April 2012 Old Spots
While Huguenot Park is a familiar birding spot for me, the visiting Red Knot was a new and exciting experience. It has one of the longest migrations of any bird, traveling more than 9000 miles from the Arctic to the southern tip of South America to winter, and back again to breed in the summer. Several hundred of them stopped off at the park for a few weeks to feed and fatten-up for the final leg of their journey to the Arctic tundra.
While stewarding the Knots with Chris Angel (Park Ranger), we also saw a pair of Oystercatchers that were visiting the beach that day. And as I was leaving I saw a pair of Laughing Gulls mating on “Family Beach”.
An old favorite spot, Hanna Park, offered another new sighting for me–adult male and female Wood Ducks.
Another pair, male and female Grackles, gave me some nice poses.
And a slightly “worn” Carolina Chickadee sat-up for about five minutes singing away.
Before leaving the park a couple of warblers (American Redstart and Prairie Warbler) got in my face for some close-up shots.
Howell Park is usually a good spot for warblers, but this day a Red-bellied Woodpecker and resident Red-shouldered hawk stole the show.
Finally, I paid another visit to Guana Reserve in St Johns county, with Diane Reed and Terry Jennings. We saw several good birds but none as spectacular for me as my first male Prothonotary Warbler.
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Phil Graham–Photo Naturalist
NEXT POST May 2012 – Five Easy Species: Tern, Sparrow, Flycatcher, Night-Heron, Turkey and more!