Live Oaks Blvd, 3/28/2012

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Wood Duck
Two couples are regulars at Grassy Lake
It's funny how quickly birding locations can change.  I spend about a half hour birding around the parking lot of my office before work, and I've been documenting what I find on eBird.  Until last week, I'd been seeing several varieties of warblers and woodpeckers every day.  Yellow-rumped were frequently seen, but Palm, Pine, and Black-and-white Warblers were seen regularly, and an Orange-crowned showed up from time to time. Downy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers could be seen and heard in abundance, and I even saw a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker here about 2 weeks ago.  You were also likely to see Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and Ruby-crowned Kinglets from time to time.  At Grassy Lake (to the south of my parking lot), as many as 16 Ring-necked Ducks could be seen at the lake, as well as 3 Hooded Mergansers and 4 Wood Ducks were almost always seen.

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Great Blue Heron
A new visitor, first seen this morning
Over the past week, all this has changed.  The Ring-necked Ducks diminished in numbers and are now gone; warblers are nearly absent, and this morning I saw none.  I found only one Woodpecker, a Red-bellied.  On the other hand, a Great Blue Heron and a Green Heron have arrived at the lake, and yesterday I saw a Sharp-shinned Hawk fly over and a Swallow-tailed Kite hovering in the distance.   Of course, there are some species that seem to be constants here: 1 Great Egret, 1 White Ibis, 2 or 4 Wood Ducks, 2 Brown Thrashers, as well as Blue Jays, Gray Catbirds, Mockingbirds and Cardinals.

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Northern Mockingbird
A regular in the parking lot, frequently heard by my window
This year I've come to find value in regular birding in "patches" like this.  By regularly going to a smaller location that you can cover in one visit, you can follow these trends and see how things change throughout the year. My total species count for this area rose to 58 today.  Here's the 16 I saw this morning:

Wood Duck 2
Pied-billed Grebe 2
Great Blue Heron 1
Great Egret 1
White Ibis 1
Common Gallinule 2
American Coot 1
Rock Pigeon 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Blue Jay 3
Fish Crow 1
Gray Catbird 1
Northern Mockingbird 1
Brown Thrasher 1
Northern Cardinal 3
Red-winged Blackbird 1


  1. It's great so have such nice birding conditions so close to work, although this is a weird absence. I guess day-in day-out it's all cyclical, with strong showings for some species coming at the expense of others, but either way there's plenty to see.

    1. Yes, this week has been strange, but I suppose I shouldn't make too much out of it yet. They may simply have been in the trees a little farther north, behind the fence. Though you'd think I'd at least hear the woodpeckers. Very strange.


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