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.
We saw several other nice birds including this Northern Waterthrush that was foraging along the banks of the creek.
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.
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.
I was also seeing Spotted Sandpipers in the preserve for the first time. A pair perched themselves for a while at fairly close range.
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.
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.
Nearby another bird got our attention with its song–a Great Crested Flycatcher.
Finally as we finished our walk we looked up to see a Swallow-tailed Kite circling above.
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Phil Graham–Photo Naturalist
NEXT POST JUNE 2012 – CENTRAL FLORIDA BIRDS: Purple Gallinule, Stilt Sandpiper, Glossy Ibis, Sandhill Crane and more!