Seminole County Birding, 2013

Canal St. Hoping this one returns again this year.
Lincoln's Sparrow
Canal St, Feb 2013
I didn't intend to attempt a Seminole Co. big year this year.  I intended to do at least a little birding every day, and since I have a little time before work, I tended to stick to Seminole Co. on most work days, with an occasional venture into Orange County to visit Mead Gardens or Wekiwa Springs.  On the weekends, I wanted to chase birds within about an hour's drive of my home.  But as finances became tight and time became limited, I found myself concentrating more and more on Semnole County. Eventually I decided to see if I could hit 200 in the year, and then once I did, I just had to keep going.

Central Winds Park
Philadelphia Vireo
Central Winds Park, Oct 2013
I believe my county is under-birded compared to neighboring counties (Orange, Lake, Brevard, Volusia). Seminole Co is small and filled with suburbs. It's inland so there's no coastline, and there's surprisingly few places to look for shorebirds.  But something about that makes a little more exciting.  I enjoyed looking for new places to find birds I used to think weren't really findable in my county.

Marl Bed Flats
Le Conte's Sparrow
Marl Bed Flats, Jan 2013
Marl Bed Flats
American Avocet
Marl Bed Flats, Dec 2013
There are a few places that proved to be very profitable places to visit: Marl Bed Flats has been great for shorebirds, sparrows, wading birds, and blackbirds.  Central Winds Park was phenomenal this year for warblers, vireos and other passerines.  The Lower Wekiva River Preserve also provided some fun additions, including Red-headed Woodpeckers and Bachman's Sparrows. And the Black Hammock Fish camp was spectacular for ducks and gulls. A couple friends did a fair amount of birding with me here late in the year, and that let me get several of these ducks on my list, not to mention a Snow Goose and a Black Tern.  I hope this year to save enough for a scope to improve my ability to find and identify ducks.

Lower Wekiva River Preserve
Red-headed Woodpecker
Lower Wekiva River Preserve, Oct 2013
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Bachman's Sparrow
Lower Wekiva River Preserve, July 2013
There's at least one area of Seminole Co. that I've been unable bird significantly--the St. John's River.  The west side of the river is in Seminole Co., and without a boat it's not really feasible to do much birding there, since there aren't many places that that give you access to the river.  During this year's CBC, a Gull-billed Tern, a Sandwich Tern, and 18 Black-bellied Plovers were seen here (I think by boat), but I was was with my wife, who had just been in a car accident.  Don't get me wrong; I'd rather be with her than out birding. But I may need to find some legal and creative ways to get into that area in 2014.

