June Challenge Results

Mullet Lake Park
Snowy Egret 
Every June in Florida we have the opportunity to participate in a friendly competition called June Challenge. The competition is designed to encourage people to get out there and do some birding during a hot summer month when many birders take a break. Migration is over, and there's often not much new to find, so the competition keeps us out and birding.  Pick a county, any county, and find as many birds as you can in that county during the month of June. The only caveat is they have to be seen; heard only doesn't count. This is my third year participating, and I was very pleased with my June Challenge results.  Every year I've done a little better. In 2012 I found 80 species; in 2013 I found 95; this year I found 104, not including two species I heard but never saw (White-winged Dove and Red-headed Woodpecker). I found 12 species I hadn't seen last year, and I missed out on three I had seen last year (White-winged Dove, Canada Goose, Black Skimmer).

Lower Wekiva River Preserve
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Here's my 2014 list (I put an asterisk by the ones I didn't see in previous year):

Countables
1   Black-bellied Whistling-Duck
2   Muscovy Duck
3   Wood Duck
4   Mallard (Domestic)
5   Mottled Duck
6   Blue-winged Teal *
7   Northern Bobwhite
8   Wild Turkey
9   Pied-billed Grebe
10 Wood Stork
11 Double-crested Cormorant
12 Anhinga
13 American White Pelican
14 Least Bittern
15 Great Blue Heron
16 Great Egret
17 Snowy Egret
18 Little Blue Heron
19 Tricolored Heron
20 Cattle Egret
21 Green Heron
22 Black-crowned Night-Heron
23 Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
24 White Ibis
25 Glossy Ibis
26 Roseate Spoonbill
27 Black Vulture
28 Turkey Vulture
29 Osprey
30 Swallow-tailed Kite
31 Cooper's Hawk
32 Bald Eagle
33 Red-shouldered Hawk
34 Short-tailed Hawk
35 Red-tailed Hawk
36 Purple Gallinule
37 Common Gallinule
38 American Coot
39 Limpkin
40 Sandhill Crane
41 Black-necked Stilt*
42 Killdeer
43 Laughing Gull*
44 Ring-billed Gull*
45 Least Tern
46 Caspian Tern*
47 Rock Pigeon
48 Eurasian Collared-Dove
49 White-winged Dove (didn't see)
50 Mourning Dove
51 Common Ground-Dove
52 Yellow-billed Cuckoo
53 Eastern Screech-Owl*
54 Great Horned Owl
55 Barred Owl
56 Common Nighthawk
57 Chuck-will's-widow
58 Chimney Swift
59 Ruby-throated Hummingbird
60 Red-headed Woodpecker (didn't see)*
61 Red-bellied Woodpecker
62 Downy Woodpecker
63 Northern Flicker
64 Pileated Woodpecker
65 Crested Caracara
66 American Kestrel*
67 Monk Parakeet*
68 Acadian Flycatcher
69 Great Crested Flycatcher
70 Loggerhead Shrike
71 White-eyed Vireo
72 Yellow-throated Vireo
73 Red-eyed Vireo
74 Blue Jay
75 American Crow
76 Fish Crow
77 Purple Martin
78 Tree Swallow*
79 Barn Swallow
80 Carolina Chickadee
81 Tufted Titmouse
82 Brown-headed Nuthatch
83 Carolina Wren
84 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
85 Eastern Bluebird
86 Brown Thrasher
87 Northern Mockingbird
88 European Starling
89 Common Yellowthroat
90 Northern Parula
91 Pine Warbler
92 Eastern Towhee
93 Bachman's Sparrow
94 Savannah Sparrow*
95 Summer Tanager
96 Northern Cardinal
97 Blue Grosbeak*
98 Indigo Bunting
99 Bobolink*
100 Red-winged Blackbird
101 Eastern Meadowlark
102 Common Grackle
103 Boat-tailed Grackle
104 Brown-headed Cowbird
105 House Finch
106 House Sparrow
Total: 104 Seen

NonCountable
1   Helmeted Guineafowl

Here are some of my favorite photos from the month of June.  I spent so much time birding I didn't do much blogging, and there's a lot of photos I've done nothing with.  Here's a sampling.

Lake Monroe Marina
Least Tern
Marl Bed Flats
Black-necked Stilt
Live Oaks Blvd
Sandhill Crane
Lower Wekiva River Preserve
Common Nighthawk
Central Winds Park
Barred Owl
Lower Wekiva River Preserve
Short-tailed Hawk
There were a few surprises, and mostly these were birds that stayed late--they really shouldn't be inland in Central Florida this time of year.  These include Savannah Sparrow, Bobolink, Tree Swallow, Ring-billed gull, and Caspian Tern. Here are some terrible I.D. shots of some of the more unusual birds.

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Savannah Sparrow
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Caspian Tern
Marl Bed Flats
Bobolink
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Tree Swallow
Lake Monroe Marina
Ring-billed Gull
Lake Monroe Marina
Laughing Gull

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  2. Wow! That's a great month of birding, especially in Florida's summer heat! A fellow blogger, Julie Gidwitz, recommended your blog. Our software company (www.metisllc.com) is developing a bird identification program and we have an active Facebook page (www.facebook.com/metisbirding) where we feature the work of a photographer each week. We'd love the opportunity to feature your photography! If you're interested, please email Emily at metis.birding@metisllc.com. Thanks!

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  3. Thanks, Emily! I think I've heard of that project. Thanks for the compliment!

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