Saturday, February 17, 2007

Nashville Warbler

Once a month for the past couple years, there has been a census count for the birds that frequent Mead Garden in winter park. I try to get to as many as possible but those darned Scouts keep coming up with things to do!

However, I did manage to return for the February count to meet up with birding friends and count some birds. Waxwings and Robins were in full force as were American Goldfinches. We managed to find all of the resident Woodpecker species and most other expected birds for the Garden.

My favorite part of the count is to go out on the boardwalk which has been suffering from neglect since Hurricane Charley torn through our fair city. Jeanne didn't make things better. Only part of the walk is open for the general public but we are aloud to head into the more dangerous portions for the count.

Local birding expert Bruce Anderson and I chose to brave the closed portion of the walk while others waited near the butterfly garden. We tallied up all Waxwings and Robins and a few hawks as we made our way around the back portion of the walk.

Staring out across the Primrose Willows, Bruce called out that he had an Orange-crowned Warbler in front of us. I almost didn't look since we had a couple of those already but I slowly glanced up to check it out anyway. I noticed an eye-ring and for some reason exclaimed, "No, it looks like a Nashville!"

Granted, I had never seen one in person but I do stare at a lot of books. Nashville just seemed exactly what it was. Bruce and I looked for a little longer and he agreed with me. The eye-ring was that noticeable even from the distance we were from the bird.

Remembering I had a camera with me, duh, I tried a couple shots but was not sure they would turn out that well with the bird about 25-30 yards out. I was right.

Nashville Warbler

Nonetheless, it was enough to confirm this uncommon bird in Central Florida. After I posted about the birds to the lists, there were a couple of other sighting of the same bird before it left the area.

I remembered to bring my copy of Bruce's book, The Birdlife of Florida, with me and asked him to sign-it for me. He wrote to "...remember our Nashville Warbler" and I will tape this photo next to that.

Any day with a Life Bird is a good day.

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