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.

Red Knot

Red Knots

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”.

American Oystercatcher

Laughing Gulls (Mating)

An old favorite spot, Hanna Park, offered another new sighting for me–adult male and female Wood Ducks.

Wood Ducks (Male and Female)

Another pair, male and female Grackles, gave me some nice poses.

Boat-tailed Grackle (Male)

Boat-tailed Grackle (Female)

And a slightly “worn” Carolina Chickadee sat-up for about five minutes singing away.

Carolina Chickadee

Before leaving the park a couple of warblers (American Redstart and Prairie Warbler) got in my face for some close-up shots.

American Redstart (Female)

Prairie Warbler

Howell Park is usually a good spot for warblers, but this day a Red-bellied Woodpecker and resident Red-shouldered hawk stole the show.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-shouldered Hawk

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.

Prothonotary Warbler (Male)

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Phil Graham–Photo Naturalist

NEXT POST   May 2012 – Five Easy Species: Tern, Sparrow, Flycatcher, Night-Heron, Turkey and more!