September 2012 Home & Away
I’ll start with” AWAY” when I visited Merritt Island National Wildlife Reserve (Titusville, Florida) in search of two new birds, a Wilson’s Phalarope and the Baird’s Sandpiper. But it was “no luck” this time, as my visit was cut short by rain. I took pictures of every peep I saw hoping for a Baird’s, but all I got were some Spotted (spotless), Semipalmated and Least Sandpipers, and Semipalmated Plovers.
I also saw a juvenile Black-necked Stilt, and an Osprey perched and moments later flying off with a large catch.
My plan was to hit Black Point Wildlife Drive for the Phalarope before leaving, but the rains prevented that. And of course when I got home that evening I saw a BRDBRAIN post online that said a Phalarope had been seen there earlier in the day!
But all was not lost. On the way back the rains let up in time for me to pay a short visit to the Orlando Wetlands. There I saw an Anhinga, a Moorhen (Common Gallinule), Red-shouldered Hawk, and several Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks.
Back “HOME” in Jacksonville I found my first of the season Kingfishers and Palm Warblers at Hanna Park.
Also, a first of the season (for me) Pied-billed Grebe, nicely framed among the reeds.
There were also the usual suspects–Green, Little and Great Blue herons, and a Snowy egret.
And a hungry Osprey preparing to leave its perch.
At Castaway Island I found another Kingfisher, Snowy egrets, and a well-camouflaged Great Blue Heron.
Also a Tricolored heron foraging in the marsh.
Finally, a walk along the shore at Jacksonville Beach produced a pair of Sanderlings running from the surf, and a Willet giving me a “high four”!
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Phil Graham–Photo Naturalist