Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Florida Birding in Summer? Augh!

Now I can't say I had high expectations for seeing much on our summer (okay, technically it was early June) trip to Florida.  Even at 7 am it's "hotter than road tar" outside, but I still had my secret birding desires and some were realized.  I saw a Roseate Spoonbill flying overhead crossing the causeway to Neptune Beach in Jacksonville!  No photo to back it up, but a thrill nonetheless.  I saw dozens of Swallowtail Kites up and down the highway, but it's difficult to get a shot in a moving vehicle.  So those, you will just have to take my word for!

I just got through saying I'd probably never photograph a barn swallow since I've seen hundreds of them and never seen one touch down before.  But here at a rest area in South Carolina, a bunch of them were sitting atop the
snack machine kiosk.  Pretty spectacular picture, but that overcast sky again.  

Here's another bird I've probably seen a million times, but really wanted to photograph:  a Cattle Egret (cows nearby).  
Anhinga-first decent picture of another bird I've seen a million times.

Boy, oh boy, a Loggerhead Shrike!  This was totally unexpected and a new one for my life list!

Red Bellied Whistling Ducks.
Now I've seen these before in captivity, but these were in a
canal behind my brother's house.  And I heard them whistle!

Very elusive bird- a Rail of some kind in the marsh in Savannah, Georgia.

The Last Hurrah of Spring Birding @Shelley Lake

This was our second trip to Shelley Lake to see the elusive Warbling Vireo (which I never photographed, by the way--I'm claiming it as a sighting anyway).  My pictures of the Orchard Oriole were better this time, but that overcast white sky still wreaked havoc on my camera.

Some other interesting sightings:
This Great Crested Flycatcher flying back and forth with his mate/friend/offspring was a treat.

Always fun to see a Kingfisher.  Here's a male this time.

Female Shiny Cowbird

Eastern Kingbird

Now living in Florida, I must've seen a half a dozen herons a day for 25 years, but never in the top of a pine tree!

I have a thing for duckies.

Song Sparrow

Not sure about this sparrow.  Short tail, pink legs, and a yellow beak, hmmm.

And the ubiquitous Towhee.  Nice female here. They are not easy to photograph.

Birding Brothers are the Bomb

Thanks to Robert of Birding Brothers for his bird identification on my last entry.  You guys are my heroes!