An immature male orchard oriole. He’ll turn a burnt dark orange after his next molt.
Above are female orchard orioles.
A rare Kentucky warbler.
An immature blue indigo looking back at me.
Fort Desoto Park in south Pinellas county is known as a hot spot for birds migrating through in the spring and fall. The birds seem to be more plentiful in spring vs. fall migration. All of the above were seen in a 2 hour period in mid-April. Just standing quietly in the bushes watching them fly in and eat the mulberries with 20 or so other people. All with our long lenses and binoculars. I was using my 300mm lens with a 1.4 extender to zoom in. These are also cropped up so we were all pretty far away.
Male rose breasted grosbeaks were all over Fort Desoto in mid-April. They were eating the mulberries while resting up before their migration up north. Most of them had mulberry juice all over their beaks.
A few females and juveniles were also munching on the berries.
Catbirds were eating as well.
I only got a brief glimpse of the Baltimore oriole before he took off.
I only saw one indigo bunting on this trip but more would pass through later in the month.
A small portion of the crowd at Fort Desoto during spring migration in mid-April. It felt like there were more people than birds that morning but at least there were a lot of eyes looking out for the birds. There wasn’t a lot of variety there but it was still early for migration.
A very young Baltimore oriole way up high in the tree. He didn’t have all of his adult feathers in yet.
A black throated blue warbler.
A black throated green warbler.
A few blackpoll warblers in the mulberry bushes.
I think this is a female black throated blue warbler.
Brown thrashers were eating the mulberries.
Summer tanagers were in the oak trees.
This is either a female scarlet tanager or a summer tanager.
A lone indigo bunting.
Spring migration felt a little slow this year. It was much harder to find the birds at Fort Desoto. It felt like there were more people than birds in the woods. It was still a fun morning out. No new birds this spring but there’s always next year.
A first-summer male orchard oriole with mulberry stains on his chest.
I think this is a female orchard oriole.
I think this is a first year female Baltimore oriole.
Another red-eyed vireo.
I saw one northern Parula that morning.
My first black throated green warbler.
A male orchard oriole taking a berry break.
Prairie warbler doing some weird acrobats.
Bye,bye, orchard oriole.
A female rose breasted grosbeak.
It was a busy day in mid-April. A big fall out day. Spring migration was in full swing and I knew I’d come home with a neck ache from staring up in the trees all morning. I was right. Birds were everywhere but they did not sit still very long. There were almost as many people at Fort Desoto that morning. Everyone was yelling out bird names: “there goes a female blah blah”, ” I just saw an immature male blah blah”, ” has anyone seen the yellow blah blah?” All of the little birds were starting to looking alike, especially the yellow and brown ones. Let me know if I got any of the above wrong. People had driven from all over the state to check birds off their list. I met a ton of new people and ran into people I hadn’t seen since the last migration. It was catch up day. The next couple of weekends still had a few birds but not like this big weekend. I also saw a lot of little red birds and blue birds. More on those later.
I don’t know what this is. It looks bigger than a yellow rumped warbler. It was bathing at the fountain. Could it be a female American redstart? It looks like one from the Stokes Birding Guide. If so, it’s my first one.
Orange eating an orange. Baltimore oriole at one of the fruit feeders.
I think this is a wood thrush. He was sitting on the bottom of the fountain.
My first and only indigo bunting shot. I saw a few others from really far away but this was the only one that got close to us at the fountain.
Starling taking a bath.
I was told this is a yellow warbler. This was my first sighting of one. I agree with Deb’s comment on this one. It looks more like a female hooded warbler than a yellow one. It’s still a lifer either way.
About a tenth of the crowd that was gathering at the mulberry woods at Fort Desoto. There’s a small open field with a short stone fountain in the middle. Everyone was standing around waiting for birds to land on the fountain. I only had my long lens that morning so I could only get a small smattering of the crowd that was there.
I can say I was there! Two weekends during the 2012 spring migration at Fort Desoto. I met tons of people. Learned a lot of new little birds. And took thousands of bad pictures. Ron at Pinellas Birds said the week before Memorial Day that it was winding down. There were still a few late migraters coming through though so I’ll still head out and keep my eyes open. Now I can’t wait until fall migration.
Not my first black and white warbler. I have seen a couple in that past but there were quite a few flying around at Fort Desoto.
My first scarlet tanager. There was a few there but they stayed high up in the trees.
My first Baltimore oriole.
My first eastern wood-pewee. At first I thought this was a phoebe but the bill is a little lighter.
I thought I had missed the boat. Saturday, 4/21, a nasty storm moves through the Tampa bay area. I did chores and ran errands. Sunday morning I woke up to sunny skies so I headed out to a park. I thought that since there were extremely high winds at Fort Desoto, it might not be a good place to go since water birds tend to be scarce on windy days. I decided to go inland to Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland. It was a nice morning and I saw some cool things. Later that night I was reading Pinellasbirds.com and just found out how little I knew about birding. The sky was falling with birds at Fort Desoto. Record numbers of migrating birds had landed there. I knew I had a long work week ahead so my heart fell. But all was not lost. I was able to leave work at a reasonable time on Tuesday night and headed straight for Fort Desoto. I headed first to the east beach turnaround and then to the mulberry bush woods at the ranger’s house. There were birds flying everywhere. All colors flashing by. I was so excited I didn’t know where to start. I just stood there and started snapping away. My friend Pam and her hubby met me there because they wanted to see what all the excitement was about. We stayed until the sun went completely down and it was dark driving out. More to come tomorrow.