Monday, October 17, 2016

Florida Lifer

I was just at Mead Botanical Garden and really wasn't in a hurry to get back but then the word got out that a rare bird was seen for more than a day in a row. So, there was a good chance it would still be there this morning. Guess I have to drag my self outta bed. Sigh.

Just after I got there I ran into Ian. He used to band birds with us out at Wekiwa Springs back in the day and we hung out for a bit and searched for birds. When I first saw him he was training his lens on one of the resident Barred Owls resting over the creek.

Barred Owl

Once we arrived at the spot where the rare bird was being seen there were several photographers canvasing the area. They were all jockeying for position, sticking their lens into branches and clicking and flashing constantly. Just the kind of scene I don't like. They weren't even sure the bird they taking photos of was even the bird being sought. Just clicking and flashing at anything moving.

I saw the bird with my binoculars. I still decided to take a walk and let the human activity die down and come back later for a photo. Glad I did. Just behind the Education Center was a Blue Grosbeak feeding on seeds. Sweet.

Blue Grosbeak

Not much around the perimeter of the property so I wandered back to the bridge. It was down to just two over-active photogs so I posted up on the bridge and waited. I had 6 Magnolia Warblers today. That is the most I have ever seen on one day. They were not in the mood to pose for a very pretty shot.

Magnolia Warbler

There were a couple of warblers flying back and forth that had me confused for a awhile. Once I got the photos on the screen I came to the conclusion that they were simply Pine Warblers and nothing as exotic as I was hoping.

Pine Warbler

I finally decided it was time to get a shot of the rare bird since the other guys drifted off, still clicking and flashing at everything. It took me a couple of minutes but I found the bird again and it soon darted out of the gloom and out toward the creek. There was my first Florida Wilson's Warbler.

Wilson's Warbler

The Wilson's Warbler looked around the air for another bug, tilting its head from side to side before bounding back into the bamboo.

Wilson's Warbler

A juvenile male Black-throated Blue Warbler was oblivious to us humans and flitted around feeding for 30 minutes, at least. Juvenile males are told by the white on their throats.

Black-throated Blue Warbler

The Wilson's Warbler made one more quick advance toward the edge of the bamboo and, although I don't like the small branch traversing the shot, I was happy to get a full ID shot showing the darker hood before it vanished again.

Wilson's Warbler

Blackpoll Warblers are easier to see in the Spring but they are all over these past few weeks but still hard to get shots of. Those legs don't lie, though.

Blackpoll Warbler

I headed home by walking near the creek again but all I could see was several Western Palm Warblers that are flowing into the state. They are grabbing all the low flying bugs in the muck and landing around everyone who happens to be walking by.


It is always fun to bird watch during the peak of migration but we have had some amazing warblers all over Mead this month. they are not showing up in closer locations, like my banding site, but it is nice to have them so close on a regular basis and are giving many birders new Life Birds and others something fun to keep track of. For me, it will be back to banding on Sunday.

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