December 2013 Four New

NEW

December went out with a bang with four new “life birds”!  The most spectacular was a Snowy owl which was first sighted in Duval county (Jacksonville) December 28.  I believe the last one was reported in 1999, almost 15 years ago.

Snowy Owl (Female)

Snowy Owl (Female)

Also showing up the week before was this male Harlequin duck, another rare visitor to Florida.

Harlequin Duck (Male)

Harlequin Duck (Male)

Earlier in the month, over in Gainesville (Alachua county), I saw my first Rusty blackbird and a Common goldeneye.

Rusty Blackbird (Female)

Rusty Blackbird (Female)

Common Goldeneye (Female)

Common Goldeneye (Female)

PAIRS

I saw several pairs of ducks (male and female) on local ponds, including Canvasbacks, Hooded mergansers, Ruddy ducks, Blue-winged teal, Redheads and Ring-necked ducks.

Canvasbacks (Male & Female)

Canvasbacks (Male & Female)

Hooded Merganser (Male)

Hooded Merganser (Male)

Hooded Merganser (Female)

Hooded Merganser (Female)

Ruddy Duck (Male)

Ruddy Duck (Male)

Ruddy Duck (Female)

Ruddy Duck (Female)

Blue-winged Teal (Female & Male)

Blue-winged Teal (Female & Male)

Redheads (Male & Female)

Redheads (Male & Female)

Ring-necked Duck (Male)

Ring-necked Duck (Male)

Ring-necked Duck (Female)

Ring-necked Duck (Female)

GOOD LOOKS

I also got some close views of other birds this month–a Purple sandpiper, Red-shouldered hawk, Chipping sparrow, Black Skimmer, Lesser Black-backed gull and Sanderling.

Purple Sandpiper

Purple Sandpiper

Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk

Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

Black Skimmer (Juvenile)

Black Skimmer (Juvenile)

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Sanderling

Sanderling

Finally, to top it off,  my best look at an American kestrel to date!

American Kestrel

American Kestrel

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Thanks again,

Phil Graham–Photo Naturalist

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