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!
Also in the trees were two more spring migratory birds, a Blackpoll warbler and an American Redstart.
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.
Then there were the usual Green herons, Red-winged blackbirds, and Anhingas.
Also, coots, gallinules and a yellowthroat.
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.
Also, Laughing gulls and Royal terns by the thousands were beginning their breeding activity in the dunes near the shore.
And a few skimmers, plovers and oystercatchers appeared to be making attempts to nest there again this year.
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.
Also, for the first time I saw a Barred Owl in the reserve.
And a Palm warbler nicely framed on a fence gate.
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.
PS—Last 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.
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 of the web page.
Phil Graham–Photo Naturalist