May 2013 Two New

This month I saw two new Florida “life birds”.  The first was a Cape May warbler, a bird I had been looking for since I started birding over three years ago.  Ironically, it was upon returning home from a day of local birding that I finally saw it.  The bird was singing and foraging in the trees in front of our house as I pulled into the driveway!

Cape May Warbler

Cape May Warbler

Also in the trees were two more spring migratory birds, a Blackpoll warbler and an American Redstart.

Blackpoll Warbler

Blackpoll Warbler

American Redstart (Female)

American Redstart (Female)

Hanna Park was productive again for birds.  For the first time I saw over two dozen Spotted sandpipers all around the lake.  I had only seen a couple there from time to time in the past.

Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper

Then there were the usual Green herons, Red-winged blackbirds, and Anhingas.

Green Heron

Green Heron

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird

Anhinga

Anhinga

Also, coots, gallinules and a yellowthroat.

American Coots

American Coots

Common Gallinule (Moorhen)

Common Gallinule (Moorhen)

Common Yellowthroat (Female)

Common Yellowthroat (Female)

At Huguenot Park the migrating Red knots departed after feasting on Donax (small edible saltwater clams) for several weeks, to resume the 9000 mile trip from the southern tip of South America to their Arctic breeding grounds.

Red Knots

Red Knots

Also, Laughing gulls and Royal terns by the thousands were beginning their breeding activity in the dunes near the shore.

Laughing Gull

Laughing Gull

Royal Tern

Royal Tern

And a few skimmers, plovers and oystercatchers appeared to be making attempts to nest there again this year.

Black Skimmer

Black Skimmer

Wilson's Plover

Wilson’s Plover

American Oystercatcher

American Oystercatcher

I went to Guana Reserve (St Johns County) where a large number of Bobolinks had been reported.  By the time I got there most were gone, but I did find this adult female.

Bobolink (Female)

Bobolink (Female)

Also, for the first time I saw a Barred Owl in the reserve.

Barred Owl

Barred Owl

And a Palm warbler nicely framed  on a fence gate.

Palm Warbler

Palm Warbler

Finally, at the Mud Bogs south of St Augustine, I got my other new “life bird”, a White-rumped sandpiper.  Also, among the many other birds at the bogs were some Least sandpipers, which provided a nice comparison.

White-rumped Sandpiper

White-rumped Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper

PSLast month I traveled over an hour to find my first Solitary sandpiper, only to see another one just a month later, five minutes from the house at Howell Park!  Patience . . . patience.

Solitary Sandpiper

Solitary Sandpiper

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Thanks again,

Phil Graham–Photo Naturalist

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