Alligator Alley trail is back open.

Birds up high.

A few down low.

Wild hogs hiding in the bushes. Not sure where the term “pigtails” comes from?

One of the main trails, Alligator Alley, was finally back open after closing in September of 2017. When Hurricane Irma came through, the trail was washed out and a lot of damage was done to that part of the park. The raised trail across the marsh was finally rebuilt and it was great to walk down it again in late January.

Out on the dock you could see the bald cypress trees going bald for the winter.

SkyWatch Friday

New Year’s Day “Name that bird”

Female belted kingfisher (Males do not have the brown stripe across the chest).

Female red bellied woodpecker (Males have full red on his head).

Male common yellowthroat (Female does not have the black mask).

Limpkin

Crazy green heron.

Blue-gray gnatcatcher.

Female ruby throated hummingbird (Males have a bright red stripe across the chin).

A very young white crowned sparrow (a fairly rare one here).

A young red shoulder hawk (very common around here).

All taken on a recent visit to Circle B Bar Reserve.

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My favorite little birds.

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My favorite little titmouse coming to check me out.

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My next favorite blue-gray gnatcatchers. They would be my favorite but they are so annoying the way they don’t sit still for a second.

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Other usual birds at the park: white eyed vireo, cardinal, eastern phoebe, female red winged blackbird and the always present red bellied woodpecker.

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It’s hard to ignore the cute squirrels.

Stuff at Chesnut Park in early January.

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Common and uncommon birds at Chesnut Park

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Above are some of the common birds you see in the winter here. An Eastern phoebe, a catbird, a black and white warbler and a blue-gray gnatcatcher.

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Another common year round bird, the pileated woodpecker. Most of the time I usually hear them screaming from high up in the trees. This one came down a little closer.

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A house wren is not that common.

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Yellow throated warblers are common in the winter but they tend to hide up in the palm trees and under the palms.

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I think these are all pine warblers.

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Not a common bird for me to see, a black capped chickadee. There were several high up in the trees near the boardwalk.

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A very strange but not uncommon bird flying over the lake.

Lots of little birds flying around Chesnut Park in early November (a few big ones too).

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A blue-gray day

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The blue-gray gnatcatchers have invaded us for the winter. They are everywhere. They are easy to hear and spot. They have a very distinct high pitch and are constantly on the move so you can see them bouncing from branch to branch. I have a ton of pictures of these little birds and always say I’m not going to take any more but they are so cute. ¬†There were a few at Lettuce Lake Park recently that were very accommodating that came very close to the boardwalk and posed for a few seconds at a time. Any blue-gray day in a park is a good one.

Linking to Saturday’s Critters

Going home with “warbler neck”

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Summer tanagers were posing for the crowd.

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Black and white warbler with a bug.

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Redstart hiding in the shadows.

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Blue gray gnatcatchers eating bugs.

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A rare yellow billed cuckoo was the star of the day. I had seen one once before at Circle B Bar Reserve but there were many birders there that had their first sighting of one. He was high up in the tree but everyone was able to get a good shot.

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The one of many palm warblers that hang out here in the winter.

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White eyed vireos will be common to spot this winter.

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I was told the two above were Nashville warblers. Can anyone confirm?

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A brief glimpse of a Tennessee warbler.

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My first Philadelphia Vireo. He was hanging around the cuckoo.

“We got fall out!” was the term used on the bird forums. ¬†Fort Desoto Park was covered in birds that had stopped for a rest on their way south for the winter in early October. I got to the park around 8am and many people already looking up in the oak trees at the picnic area. I spent several hours taking tons of pictures and had “warbler neck” from staring straight up into the trees for so long. A nap after lunch got rid of that. It’s not often you get a day where you can stand under a tree and see so many different birds.