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Showing posts from August, 2015

Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive, 8/21/2015

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This past Saturday I visited the wildlife drive at Lake Apopka. I was hoping to get some nice migrant activity, and I was not disappointed. Yellow Warblers were everywhere! I estimated 20 of them, but I think I underestimated. In one little spot along the lakeshore there were perhaps 10 Yellow Warblers, 2 Prothonotary Warblers, 5 Prairie Warblers, 1 Northern Waterthrush, 1 Louisiana Waterthrush, and an Acadian Flycatcher.

There was far less activity along the rest of the drive.  There were hardly any shorebirds at the sod fields, oddly enough, and that was a little disappointing. However, I did get a nice photo of an Eastern Kingbird, which is always nice.

A couple herons posed for photos as well. A Black-crowned Night-Heron was perched along the edge of vegetation not far from my car (this photo is hardly cropped), and a Great Blue Heron also perched in the reeds for me.

Here's a link to my eBird checklist.  Migration is well under way!

Acapulco Birding, Aug. 2015

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Yesterday I returned from my service project in Acapulco, Mexico. We were working with an orphanage there, and my time was pretty filled up with that.  However, in the mornings I was able to walk along the streets around the campus and see what birds I could find.  I found four new life birds on the trip: Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Audubon's Oriole, and Rufous-naped Wren.

Flycatchers are everywhere there. You can't hardly walk outside without seeing/hearing Social Flycatchers, Great Kiskadees and Tropical Kingbirds. I've taken lots of pictures of these birds, but I never tire of taking more.

The Rufous-naped Wren was the one lifer I was able to photograph. It's not the best photo in the world, but I'll take it for now.

Other common birds in the area were Ruddy-ground Dove, Gray-breasted Martin, and Cinnamon Hummingbird.  Someone across the street has a hummingbird feeder, and so there were other hummingbirds around.

Great Kiskadee

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I'm in Acapulco, Mexico right now, not on a birding trip or vacation, though.  I'm working with an orphanage here in town.  Every morning, though, I get a chance to see what may be flying around the campus. Here's a photo from this morning.  I'll post more later, but this is as much as I have time for now.

Marl Pennant

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When it comes to dragonlfies, perhaps the Marl Pennant seems rather plain. However, I think there's a simple beauty to them that makes it so I very much enjoy finding and photographing them. However, I think the females, being a bit lighter in color, are a little more fun.

Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive, 8/7/2015

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Yesterday I drove out to the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive before work.  I got there before 6:30 so that I'd have a couple hours to see what I could find.  I'm headed to Mexico for a week later on today, so I figured it would be good to have one last check of the drive before leaving. It was a pretty fun time, even if I wish it could have been longer.

A Black Tern and an Upland Sandpiper were seen during the week, so those were the birds I was hoping for.  But I had no luck finding those.  However, there are still lots of shorebirds around the sod fields--most of them were on the west end by Canal Rd, so I had to look straight towards the sun to see them. Presentable photos were impossible, but there was a Stilt Sandpiper, Western Sandpiper, at least 10 Pectoral Sandpipers and Least Sandpipers, and several Solitary Sandpipers, Greater Yellowlegs and Lesser Yellowlegs.

Warblers are also coming back. I saw a Yellow Warbler and a Prairie Warbler. the Yellow Warbler is my first of t…

Cliff Swallow

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This past June I finally took some presentable photos of Cliff Swallows.  There is a place in Orange County where they're known to breed, so one early morning I drove out there hoping one would be cooperative.  I actually found at least three there around two nests.

Of course, they were nesting under a bridge, which was quite a bit darker.  My photos of them pearched around the nest area were not as good, since I don't use flash, but I figured I'd share one just for fun.

Little Big Econ SF (Brumley Rd Trailhead), 8/3/2015

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Yesterday morning I got up early and made it to the end of Brumley Rd at the ungodly hour of 6am. It was still dark out, and I was not looking forward to the 3 mile walk out to the St. Johns River, but it just had to be done, and I had to leave this early if I wanted to be back in time for work.  I walked 8 miles and took a slightly different route than I've done in the past. Unfortunately, I forgot to turn off My Maps when I got in my car, so the map below also shows me driving down Brumley Rd for a little ways:


There have been so many good shorebirds seen at Lake Apopka over the last week or so that I was hoping they would share some of their wealth with me at what may be the best shorebird spot in Seminole county (it's only competition is Marl Bed Flats, but that appears to be dried up at the moment).

My morning wouldn't have competed with Lake Apopka, but it was still an enjoyable morning.  I saw 10 Pectoral Sandpipers fly past me headed south.  They were not very pol…

Viera Wetlands

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The first Central Florida birding location I fell in love with is Viera Wetlands. You can stay in your car and drive around a loop to view the wetlands, so this may be a fun place to take your kids too. My kids are not that interested in birds, but they do like to see alligators, and you're likely to see several here.  This can be some great birding; according to eBird, 234 species have been seen here--not bad for a little park, and you can drive around it in about an hour.  It's a great, simple place to visit if you have an hour or two for some relaxing birding. You can see my field reports for more information.

As much as I love this place, though, there is one drawback for me.  I can get to Merritt Island a little more quickly than I can get to Viera Wetlands, and generally speaking I see more at Merritt Island, so over the past few years I haven't come here nearly as often as I used to--that is unless a rarity is spotted here.

When I do visit, there are three areas I…