link can be seen here.
Monday Morning back at the Mulberry Tree. I have to say for those of you who could not make it; you missed a Fallout Day. Scarlet Tanagers, Summer Tanagers, Indigo Buntings, Red-breasted & Blue Grosbeaks rained from the sky! Painted Buntings, Ovenbird, Tree & Barn Swallows, Marbled Godwits, Dowitchers, Least, Royal, & Forster's Terns, and many other shore birds were there for the viewing. This turned out to be another 50 plus day. The eBird link for species can be seen here. The total species for both days was 70.
The Annual Picnic was attended by approximately 30 members. Food was in abundant supply and then there were the desserts. Top Photos by Thomas Gulley
Black-throated Blue,Cape May, Black & White, Northern Parula Warblers, Brown Thrasher, trio of Vireos, Marsh Wrens, and Ovenbird were some of the species. A Wood Duck as truly in the woods, We were on one of the trails when a male flew over our heads and landed in a tree. Perhaps he had a nest nearby. We recorded 42 species. The eBird link to the species noted can be seen here.
Photo by Fred Hileman
Elections were held with two new officers elected. Bob Messersmith, President and Joyce Lewis, Secretary. Still time for craziness. Some kids just never grow up.
We had 72Another beautiful day in the birding world. 15 came to Cedar Key today for an outing and lunch of course. But we got just what we deserved. BIRDS! BIRDS! and more BIRDS! American & Brown Pelicans, Herons, Egrets, Ibis, Spoonbills,Swallow-tailed kites, Clapper rail, Oystercatchers, Avocet, Plover, Ruddy Turnstone, Terns including Common Tern, Swallows, Purple Martins, Gray & Eastern Kingbird, Ovenbird, Cape May Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, Blackpoll, Orchard Oriole and more. We had 72 species for the trip. Here is the eBird link to the species for the day.
WOW!! What a beautiful morning and day. Cool with the winds coming off Lake Rousseau, but after crossing the dam to the other side; very nice. We had birds!!! Brown Pelicans, Bald Eagle, Anhingas, Cormorants, Great Blue Herons,Great, Snowy & Cattle Egrets, Ospreys, Sandhill Cranes, Tree & Barn Swallows at the parking lot. Crossing the dam Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, White-eyed & Yellow-throated Vireos, Bobwhites, trio of Woodpeckers, Common Yellowthroat, Parulas, Pine, Palm, Yellow-throated and Prairie Warblers! Did I say we had birds? Why yes, yes I did. Loggerhead Shrike, Royal Terns, and Tricolored Heron at the lock, The island did not disappoint. We had a total of 51 species for the trip. The eBird link to the species seen is here.
Photos Courtesy of Linda David Top Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Bottom Boat-tailed Grackle
Eight Bird enthusiasts joined in on the Ahhochee Hill Bird walk and we managed to tally 33 species. The nice surprise was the half-dozen RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS that gave us good looks! Other good birds were YELLOW WARBLER, SWALLOW-TAILED KITES, OSPREY(unusual for wooded area), RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD, and SUMMER TANAGER. Another really neat spotting was a female E. BLUEBIRD with a large grasshopper that she downed as we watched.
The trail was well maintained and Christie provided us a very helpful map. Lake Lisa was down to a small pond but a LITTLE BLUE HERON was enjoying it.
Michele Kline, again, wowed her audience at our Second Annual "Baby Bird Shower" held at Chinsegut Nature Center. Michele is president of H.O.P.E. Wildlife Rehabilitation. She presented Skye Peregrine Falcon, Shelby Red-shouldered Hawk and Spencer Barred Owl to a very attentive audience who had come to learn of the characteristics and habitats of Michele's 3 ambassadors. Photo by Bob Moseley
Many items were donated for the White Elephant sale along with many excellent silent auction items were up for bid. A striking quilt and sham made and donated by Jan Doudna, 2 superb cutting boards made and donated by Jim Lewis, and several baskets loaded with many useful items were among those in the auction. Many of the audience brought bleach, towels, paper towels, soaps, etc. that Michele needs for the care of her charges. There were games for children, baked goods, a food vendor and several bird walks conducted by Linda Vandeveen .
