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.
And to my surprise, the Red Knots were still there, fueling up for their impending migration north.
Also, a Herring Gull and Ruddy Turnstone were seen sporting their summer costumes.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Also, while looking for the flycatcher I came across this 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.
While there I spotted the resident Red-headed Woodpeckers and a pair of Northern Flickers.
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.
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.
Please submit any comments by using the “Reply” box below. If you are not “subscribed” and would like to receive future posts automatically, just “click” on the “Follow” button at the bottom right corner of the page.
Phil Graham–Photo Naturalist
NEXT POST April 2012 – OLD & NEW PLACES: Owl, Tanager, Kite and more!