Saturday, January 29, 2011

Morning Dove and Indigo Bunting

Actually got a little sleep for once on a Saturday. Went out to fill feeders later than usual and then headed to the store. When I got back I grabbed the BirdCam card and through out 70 squirrel shots. Did get a couple good shots, though. Like this full framed Mourning Dove.

Mourning Dove

A bigger surprise was the Indigo Bunting that fed with the dove soon after I filled the feeders. Good to see it still around though it has not been calling much lately.

Indigo Bunting

Hoping to see what we catch at Wekiva tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Goldfinches Increase

Though not as present in larger numbers as in certain years past, I am seeing an increase over the past week. There is still plenty of food available provided naturally. It is still nice to walk out at dawn and hear the sweet calls of Goldfinches in the morning.

American Goldfinch

Socks full of seed are in place. Maybe we can get a larger number of Goldfinches soon.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Indigo and Ruby

An interesting day. We had to cancel the banding opportunity due to the cold but that didn't stop me getting a couple of interesting shots out of the day.

First up, the BirdCam provided a great shot of the Indigo Bunting residing in the yard hanging out with an American Goldfinch, no less.

American Goldfinch and Indigo Bunting

Later, I headed to the store on my weekly grocery run and got home to the sounds of a buzzing near the Bottle Brush tree out front. Then I saw it. A female Ruby-throated Hummingbird! It rested on a branch for a while as I ran for my camera. Fortunately, it was still there when I returned and then began to feed again.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Always an awesome sight to see these tiny birds feeding on nectar-rich flowers. Weather is moderating somewhat and more and more birds are coming out to enjoy.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Wintering Bunting

As I stared out through the kitchen window a couple of days ago I saw a very different bird than what I usually suspect.

I rushed for the camera and started to get some really bad shots to sort through. Definitely a Bunting, but what variety? So, I moved the BirdCam to that side of the house which lead to a bunch of shots posted from yesterday. Today, the cam grabbed the suspect.

Indigo Bunting

For the past couple of years we have been getting Indigo Buntings as Spring arrives. This is a first for the Winter. I think I even hear a second one out there...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Hunting Bunting

Found a bird on the side feeder. For sure to be a Bunting. Now I need to get a better shot than I was able to through the screen near dark. So I moved the Birdcam from the tray feeder to the kitchen-side feeders. However, I had to process shots from the last tray feeder captures.

For some reason the Blue Jays have been really quiet lately. But this shots proves that they are still taking advantage of the feeders.

Blue Jay

Next, a Mourning Dove take in a few rays as it feeds.

Mourning Dove

Titmice arrive in waves and then vanish.

Tufted Titmouse

A quizzical Momma Cardinal stares at the cam before digging in.

Northern Cardinal

Oh, look! Our newly banded wren stops by for a bite.

Carolina Wren

My youngest had friends over for the day and they decided to play guns. I never would have expected this 'shot' though.


Now I wait to see if the new bird comes back by.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Banded Carolina Wren

A few days ago I banded a Carolina Wren in the back yard which was captured as I dried out nets. Took a the BirdCam shots from today and noticed a familiar face.

Carolina Wren

I was pretty sure this was one of our local birds. Confirmed! They raised a small family last year and wish them the best for this upcoming season.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Chatting with a Red-tailed Hawk

As usual, I headed over to the cemetery at lunch to see what I could see. Yesterday I found a Red-tailed Hawk and a Western Kingbird on the edge of the golf course so I went back with camera in had to see what might be there today. The Kingbird was gone but the hawk was still around.

It was in its usual spot waiting for smaller birds to fly by. I walked over and at first it flew to the fairway but then returned to the tree again. It was concerned with all of the Palm Warblers bouncing around beneath it that it barely noticed me. When it did it didn't seem to care.

Great light. Great closeness.

Red-tailed Hawk

Great lunch break.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

JayWatch at Blue Springs

JayWatch had there annual report and volunteer appreciation at Blue Springs this year. I convinced my oldest to tag along and we got there at the time they asked us to be there. turns out they weren't doing anything for us for another 2 hours so we took some walks around the park before hand.

In Orlando, all of the Black Vultures have vanished leaving us with only Turkey Vultures overhead. I was wondering where the Black Vultures had gone. Seems they all came to Blue Springs! There were hundreds of them all along the river. This one found a dead Armored Catfish as we approached the docks.

Black Vulture

A Bald Eagle was also present, along with many other usual suspects, but the light was not that great so early in the morning. But the main draw for Blue Springs are the Manatee that congregate in the warmer waters near the spring in the Winter. The winds were very high so getting any good shots were tough.

Fortunately, there were a few near the canoe launch point so we could watch several at the surface up close.


Farther up the stream we found dozens of Manatee. The water was just a bit less obtrusive here soother views were better. Especially when they surfaced.


Right after that shot, a Belted Kingfisher flew in and actually landed in good light. Without the auto-focus I could only get an OK ID shot. Kingfishers are notoriously skittish so having one stay fairly close was nice. Plus, this is a male. Typically, I only find females. They have an additional rusty band on their chests.

Belted Kingfisher

As we headed toward the lunch program we had some nice views of an Eastern Phoebe.

Eastern Phoebe

The JayWatch results were revealed and, again, the numbers of Scrub Jays are still in decline. We had lunch and headed out to visit nearby Gemini Springs. Nice park! Will have to return in the future. The only good bird shot was of an Osprey searching for fish.


Despite the continuing dire news for the Florida Scrub Jay, my son and I had a great day outdoors.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Ruddy Ducks Decide to Join In

It has been a quiet year for Ruddy Ducks on Lake Davis. We usually have quite a few in the flock but it took until today to actually see any this season. But, there were few out there as I looked for the Redhead again.

Ruddy Duck

The Redhead is still there. Quite a good span of time for our rare visitor!


Hoping the Ruddys will stick around for a while, too.

Back at the Tray Feeder...

Some close-ups.

Daddy Cardinal stops by.

Tufted Titmouse

Then one of our Titmice.

Tufted Titmouse

A Mourning Dove extra close-up! Nice shine.

Mourning Dove

Of course, the squirrels have to barge in.

Gray Squirrel

We shall see how long I can stand to edit out 200 squirrel shots before moving on.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

A New Predator in Town

Came home from banding to scan the lakes to make sure the Redhead was still around. It was. Went over to the cemetery to check on the Bald Eagles and met up with Paul Hueber who asked if I had ever seen a Coyote there before. He was sure he just saw one, though he never saw one before. I mentioned that foxes had been there before and went for a look.

As I made my way around the back of the cemetery I saw something move in front of me. Yep. A Coyote.


A first for me this close to the house. Bet the foxes would not be around anymore. Or outdoor cats.

The canine was very wary of the van and always stayed about the same distance away no matter how hard I tired to get closer.


Saturday, January 01, 2011

Return of the Redhead

Happy New Year!

The Redhead that was found a bit ago disappeared for a while but was found again. The light was right but the camera was wanting.


I need a new lens...