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.

Spotted Sandpiper (Juvenile)

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper

Semipalmated Plover

I also saw a juvenile Black-necked Stilt, and an Osprey perched and moments later flying off with a large catch.

Black-necked Stilt (Juvenile)

Osprey

Osprey

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.

Anhinga (Female)

Common Gallinule (Juvenile)

Red-shouldered Hawk

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck

Back “HOME” in Jacksonville I found my first of the season Kingfishers and Palm Warblers at Hanna Park.

Belted Kingfisher

Palm Warbler

Also, a first of the season (for me) Pied-billed Grebe, nicely framed among the reeds.

Pied-billed Grebe

There were also the usual suspects–Green, Little and Great Blue herons, and a Snowy egret.

Green Heron

Little Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Snowy Egret

And a hungry Osprey preparing to leave its perch.

Osprey

At Castaway Island I found another Kingfisher, Snowy egrets, and a well-camouflaged Great Blue Heron.

Belted Kingfisher

Snowy Egrets

Great Blue Heron

Also a Tricolored heron foraging in the marsh.

Tricolored Heron

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”!

Sanderlings

Willet

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Thanks again,

Phil Graham–Photo Naturalist

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