Birder's Eye View

Monday, February 11, 2008

Juniper Run

Spent the weekend in Ocala hiking, birding, and canoeing. Thanks to my fantastic new camera, I got tons of pics of the trip!

Any guesses as to what this little guy is? It was making so many different noises. I thought at first it looks like a Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, but it doesn't have the characteristic white eye-ring I usually see. Plus, its calls were totally different.

Great view of Silver River.

No, it's not the Loch Ness Monster. This is a Double-Crested Cormorant wolfing down a giant fish! This is the back of the Cormorant's head, and you can see a tiny bit of the fish's tail sticking out of its mouth in the back.

A life bird for me! A Pie-billed Grebe.

This White Ibis landed in the tree above my head.

Went canoeing on Juniper River, one of the hardest canoe runs in the state. It starts out a pristine jungle with crystal-clear water; however, after the midway point, it practically swallows you up, canoe and all. We finished in just under 5 hours. Unfortunately, I didn't see many birds.

This is the Juniper Spring. Crystal clear all the way to the bottom!

Well, there's my weekend in a nutshell. I only saw a couple new birds, but it was a blast.
Happy birding.

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  • Hi Andrea,

    first of all, your bird is obviously a Gnatcatcher. based on range, it has to be a Blue-gray. all the other possible Gnatcatchers would have a dark cap. all the other field marks fit as well.
    interesting that it doesn't have the prominent eye ring though. maybe it's a dull juvie.

    By Blogger Parus, At February 12, 2008 at 3:13 PM  

  • You're probably right, but nonetheless, the bird seemed very un-Gnatcatcher like (despite appearences). There were several of them in that same area that didn't have an eye ring, and they were all making the strangest noises -- not the characteristic wheezing sound you usually hear from them. It was almost Starling-like; all these different tones and calls.

    I guess Ocala just has very unique Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers. :-)


    By Blogger Earthbird, At February 12, 2008 at 5:54 PM  

  • lol yea, I've often wondered about that. I think birds have regional dialects that easily rival people. In fact, I think birds have many more regional dialects than people. I've noticed that birds in WI sound different from birds in NJ. Birds in NJ have a NJ accent. I would think that birds in FL have a FL or southern accent.
    gnatcatchers have quite a range of calls too. every spring, when I think I've finally learned all their calls, I hear a new one. They never cease to amaze me.


    By Blogger Parus, At February 12, 2008 at 6:55 PM  

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