December 2014 Hodgepodge +
This month I saw an assortment of local birds, but the plus was a new “life bird”, the Greater White-fronted goose.
It is distinguished from other geese by the white circle at the base of its beak and the black stripes on its grey belly. It nests in the Canadian high arctic and winters in the western United States, making a rare visit to Florida.
HODGEPODGE – Other birds seen locally (Duval and St Johns counties) included ducks, woodpeckers, sandpipers, sparrows and others. Ducks I don’t see too often included a Northern Shoveler and Red-breasted merganser.
The Piliated woodpecker is common here year round, but the Yellow-bellied sapsucker is a less common winter visitor.
The sandpipers included Dunlin and Lesser yellowlegs, both winter visitors.
Savannah sparrows are plentiful here in winter, but the Song sparrow seems to be less abundant.
And I got good looks at several other birds, both year round residents and some winter visitors.
Finally, a winter bird I hadn’t seen in a few years, an American Pipit–right in our neighborhood!
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Phil Graham–Photo Naturalist