Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tennessee Warbler

I was busy filling the feeders before I woke the boys for school. It was just getting light and I noticed some movement in the Beauty Berry bush out back. The Mockingbirds have been there lately but this seemed smaller.

I ran back in for the camera and got a few not-so-great shots to make an ID when I had time. After looking through them I was still a bit stumped so I emailed some friends and they all came to the same conclusion.

I had a new Yard Bird. A Tennessee Warbler!

Tennessee Warbler

It seemed to be picking off bugs from the branches rather than actually feeding on the berries.

Tennessee Warbler

One last try before it ducks into the foliage.

Tennessee Warbler

Soon after I got those poor shots I noticed several other birds joining the model subject. More Tennessee Warblers. They all flew off together and I did not see anymore afterward. So much for hoping for clearer shots but a nice way to start the day.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cooper's Hawk Surprise

Yeah, I heard the Blue Jays squawking. I decided they are lately just chasing out another hawk and I rarely see the object of scorn so I sat tight. Then I headed through the kitchen about 15 minutes later.

Since I can see down the hallway that leads out to the backyard on this trip I always glance out to my left and , LO!, a Cooper's Hawk was sitting on the fire bowl! Ran to get the camera and caught the first shot through the screened back window.

Cooper's Hawk

I was about to walk outside when it suddenly began flying low over the yard and then settled on the back feeder area.

Cooper's Hawk

I bet it was chasing my Carolina Wrens by the way it started at the fire bowl, the Wren's favorite haunt, then kept low to the ground. Doesn't seem it was successful and then got tired of my approach. It then flew in extended circles overhead and finally took off.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lake Lotus, September 20th, 2009

Common Yellowthroats were majority of the day's birds. We also had our first Black-throated Blue Warbler of the season and other bird.

See the latest Lake Lotus blog to view our latest report.

Getting antsy awaiting peak of migration!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ferndale Preserve

Had a trip with the Orange Audubon today and we started south of Clermont. That scheduled trip was fairly quite so we added a bit more birding by following Gallus to his usual haunt out at the Ferndale Preserve.

There were mainly Tufted Titmice and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and the occasional flock of Swifts and Swallows but it was also getting late in the day and HOT.

By the time we made it out to an open area a female American Kestrel took wing and circle off into the distance.

American Kestrel

It took quite a while to get any more bird sightings. Tapes were used to call up a nice Northern Waterthrush which was joined by a couple of warblers but nothing too exciting.

Out of the blue, an Eastern Kingbird dropped in at the top of a nearby tree.

Eastern Kingbird

While the group was trying to make sure there were no other warblers hiding in a tree, I walked around the next tree ahead and noticed a bird flying out to grab insects. Had to be a flycatcher by the way it flew out and returned to the same spot at the top of the tree.

Indeed. But what species?

Alder Flycatcher

My first thought was an Acadian Flycatcher. Further study when I got the pictures home was that it wasn't since it wasn't green enough. Which leads us to wonder if it was a Traill's version.

Alder Flycatcher

If so, it would most likely be an Alder Flycatcher in our area. That is what I think I am calling this bird after consultations and research.

Alder Flycatcher

If anyone feels it is something else, please let me know! Wish it would have come down lower for better photos.

Ferndale should be a fun spot to band in the future, especially after they get new landscape improvements finished which are now just beginning.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lake Lotus, September 13th, 2009

Thanks a lot storm front! Not.

We had a large storm system that flowed in from the West and continued up the state toward the North. This effectively blocked any new migrants from reaching us by the morning.

That's my story, at least.

We did manage to band a couple new migrants, though. Check out the latest Lake Lotus blog to see our latest report.

Weather should return to a more normal seasonal pattern next week.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Northern Parula

MIgration seems almost in full swing. I can tell because the Northern Parulas are back in the neighborhood.

Though not uncommon in the area, Northern Parula don't usually stop in the yard except for Fall migration and when they return in early Spring when they are extremely vocal.

I almost didn't even notice the pair in the yard until some raptor flew by and the Northern Parulas flew quickly into the Mulberry bush behind me. Later on, they were still feeding in the trees and I noticed them in the Cherry Laurels.

Northern Parula

Must be good pickings since all the birds were finding plenty of snacks among the leaves.

Northern Parula

Can't wait for the next big wave of migrants!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ospreys at Merritt Island

Took a drive over to the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge to try and spot the reported White-rumped Sandpipers hanging out along Bio Lab Road. I found them but they were too far out to get any good shots.

However, there were other birds along the lagoon including Black Terns, many waders, and more peeps. The strong winds seemed to have pushed the warblers inland.

One bird species that seemed quite happy today were the Ospreys. They were streaming by every couple of minutes and every one of them had a meal in their talons. This bird was across the road and getting ready to have lunch.


It was interesting to watch this bird with that fish seemingly barely held onto and very much alive. Every now and then the fish would begin wriggling and the Osprey would have to try and keep its balance while holding on.


At one point an Osprey flew by riding the wind really quickly. I managed to snap a slightly out of focus shot. Though I didn't see it at the time, when I got home to process the photos I noticed that this bird actually had TWO fish. One in each talon!


No other great birds shots today but the gators are always posing somewhere along the canals.


I updated my annual pass so I can't wait to get some more visits in this Fall through Spring.

Monday, September 07, 2009

New Carolina Wren

I started to add this post and was going to reference an earlier post. Turns out I never posted this pic before! So...

There has been a young Carolina Wren hanging out in the yard this year. A very curious little bird who often flies up close to me to see what is going on while I walk through the backyard. I finally had the camera near the front of the house when it visited the sunflower feeder there and it posed sweetly for a couple minutes.

Carolina Wren

While filling feeders today I heard a bird calling in the Turk's Cap bush. I couldn't peg the call and ran in to grab the tape record to try for an audio sample. By the time I rushed around the side yard the tune had changed to a more familiar Carolina Wren "tea kettle" call.

I soon located the bird as it sang and hopped around.

This evening, as we readied the grill for shishkabob, I noticed the wren investigating one of its favorite spot under the fire pit. I pointed this out to my wife and then was shocked to see a second shape joining the first.

Seems our little guy has brought along a girlfriend!

Nice to see. Goes along great with the big flock of Red-eyed Vireos that visited today.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Lake Lotus, September 6th, 2009

Some day I will get around to actual birding outside of my banding days. However, for now, can you smell the arrival of Fall? I can.

One of the main reasons is revealed in the latest Lake Lotus blog entry. Stop by here to see some new migrants and new flora shots.

Birds are on the increase across Central Florida. Gotta catch as many as possible!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Lake Lotus, August 30th

A little less sweat, a few more birds, and other interesting finds.

We caught two new migrants and found a new partner in fighting Air Potatoes. For the full scoop, head here.

The tropical storms can keep sweeping North as far as I am concerned. Last year we were flooded by Fay at this time.