The Red-headed Woodpecker and Summer Tanager by Rey Wells were two of the 22 species that I recorded just in and around the building. The list that I have can be seen at this eBird link. Thank all of the volunteers who made this fund raiser a smashing success. Looking forward to the 2018 3rd Annual Baby Bird Shower!!!!
Members of Sierra Club Suwanee - St Johns Group organized a Rainbow River Tour for 13 residents and assistants of the Harbor House of Ocala. The cruise was designed to provide an outing for individuals who are no longer able to go out as often as they once did.The water taxi was provided by Capt Brit Cottrell. I represented Citrus County Audubon as narrator. The cruise lasted for 90 minutes and enabled us to see and ID 21 species. Bald Eagle, Swallow-tailed Kite, Herons,. Limpkin and many Wood Ducks with chicks thrilled the passengers. The list can be seen at this eBird link. Photographer Bruce Ackerman covered the event and the article was posted in The Ocala Star Banner and can be viewed at this link.
Another beautiful morning. I got a wonderful surprise this morning. Twenty one people came out to enjoy the morning with me. 13 members from On Top of The World joined in with 8 other folks to make it a very healthy group.
Wood Ducks, Pied-billed Grebes, Anhingas, Double-crested Cormorant, Immature Little Blue, White Ibis, Cattle Egret, and Belted Kingfishers greeted us on the water. We had Carolina Wrens all over and were being very vocal and out in plain sight for viewing as they called. With more Red-eyed Vireos than I have heard in a very long time at this period of year. They just seemed to be as plentiful as the Carolina wrens. Walking to back field did not produce many results, except for the American Goldfinches and House Wren. The hightlight was the Red-bellied Woodpecker was trying to keep the Downy away from his nest. Still was a nice stroll.
Finally coming back into the Butterfly Garden the Gray Catbirds and this beautiful Hermit Thrush were there to give us a sendoff. We then braved the Dunnellon traffic to enjoy lunch at The Blue Gator. The list of the 31 species for the trip can be seen at this eBird link.
Wow, what a gem! We started out at the campground with fog and overcast, but it did not hinder the birds from gleaning insects from the trees in the parking lot. We opted for the Swamp Trail and were not disappointed. Trio of woodpeckers, White and Red-Eyed Vireos, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Brown Thrasher, Black-and-White Warbler, Northern Parulas all over the place, and American Goldfinches to name a few. Arriving at the springs, Wood Ducks, Great, Blue, Little Blue, and Green Herons, Grebes, White Ibis, Osprey, Belted Kingfisher to name a few more. On the way out of the park the Swallow-tailed Kite was spotted. The list of 32 species can be seen at this eBird Link.
Our next stop was at the headsprings. We had lunch, Cheeseburger & Fries for me, which was very good. and more of the same birds that we had at the campground. The interesting part of this area was a rookery of Anhingas and Double-crested Cormorants. We again spotted a Swallow-tailed Kite. These two areas combined make for a great outing, We will definitely add this to our must go field Trips for next season. The list of species seen at the Headsprings can be seen at this eBird link. We had a total of 36 species for both sites. Photos Courtesy Jim Meyers
Despite the steady drizzle 8 birders came out for a late afternoon outing. It did not disappoint as we saw Loggerhead Shrike, American Kestrel, Eastern Bluebird, many more. We were especially happy to see that the Red-headed Woodpeckers have returned to this area.
Afterward we proceeded to Whispering Oaks Winery and met up with 7 others. So fifteen of us enjoyed the camaraderie while sampling various flavors of locally produced Blueberry wine and hors d'oeuvres. We agreed that this should definitely be a return trip next year.