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Black Hammock Fish Camp, Nov 2013
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Great Horned Owl
Seminole Co, March 2013
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Yellow-crowned Night Heron
Wekiva River, Jun 2013
So here's my Seminole Co. list for 2013. I ended up with 209 species in 2013 (my life list is 215). Perhaps this is not that impressive a total, especially when compared with coastal counties, but I'm proud of it nonetheless. I'm hoping this year to learn more of the birding nooks and crannies in my county that might let me add to this list in the future.
  1. Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 
  2. Snow Goose 
  3. Canada Goose 
  4. Muscovy Duck 
  5. Wood Duck 
  6. Gadwall 
  7. American Wigeon 
  8. Mottled Duck 
  9. Blue-winged Teal 
  10. Northern Shoveler 
  11. Northern Pintail 
  12. Green-winged Teal 
  13. Canvasback 
  14. Redhead 
  15. Ring-necked Duck 
  16. Greater Scaup 
  17. Lesser Scaup 
  18. Bufflehead 
  19. Hooded Merganser 
  20. Red-breasted Merganser 
  21. Ruddy Duck 
  22. Northern Bobwhite 
  23. Wild Turkey 
  24. Pied-billed Grebe 
  25. Wood Stork 
  26. Double-crested Cormorant 
  27. Anhinga 
  28. American White Pelican 
  29. Brown Pelican 
  30. American Bittern 
  31. Least Bittern 
  32. Great Blue Heron 
  33. Great Egret 
  34. Snowy Egret 
  35. Little Blue Heron 
  36. Tricolored Heron 
  37. Cattle Egret 
  38. Green Heron 
  39. Black-crowned Night-Heron 
  40. Yellow-crowned Night-Heron 
  41. White Ibis 
  42. Glossy Ibis 
  43. Roseate Spoonbill 
  44. Black Vulture 
  45. Turkey Vulture 
  46. Osprey 
  47. Swallow-tailed Kite 
  48. Northern Harrier 
  49. Sharp-shinned Hawk 
  50. Cooper's Hawk 
  51. Bald Eagle 
  52. Red-shouldered Hawk 
  53. Short-tailed Hawk 
  54. Red-tailed Hawk 
  55. King Rail 
  56. Virginia Rail 
  57. Sora 
  58. Purple Gallinule 
  59. Common Gallinule 
  60. American Coot 
  61. Limpkin 
  62. Sandhill Crane 
  63. Black-necked Stilt 
  64. American Avocet 
  65. Killdeer 
  66. Spotted Sandpiper 
  67. Solitary Sandpiper 
  68. Greater Yellowlegs 
  69. Lesser Yellowlegs 
  70. Dunlin 
  71. Least Sandpiper 
  72. Pectoral Sandpiper 
  73. Long-billed Dowitcher 
  74. Wilson's Snipe 
  75. American Woodcock 
  76. Bonaparte's Gull 
  77. Laughing Gull 
  78. Ring-billed Gull 
  79. Herring Gull 
  80. Least Tern 
  81. Caspian Tern 
  82. Black Tern 
  83. Forster's Tern 
  84. Royal Tern 
  85. Black Skimmer 
  86. Rock Pigeon 
  87. Eurasian Collared-Dove 
  88. White-winged Dove 
  89. Mourning Dove 
  90. Common Ground-Dove 
  91. Yellow-billed Cuckoo 
  92. Barn Owl 
  93. Eastern Screech-Owl 
  94. Great Horned Owl 
  95. Barred Owl 
  96. Common Nighthawk 
  97. Chuck-will's-widow 
  98. Eastern Whip-poor-will 
  99. Chimney Swift 
  100. Ruby-throated Hummingbird 
  101. Belted Kingfisher 
  102. Red-headed Woodpecker 
  103. Red-bellied Woodpecker 
  104. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 
  105. Downy Woodpecker 
  106. Northern Flicker 
  107. Pileated Woodpecker 
  108. Crested Caracara 
  109. American Kestrel 
  110. Merlin 
  111. Peregrine Falcon 
  112. Monk Parakeet 
  113. Eastern Wood-Pewee 
  114. Acadian Flycatcher 
  115. Eastern Phoebe 
  116. Great Crested Flycatcher 
  117. Eastern Kingbird 
  118. Loggerhead Shrike 
  119. White-eyed Vireo 
  120. Yellow-throated Vireo 
  121. Blue-headed Vireo 
  122. Philadelphia Vireo 
  123. Red-eyed Vireo 
  124. Blue Jay 
  125. American Crow 
  126. Fish Crow 
  127. Northern Rough-winged Swallow 
  128. Purple Martin 
  129. Tree Swallow 
  130. Bank Swallow 
  131. Barn Swallow 
  132. Carolina Chickadee 
  133. Tufted Titmouse 
  134. Brown-headed Nuthatch 
  135. House Wren 
  136. Sedge Wren 
  137. Marsh Wren 
  138. Carolina Wren 
  139. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 
  140. Ruby-crowned Kinglet 
  141. Eastern Bluebird 
  142. Veery 
  143. Gray-cheeked Thrush 
  144. Swainson's Thrush 
  145. Hermit Thrush 
  146. American Robin 
  147. Gray Catbird 
  148. Brown Thrasher 
  149. Northern Mockingbird 
  150. European Starling 
  151. American Pipit 
  152. Cedar Waxwing 
  153. Ovenbird 
  154. Worm-eating Warbler 
  155. Louisiana Waterthrush 
  156. Northern Waterthrush 
  157. Blue-winged Warbler 
  158. Black-and-white Warbler 
  159. Prothonotary Warbler 
  160. Swainson's Warbler 
  161. Tennessee Warbler 
  162. Orange-crowned Warbler 
  163. Common Yellowthroat 
  164. Hooded Warbler 
  165. American Redstart 
  166. Cape May Warbler 
  167. Cerulean Warbler 
  168. Northern Parula 
  169. Magnolia Warbler 
  170. Bay-breasted Warbler 
  171. Blackburnian Warbler 
  172. Yellow Warbler 
  173. Chestnut-sided Warbler 
  174. Blackpoll Warbler 
  175. Black-throated Blue Warbler 
  176. Palm Warbler 
  177. Pine Warbler 
  178. Yellow-rumped Warbler 
  179. Yellow-throated Warbler 
  180. Prairie Warbler 
  181. Black-throated Green Warbler 
  182. Eastern Towhee 
  183. Bachman's Sparrow 
  184. Chipping Sparrow 
  185. Vesper Sparrow 
  186. Savannah Sparrow 
  187. Grasshopper Sparrow 
  188. Le Conte's Sparrow 
  189. Song Sparrow 
  190. Lincoln's Sparrow 
  191. Swamp Sparrow 
  192. White-crowned Sparrow 
  193. Summer Tanager 
  194. Scarlet Tanager 
  195. Northern Cardinal 
  196. Blue Grosbeak 
  197. Indigo Bunting 
  198. Painted Bunting 
  199. Bobolink 
  200. Red-winged Blackbird 
  201. Eastern Meadowlark 
  202. Common Grackle 
  203. Boat-tailed Grackle 
  204. Brown-headed Cowbird 
  205. Baltimore Oriole 
  206. House Finch 
  207. Purple Finch 
  208. American Goldfinch 
  209. House Sparrow 
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Canada Goose
Flea Market


  1. Great post on a wonderful idea. I hope you also put all your birding lists, with numbers of birds seen at each location into ebird. That is priceless information for scientists to use. It also helps other people know the birds are there and more eyes will be on your county. You can even get an app for an i-phone - not sure about Android - so you can directly send your count to e-bird as you make it and have your lists all on-line.

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