May 2012 Old & New Places

Diane Reed and Terry Jennings joined me at one of my favorite places, Howell Park in Atlantic Beach.  We were entertained by a family of Barred Owls, including this youngster that gave us some close looks.

Barred Owl (Juvenile)

We saw several other nice birds including this Northern Waterthrush that was foraging along the banks of the creek.

Northern Waterthrush

Another regular spot for me is Castaway Island in Jacksonville, where I’ve seen Great Crested Flycatchers on a regular basis recently.  Looks like we might have a mated pair, and maybe a proud father to be.

Great Crested Flycatchers

Great Crested Flycatcher

I also saw a Tricolored Heron looking for a meal.  He got a little greedy when he caught two fish at once, and I don’t think he was able to get them both down.

Tricolored Heron

Tricolored Heron

I was also seeing Spotted Sandpipers in the preserve for the first time.  A pair perched themselves for a while at fairly close range.

Spotted Sandpipers

I went out with Martin Cooper in his boat to look for White Pelicans he thought might be nesting on one of the islands in Sister’s Creek north of the St Johns river.  We only saw a couple of Pelicans and later learned that they do not nest here and what he probably saw was juveniles that wintered over.  But there were other birds getting ready to nest here and elsewhere, including this Willet, Plover and Merganser.


Black-bellied Plover

Red-breasted Merganser

Another new place for me was the Powell Farm in St Johns county, where Duval Audubon Society has a breakfast meeting, and then birds the property.  We saw several birds including a Summer Tanager male that got in our face for about fifteen minutes, while the female kept her distance. We suspected they might have had a nest nearby.

Summer Tanager (Male)

Nearby another bird got our attention with its song–a Great Crested Flycatcher.

Great Crested Flycatcher

Finally as we finished our walk we looked up to see a Swallow-tailed Kite circling above.

Swallow-tailed Kite

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.

Thanks again,

Phil Graham–Photo Naturalist

NEXT POST   JUNE 2012 – CENTRAL FLORIDA BIRDS: Purple Gallinule, Stilt Sandpiper, Glossy Ibis, Sandhill Crane and more!