May 2012 Five Easy Species

This month I found five new birds for my life list.  I guess I shouldn’t say it was “easy”, since it’s taken over two years of birding to finally see them.  But it was well worth the wait!  First was a Least Tern which I saw at Huguenot Park during a shorebird survey.

Least Tern

And to my surprise, the Red Knots were still there, fueling up for their impending migration north.

Red Knot

Also, a Herring Gull and Ruddy Turnstone were seen sporting their summer costumes.

Herring Gull

Ruddy Turnstone

Wilson’s Plovers were attempting to nest on the bay side of the park.  While the male was foraging on the beach the female waited in front of the nest (top right).

Wilson’s Plover

Black Skimmers also appeared to be trying to nest along with the terns and gulls on the ocean side of the park, taking off in pairs, circling and landing with regularity.

Black Skimmers

We also saw this Whimbrel, and a Common Loon which was “beached” by the tide.  Since their webbed feet are located at the back of their body, instead of underneath, loons are unable to walk or take-off on land, though they are powerful swimmers and strong flyers.  The park staff took the bird to a rehab center to try to save it from the inevitable had it remained there.


Common Loon

Next, on a Duval Audubon Society field trip to Jennings Forest (Clay County), I saw my first Bachman’s Sparrow and  Acadian Flycatchers that nest in the preserve.

Bachman’s Sparrow

Acadian Flycatcher

Also, while looking for the flycatcher I came across this Common Yellowthroat.

Common Yellowthroat

Louie Lopez had reported seeing a Yellow-crowned Night Heron  (another new bird for me) at Little Pottsburg Creek.  After about an hour of looking it popped out the tall reeds next to the creek.

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

While there I spotted the resident Red-headed Woodpeckers and a pair of Northern Flickers.

Red-headed Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

A couple of miles down the road I stopped by the Florida State College south campus and found the Limpkin reported by Terry West and Anne Turner.  I’d seen this bird before in the central Florida area, but didn’t expect to find one in our own “backyard”.


Lastly, on a visit to Guana Reserve with Diane Reed and Terry Jennings I finally saw my first Wild Turkey!  It was a long distance shot but against a beautiful background.  I wished I could have gotten closer–maybe next time.

Wild Turkey

We saw some other nice birds that day, but I liked the Eastern Bluebirds that were nesting in the bird boxes provided by the reserve.

Eastern Bluebird

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Thanks again,

Phil Graham–Photo Naturalist

NEXT POST   April 2012 – OLD & NEW PLACES: Owl, Tanager, Kite and more!