Washington Oaks Gardens State Park field trip report, dec 8, 2016

Posted by on 19 Dec 2016 | Tagged as: birding

2016dec_wash_oaks_groupSix people showed up for a blustery walk through Washington Oaks Gardens State Park.  It was cold and windy by the river, but not so bad in the gardens and road area.   The birds were pretty much tucked in against the cold wind, and only showed themselves for the briefest of moments.  Most of the time we could not get an eyeball on them, let alone binoculars.

On the way out, we wanted to see the beachside of the park but it was still closed from the hurricane Matthew damage.  The entire place apparently was unstable and unsafe.  So we stopped further south on AIA to look for shorebirds.  Not much there, but interesting photos of the hurricane damage near the road.


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Birding in Invergordon, Scotland, Jul 23, 2016

Posted by on 04 Aug 2016 | Tagged as: birding, Wandering Members

Invergordon-13Maureen and I just returned from a 12 day cruise to Northern Europe with friends and family.  Bob and I are avid birders and Maureen is fast catching up. Bob is the father of Jeff, the husband on our younger daughter, Danielle. Jeff is the one who instigated the venture. Prior to the trip, on the recommendation of Ken Gunn, I organized a day of birding on shore with Dave Slater, owner of Birding-Ecosse.  The ship docked at Invergordon and it turns out to be near where Dave lives.

Invergorden is near Inverness, and near to the well-known Loch Ness with everyone’s favorite, elusive “monster”. Continue Reading »


Posted by on 10 May 2016 | Tagged as: birding

Eight of us enjoyed a beautiful day on a buggy ride through Orlando Wetlands Park led by Sondra and Mike.  Our guides were really attuned to what we wanted to see and really accommodated us. 

Unfortunately it was late in the season and all the “good birds” had left but it was worth the trip anyway.  Many of the usual suspects from Anhingas to Purple Gallinules.  There was a large nesting rookery of Wood Storks and Cattle Egrets on the property which we could see from an overlook. 2016apr_owp-10We spent about ten minutes watching an Anhinga work to disengage a catfish from its bill.  Unlike Cormorants that snatch fish in their jaws, Anhingas spear the fish.  They have barbs on the outer edges of their bills so the fish remain attached until they resurface.  Unfortunately, that means the Anhinga must spend some time and effort trying to disengage the fish from its bill before they can eat it.  It was really fun to watch the process.  Did I mention it was a buggy ride the entire three hours? Continue Reading »

Mar 2016 Peacock’s Pocket Field Trip Report

Posted by on 28 Mar 2016 | Tagged as: birding

Black-necked StiltSeven folks, including three snowbirds, spent a beautiful day at the MINWR focusing on the Peacock’s Pocket road.

We first stopped at the bridge on SR406 and saw many scaups and an Osprey on the nest. Crossing the bridge there was a Horned Grebe and lots of Ring-billed Gulls. A few Black Skimmers let us watch them feeding.

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Audubon Park Field Trip Report, 29 Feb 2016

Posted by on 02 Mar 2016 | Tagged as: birding

Great EgretMany thanks to Eli Schaperow for taking the time to lead our group on this trip. Eli has been involved with the park since its inception and is very knowledgeable of its function as a storm water retention area and its other natural habitats and plant and wildlife species. This is a beautiful place for a walk in the woods whether one sees birds or not. But we did see birds from eagles, hawks and harrier to wading birds and ducks. Also 4 species of woodpecker, 6 species of warbler, gnatcatchers, kinglets, vireo and titmouse. A nice walk in the woods and very good day of birding. We ended with 45 species. Eli also introduced us to some orchids growing in the park.

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Lake Apopka Field Trip Report, February 13, 2016

Posted by on 02 Mar 2016 | Tagged as: birding

2nd year Bald EagleWe arrived at the entrance to the Wildlife Drive about 9 a.m. with 8 vehicles and 24 birders. The birders in the first couple cars saw a Bobcat walk from the bushes to the middle of the road where he stopped and watched us, then continued on his way and disappeared into the bushes on the other side of the road. At the pump house parking lot we heard a Marsh Wren singing and several of us were able to get fleeting glances as he moved from bush to bush. Except for a short lunch break at the Historic Pump Hose area we spent a leisure 6 hours covering the 11 miles. Other vehicle traffic was light so we were able to take our time and make frequent stops to scan with binoculars and scopes and take photos of those species that would cooperate. Most of the drive is through wetlands so we found all of the usual wading birds, a few ducks and fly over hawks and eagles.

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Posted by on 06 Feb 2016 | Tagged as: birding


DSC_6168Thanks to all who quickly juggled their schedules to help with the 2016 International Piping Plover Winter Census. We were originally scheduled to complete both the Piping Plover Survey and the Annual Winter Shorebird survey on January 27th. However, weather reports for the 27th were dismal. The Piping Plover survey is completed only once every five years and was deemed a priority so a last minute change was made to conduct the Plover survey only on January 25th.  Following a strategy meeting at Ken & Margo Wenzel’s house eight of us hit the beach to survey the 10 miles of shoreline from the Smyrna Dunes Park south boundary to the Canaveral National Seashore north boundary.

We reported 3 PIPLs – one with a band – and 30 Red Knots. The response to our reports from Billy Brooks, U S Fish & Wildlife Service coordinator was “Awesome”.

Dick & Gail


Posted by on 06 Feb 2016 | Tagged as: birding

A big thanks to everyone who helped in this year’s count. We had 34 participants out in 12 teams so had good coverage of the circle. Team members spent a combined 92 hours covering over 15 miles on foot, 445 miles by vehicle and 20 miles by boat.

We ended with a tally of 128 species and over 89,000 individual birds including over 40,000 gulls at the landfill. We also added a previously never reported Franklin’s Gull to the circle list.

Great job everyone. Hope to see you all again next year.

NOTE: Osprey photo by Richard Fasse.

Dick & Gail


Posted by on 06 Feb 2016 | Tagged as: birding

DSC_6592Another great day to be out birding at Merritt Island. We started at the 406 causeway to view the shorebirds that gather there and then found a large number of Dunlin right at the entrance to West Gator Creek Road. Along with the Dunlin there were Least & Western Sandpiper, Willett, Black-bellied Plover, Ruddy Turnstones and Lesser Yellowlegs all within 20 feet or so of the road. Continue Reading »


Posted by on 06 Feb 2016 | Tagged as: birding

DSC_6994This trip was originally scheduled for Viera Wetlands however recent heavy rains caused the dike driving roads to be closed. So, we regrouped and went to the Blue Heron Wetlands. Although not as large a wetlands as Viera, we spent about 3 hours and were pleased with the change. There were only two other vehicles on the drive so our group was able to take our time and stop to scan open water and marsh areas.   Continue Reading »

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