It was a beautiful March morning. Thirteen bird folks scoured the meadows and trees near the caretaker’s cottage. Northern Parulas serenaded us continually from the nearby oaks. One showed itself briefly for some of us.
But the star of the show there was a prolific male Yellow-throated Warbler that included the tree in front of the cottage as part of its territory. Effie Smith captured a superb photo of this beautiful bird.
Moving down the hill, Fred Hileman spotted a small bright yellow bird in a sun-drenched oak tree. While it was not close and did not sing, it was most likely a Prairie Warbler. Effie Smith did get a photo of another one. We did hear others singing later.
We also heard several Yellow-throated Vireos and a Red-eyed Vireo. Several White-eyed Vireos sang for us. One gave us a good look at it. Bob Ross captured this photo of a White-eyed Vireo.
As we worked the trail along the edge of Red-headed Woodpecker habitat, this Coral Snake was spotted just off the trail. Maybe this encounter played into Ken Spilios’ decision not to beat the bushes for Bobwhites as he has on at least one occasion in the past.
We heard a number of Red-bellied Woodpeckers calling and trilling. But the Red-heads were rather quiet. We did see three of them, however. One finally landed on a high snag that was close enough for several of us to photograph it.
Other notable sightings included a Brown Thrasher in the brush, a mature Bald Eagle flying high above and a pair of Swallow-tailed Kites hunting on the wing. It was a most enjoyable morning.
A fairly tired group resting after the climb back to the top.
Other photos taken by different members of birds, butterflies and plants seen . Top to bottom: Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Rain Lily, Swallow-tailed Kite, Red-shouldered hawk, Gulf Fritillary and the group.
And finally, but not least our two hosts at Ahhochee Hill Sanctuary.