Saturday, September 22, 2012

Another Day at Mead Garden

Took a morning stroll over at Mead Botanical Gardens again today. Yeah, I end up here a lot in the Fall. For good reason. It is a magnet for migrating birds in the urban edges of Winter Park.

Things were interesting as soon as I stepped out of the van today. Over near the restrooms, Tufted Titmice were calling so I headed over to see if any other species might be feeding with them. There was a flash of some almost orange bird and I tried to get around the trees to get a better view. I could not refind that bird but up against the glare was a female Summer Tanager.

Summer Tanager

Turns out this was also the first weekend of the Mead bird walks so I met up with all my old friends. We headed toward the pond and watched thrushes and other birds. Soon, that orange bird flew in over head. A young Baltimore Oriole! I have always missed this species on my years of visits. Glad to have that off my shoulders.

Baltimore Oriole

The group kind of split up and I ended up wandering over to the back of the park and I went into the wooded edge of the creek. Yellow Warblers, Parulas, and Common Yellowthroats were feeding on the insects. Up in a tall Cypress tree I found a couple of Magnolia Warblers.

Magnolia Warbler

At the first turn of the creek I scared off a Great Egret. The Snowy Egret, however, did not perceive me as a threat at all.

Snowy Egret

Heading back toward the garden club building I paused to make an attempt at getting a shot of one of the many Red-eyed Vireos feeding all over the park. Not too bad.

Red-eyed Vireo

Under the shade behind the amphitheater I searched for the flycatcher we saw last time out. Alas, all I could manage was a female American Redstart. At least, this time she dropped down to about eye level.

American Redstart

Back out in the sunlight I found more thrushes feeding up in the Virginia Creeper vines. Another bird flew in, too, and I almost dismissed it. Then I realized it was a juvenile. Mourning Doves have scaly looking feathers when they are young.

Mourning Dove

I made my way along the creek to head around the boardwalk on the way out. It was very quiet as I made my way under the Cypress stand but I was glad to get a view of a male American Redstart actively feeding. Like the female earlier, he came down low enough for a pretty good angle even if it was in the deep shade.

American Redstart

He bounced back and forth in from of me for a couple of minutes before taking off to the treetops.

American Redstart

The tour around the boardwalk was uneventful. All I could find moving was a dragonfly. It did stop for a couple seconds for a photo, though.

Dragonfly

I walked through the butterfly garden and toward the education building. A strange sound came from the marsh and I quickly searched the vegetation. A bird flew under some leaves and I soon realized it was a Blue Grosbeak! haven't seen one of them in a long time.

Blue Grosbeak

The last bird of my day was a Red-shouldered Hawk surveying the property from tall trees over the old clay pit area.

Red-shouldered Hawk

A fun walk with some nice species. I couldn't get a photo of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird but that can wait until next time.

1 comment:

Island Rambles Blog said...

great shots ...loved the tanager and all the other birds...so colorful! cheers.