Birder's Eye View

Friday, May 15, 2009

Morning birding

"I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order." - John Burroughs

This morning my sister and I headed down to the local park for a hike and some birding. It was a little late -- around 9:15 or so, and quite damp and cloudy, but the woods were nonetheless alive with dozens of bird songs.

Our first encounter was a female Pine Warbler gathering palm fibers for her nest. Although she was only a few feet away, she was incredibly fast, and my camera refused to focus correctly. I played with the settings, and only managed to get a couple mediocre shots before she disappeared.
Further down the trail, we found a tiny juvenile ground skink. My sister caught it and we looked at it for a few minutes before letting it go again.

The lake was incredibly dry, despite the rain showers we've been getting lately, but it provided us with a good opportunity to get off trail and hike along the bank. Where there had once been water was now filled with a huge field of yellow flowers and wire grasses.

On the opposite side of the lake, we saw an incredibly pink Roseate Spoonbill land, so we decided to try and catch up to it. It took about a half hour to get close enough for the above photo (which is blurry, I know), before it flew off to the opposite side of the lake where we had just come from.
There was another, more intriguing bird that grabbed my attention though.

Three dark wading birds were foraging along the shore, some distance away from us. Glossy Ibises! I haven't seen one of these since 2007, and I've never seen one in FL before. They were extremely skittish, and I was unable to get up close, but the pictures are decent enough to confirm the ID.

I'm really excited -- the Glossy Ibis is year bird #90!

The total list from the short hike:
  1. Pine Warbler
  2. Fish Crow
  3. Laughing Gull
  4. Osprey
  5. White Ibis
  6. Glossy Ibis
  7. Roseate Spoonbill
  8. Cardinal
  9. Great-crested Flycatcher
  10. Northern Parula
  11. Tufted Titmouse
  12. Mourning Dove
  13. Cattle Egret
  14. Ruddy Turnstone
  15. Tree Swallow

It's a relatively small list, but I don't really care. We had a lot of fun, and I saw a new year bird!

Until next time,

Happy birding!

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