Mead Gardens, 9/17/2011

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Eastern Wood Pewee with Dragonfly
Yesterday I went out with a friend of mine to Mead Gardens [gallery] in Winter Park, FL.  We met up with the Audubon Society of Orange County for a bird walk that began at 8am.  The Fall migration of birds is just beginning here, and I wanted to learn good birding practices during this time. I've spent most of my time in Florida concentrating on water birds, like herons, egrets, bitterns, ducks, and rails, as well as birds of prey.  I was interested in learning their expertise on perching birds.

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Black-Throated Blue Warbler (female)
I must say I was impressed with this fantastic group of people. Our fearless leader guided about 10 of us through the park, and I saw birds I never would have seen without them.  They also knew a great deal about their migratory patterns of the birds we saw.  I learned a lot in just one day, so I'm going to have to come back and perhaps even join the society.

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Tufted Titmouse
Photographically, however, it was a more frustrating day.  The lighting wasn't all that great, and we spent much of our time in the shade, so I had to keep my ISO pretty high.  This tested the limits of my camera's ability to handle noise.  So I'm going to post a few of my photos from the day, but please forgive my noisy images!  The highlight of my day came when we were able to photograph an Eastern Wood Pewee trying to swallow a dragonfly.

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Here's my species list for the day:

Box Turtle
Black Swallowtail Butterfly
White Peacock Butterfly
Viceroy Butterfly
Gulf Fritillary Butterfly
Various Dragonflies

Wood Duck 1
Wood Stork 1
Anhinga 1
Tricolored Heron 1
Great Egret 1
White Ibis 3
Turkey Vulture 1
Osprey 3
Red-shouldered Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Rock Pigeon X
Mourning Dove X
Yellow-billed Cuckoo 1
Barred Owl 1
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1
Belted Kingfisher 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker X
Downy Woodpecker X
Pileated Woodpecker X
Eastern Wood-Pewee 1
Red-eyed Vireo 2
Blue Jay X
Tufted Titmouse X
Carolina Wren X
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher X
Veery 2
Northern Mockingbird X
Northern Waterthrush X
Common Yellowthroat 1
American Redstart X
Northern Parula 2
Black-throated Blue Warbler 1
Yellow-throated Warbler 1
Scarlet Tanager 1
Northern Cardinal X
Common Grackle X
Baltimore Oriole 2
House Finch X