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Showing posts from September, 2015

Pelagic Trip from Black Point Marina, 9/20/2014

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Sunday I went with some friends on a pelagic trip out to Miami.  I've never birded  in Miami-Dade County before, so I was hoping for some lifers.  We went out on Roberto Torres' boat, the Xenia V, out of the Black Point Marina, and he was fantastic.  He has a great boat, he knows what he's doing, and he's a birder who's as interested in the birds as we are.  It's a great combination. You can see his summary of our trip here.

We had west winds all day, though, so birds were sparse.  We didn't see a single shearwater the whole day, and we saw only a handful of Sooty Terns--no Bridled Terns, noddies or tropicbirds.  We did see a few jaegers though: one Pomarine Jaeger, one Long-tailed Jaeger, one other jaeger flying with it that was likely also a Long-tailed Jaeger (though we didn't get a good enough look to rule out Parasitic Jaeger definitively).

On the way out, we saw several White-crowned Pigeons flying over the mangroves.  These were the first I'…

Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive, 9/5/2015

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Yesterday my father and I drove out to Lake Apopka to see the wildlife drive. It amazes me that every time I visit something new seems to present itself.  I suppose it's not too surprising that this is the case right now, since migration is now in full swing.  The biggest find for me was a Veery--well, two of them in fact--along the lake shore loop trail.  Unfortunately, they stayed too far back for me to get good photos.  Another fun bird was a Worm-eating Warbler, though this bird took off before I could get a photo.

We walked the loop trail south a little ways, and that was one of the more productive areas.  We were looking for a Snail Kite that had been seen there last week, and we had no luck relocating it.  We didn't expect to get very many good photos either, since we were walking along the eastern shore of the lake in the morning.  In order to photograph birds in the shrubbery to the east, we had to look into the sun.  However, there was one wonderful little spot tha…

Central Winds Park in September

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Central Winds is starting to get interesting. A couple days ago we had a Blue-winged Warbler there, and there's been between 8-10 species seen there each day.  There are lots of Northern Parula here, sometimes more than 20, and there have been a fair number of Redstarts, Yellow Warblers, Yellow-throated Warblers, and Black and White Warblers. Ovenbirds and Prothonotary Warblers have become regulars here in small numbers.

Occasionally, we also have the pleasure of seeing a Northern Waterthrush or a Worm-eating Warbler, though they haven't been as cooperative for photos.  I'm including a couple photos here as simple ID shots.
We've also had one early Chestnut-sided Warbler come through. Hopefully a sign of good things to come.

Marl Bed Flats, 8/26/2015

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Late last week I drove out to Marl Bed Flats. It has historically been my favorite place to look for shorebirds, but it has all but dried up, and the shorebirds are all gone.  I was hoping with all the rain we've had recently that things might change, so I gave it another shot.  Still no shorebirds.  The highlight of the morning was a flyover Eastern Kingbird--it didn't even have the decency to land in the park for a photo.

So I turned my attention to butterflies and other insects.  If I were more devoted to butterflies, I suspect I would see far more than I do. I see lots of them but I'm usually too tired and sweaty to give them much attention.  I photographed three butterfly species and one robberfly. I also learned something new about checkered-skippers.  I've seen Common/White Checkered-Skippers before (the two species are essentially identical), but I also saw a Tropical Checkered-Skipper.  You can tell the difference between the two by the white spot on the wing…

Little Big Econ SF (Brumley Rd Trailhead), 8/22/2015

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Last week I walked out to the St. Johns River at Puzzle Lake from Brumley Rd with a friend of mine. It was his first time out with me to this location.  We were both hoping for some new Seminole County birds--he wanted Pectoral Sandpiper and Cliff Swallow and I wanted Black Tern and, much less likely, Willet.  We walked about 8 miles and ventured a bit farther north than I've gone in the past.  It seems the farther north I go the better the birding is.  I suspect that's because the Econ River and St. Johns River are closer together and there's more sand flats and mud flats for shorebirds.


We missed out on a Willet or any other more rare shorebirds, but we did see several Pectoral Sandpipers.  They were easily the highlight of the morning.  One in particular flew right by me and even landed close enough for me to get my best photos of the species.

Aside from this, good photos were few and far between.  We did however, raise the eBird total for this hot spot up to 129, and …