March Hontoon Island State Park Field Trip Report

Posted by on 03 Apr 2018 | Tagged as: birding

Our planned boat trip was cancelled so our group decided to visit Hontoon Island State Park.  A beautiful state park in Deland on the St Johns River.  All the park rangers and volunteers we met were very friendly and helpful.  We walked to the large Indian mound on the island, a three mile round trip. Well worth the walk.  In several places along the trail the tree tops were full of little birds.  We also saw and heard quite a few woodpeckers. A hairy woodpecker being the bird of the day. 

41 Species Seen Continue Reading »

March 18 Viera Wetlands Field Trip Report

Posted by on 03 Apr 2018 | Tagged as: birding

 Our trip to Viera Wetlands was a little later in the season than usual so we missed seeing more duck species This year we did see a lot more houses where just a few years ago there had been fields full of sod and sometime shore birds.  At the wetlands we did see small flocks of Ring-necked Duck.  The Great Blue Herons were nesting on the tops of dead sable palms. Was interesting watching the adult herons feeding the hunger young birds. Also saw several White Ibis nest with young.  The Swallow-tailed kite was the first one we have seen this year.            

41 Species Seen: Continue Reading »

Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive Field Trip Report

Posted by on 04 Mar 2018 | Tagged as: birding

Ten of us spent a beautiful day of birding at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive. We started with a group trying to get eyes on a bunch of birds, but they never stayed in one place long enough to get scopes or bins on them. Then we got a pair of Eurasian Collared Doves. At the next stop, we got the Ash-throated Flycatcher, which stayed in the area for lots of photos. We tried to find the Vermillion Flycatcher, but no luck. But we did get a Merlin on a power line.  At the lunch stop, Richard found a Wilson’s Snipe and a large alligator in close proximity.  In all, over fifty species including an immature Bald Eagle, a Merlin, and a Northern Harrier. Continue Reading »

Feb 2018 Orlando Wetlands Park Field Trip Report

Posted by on 17 Feb 2018 | Tagged as: birding

Ten of us spent a beautiful day at Orlando Wetlands Park. We left Edgewater with no expectation of getting a trolley ride since Joe was not able to make contact with the park official who schedules them. But when we got to the park, there was a trolley and a volunteer who told us it was available. And all our group would fit.

The volunteer was very enthusiastic about birding and was very knowledgeable of the birds and their normal locations in the park.

She took us to Oyler Overlook, from which we could see a spectacular rookery. There were storks and cranes and egrets beginning the nesting process.  As we approached the hill, we saw what we thought was a Sandhill Crane sitting on a nest.  We had lots of great birds like Limpkins, Purple Gallinules, an immature Bald Eagle, and even  two Red-shouldered Hawks mating.

Continue Reading »

Jan 13, 2018 MINWR Field Trip Report

Posted by on 23 Jan 2018 | Tagged as: birding

Palm WarblerSeven of us braved the below-freezing chill factor to head out to Merritt Island NWR. We approached via downtown Titusville and stopped at the bridge. There was a horned Grebe on the South side of the bridge and a pair of Common Loons on the North side. There were several shorebirds on the East side. At Gator Creek Rd, which was barricaded because of the extreme storm damage, we saw more shorebirds and a Bonaparte’s Gull. It took a walk up Pumphouse Rd to see a large flock of American Avocets. A fourth year Bald Eagle was perched on a power pole, totally unconcerned by our approaches to photograph it. Continue Reading »

2017 Christmas Bird Count Report

Posted by on 06 Jan 2018 | Tagged as: birding

It was a blustery start to the day for the 34 volunteers participating in the 2017 Ponce Inlet Christmas Bird Count.  It started as 45 degrees and calm wind, and the wind soon stopped being calm.  It was really overcast, but by noon, turned more sunny.  All teams reported fewer numbers of birds, probably because they were tucked in against the cold.

We had plenty of volunteers to fill all the teams, and everybody enjoyed the day.  The wrap-up at Blackbeard’s was also a hit. Continue Reading »

Dec 11 Riverbreeze Park Field Trip Report

Posted by on 13 Dec 2017 | Tagged as: birding

cold birders Seven hardy folks braved the cold and somewhat rainy, but certainly raw, Florida wintery day to visit Riverbreeze Park. 

We started in Seminole Rest since Joe went past the turn to Riverbreeze and stopped by the traffic light in Oak Hill.  Don suggested we go to Seminole Rest since it was pretty close by.  It was very productive, netting us the bulk of our species for the day. 

Then we went to the overlook by Goodrich’s Restaurant and checked out the area.  Not much there. No White Pelicans yet, but some Blue-winged Teal flew by.  Then Joe said he would buy us all a hot drink in the restaurant.  We were all OK with that.  As we were being seated, the servers brought out menus and Joe upped his offer to breakfast for everyone.  Thank you, Joe. Continue Reading »

Ken and Beth’s Arctic Adventure: High Arctic Birds

Posted by on 07 Dec 2017 | Tagged as: birding, Wandering Members

During the course of our trip we saw a number of birds but not a great variety.  We saw Common Ravens around every settlement.  The range maps show this bird over all but the northernmost tip of Ellesmere Island year around, but we only saw them around human habitation.  Every shore stop yielded several Snow Buntings.  Again maps show the High Arctic as their summer range but these birds seemed pretty con tent there at the end of August.  Admittedly, their interpretation of summer and mine may differ; they winter in Northern Alberta.  I saw an American Pipit on the north end of Baffin Island and others saw Lapland Longspur and Common Redpoll at our last Gyrfalconstop near the south end of that island.  No one on the trip saw a Snowy Owl, which was a disappointment.  On the other hand, the highlight of the trip for birders was three visits by Gyrfalcons.  They would seemingly appear out of nowhere, always in the morning, glide over the ship for a few minutes, then bank and glide off.  They are beautiful birds almost as large as Osprey but with a much shorter wingspan.  What a treat!

Caption: Gyrfalcon, note full crop.  Photo by Terry McIntyre Continue Reading »

November 17, Lake Woodruff NWR Field Trip Report

Posted by on 24 Nov 2017 | Tagged as: birding

The group Ten of us spent a glorious morning at Lake Woodruff NWR.  They had just opened the road to the closest parking lot and mowed the berm so we could walk on them.  The water levels were still very high so the species count was lower than we would have oped for, but we did see 34 species.  Then, many of us adjourned to the Ponce de Leon State Park for a pancake breakfast.

Species list and more photos follow. Continue Reading »

Nov 11 Indian River Lagoon Park Field Trip Report

Posted by on 15 Nov 2017 | Tagged as: birding

Snowy EgretSeven of us had a very nice morning of birding at the Indian river Lagoon Park in New Smyrna Beach.  It was mostly cloudy and a bit rainy, but managed to coax 23 species to reveal themselves, in less than two hours.

The species list follows:

Continue Reading »

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