In late May I spent a Saturday morning sitting on the back deck behind the Chinsegut Conservation Center. I wasn’t expecting to see many different birds but was hoping a few might still be migrating through. House finches are common here during migration.
I got a quick glimpse of an Eastern towhee.
All the usual birds that I could have seen in my backyard were there. Bluebirds, chickadees and downy woodpeckers were plentiful.
Here’s something I don’t see anywhere near where I live but I always see them here, a red headed woodpecker.
I was packing up to leave and I saw these out of the corner of my eye. A pair of Northern bobwhites came cruising through the back deck area. They stopped by the tiny pond for a few seconds and then headed into the bushes.
They were really skittish and disappeared quickly.
The view heading out on the trails. I didn’t walk too far this particular morning since my foot was still bothering me. It was nice to come and sit out on the deck for a while and watch all of the wildlife come through.
I headed up north to Chinsegut Wildlife Area, north of Tampa, in late March. They have a great deck on the back of the nature center with lots of bird feeders off the deck. I was able to catch a few red headed woodpeckers on the way to the deck. The woods here are full of them and I usually see them when I visit.
The first birds I saw high up in the trees were these pale yellow ones. As I zoomed in on them I realized they were goldfinches.
I sat really still for a while and they came down to the feeders. I get one or two at my feeder at home in the winter but this was the most I had seen at one time.
I was hoping to see some different birds than the ones I already get in my backyard. Spring migration was just starting but the ones here were all of the usual wintering birds. There were lots of pine warblers, chipping sparrows, bluebirds, chickadees, titmouse and house sparrows.
A fuzzy caterpillar on the wall next to my seat.
And, they have tons of squirrels being cute, just like back home.
It was a beautiful morning and nice to sit out on that back deck and watch all of the usual birds flying in and out. Another trip in late April is in the plan.
During a cold spell I added a suet feeder to the backyard. I was getting bird seed at the hardware store and saw them on the shelf. They were less than $2 for a block so I thought I would put it out while I had taken the seed feeder down to scrub out. I wasn’t sure what I would get because I’ve never used them before but boy, those pine warblers love it. For 2 days there were tons of them waiting their turn at the suet.
A chickadee also stopped by to check it out.
The cardinal sat on it but I didn’t see him eat it. He was probably wondering where the regular seed was.
The Carolina wrens like it as well.
When I put the seed feeder back out I moved it to the side of the bushes closer to the house. This catbird guarded it and wouldn’t let the little birds on it for a while. The pine warblers would sit on the hanging plant and wait for him to leave. I’m on my third block now which should be gone by the end of March if not much sooner. Then I’ll wait until after the hot summer months are over to put one back up.
Usual critters in the backyard in late October into early November. Bambi was still hanging around the backyard. Her spots were completely gone by this time.
Another visit from the usual winter visitors. A black and white warbler, bluebird, red bellied woodpecker and a house finch.
I saw this pine warbler hopping around our patio, mostly hiding under the chair.
Another visit from an immature indigo bunting. Maybe they like my backyard. It would be nice if they would come back in April when they are all blue.
Doves don’t get a lot of attention but they do have cool pink feet. And, they always pose so nicely for me.
Visitors at the feeder include a red bellied woodpecker, bluebirds, chickadees, a downy woodpecker and blue jays.
Sitting outside staring up in the trees, looking for birds. I don’t sit out here often because the birds disappear when I go outside. Only the titmouse and chickadees will come to the feeder if I’m out there. Also the mosquitoes will attack even with bug spray on so until this recent cold spell it’s been really buggy out there.
I was bummed that I would miss fall migration due to my shoulder surgery but it seems that fall migration came to me one afternoon. I came home from physical therapy and looked out the back window and saw some birds hopping around near the bird bath. I was thinking it would be the same birds that visit (titmouse, chickadees, etc) so I barely looked but then I noticed a few that looked different. I still had my camera set up on my tripod so I started snapping. There were a few immature indigo buntings.
There were several flashes of yellow and one was a non-breeding male scarlet tanager that was taking a bath.
Above are female summer tanagers.
A red eyed vireo stopped for a quick drink.
Pine warblers are fairly common in the backyard during the winter.
Catbirds are also common in the winter. He was photobombed by a bluebird.
Chickadees come by almost every day but it’s always hard to get a decent shot. They are very skittish.
There were several house finches this afternoon.
Later in the day the neighborhood red shoulder hawk stopped by and that cleared out all of the birds. I always know when he’s here since Harley (my young cockatiel) has a certain high pitch scream when he sees him. I jumped off the couch when I heard that scream and there he was, low in the tree. I ran outside and shooed him away but not before snapping the above.
I made it home right before lunch and when I saw all of the birds in the backyard I started snapping (all through the window). An hour later I was starving but it was hard to pull myself away from the window. I eventually did but I kept peeking out. I looked up on the BirdCast Migration tool website for Pinellas County. It said that over 5 million birds had passed through that night so I think that explains the fall out on this day in mid-October. We normally get one million passing through on a big fall out day.
Someone has been feeding the deer at Chesnut Park. More than usual anyway. This is the first time I’ve gotten out of my car and the deer walk right up to me looking for a handout. I took the above with my phone as she was too close to get with my camera. I held out my hands and showed her I didn’t have anything and she started grazing in front of me.
This cardinal had a mangled leg but could still fly. He looked a little rough but he could be molting. He was eating some of the seed someone had left on the boardwalk.
I can’t resist a chickadee.
It was mid-August and this was the first migrating bird I had seen. I have not seen prothonotary warblers here at this park before so this was a treat. I know we call this “fall” migration but it won’t feel like fall here for several more months.
I briefly saw a Mom with her baby. They were heading into the woods as more people were coming into the park.
Leaving the park, I took a detour through a nearby neighborhood. I saw some deer in someone’s front yard. They were staring at the door. I’m assuming they are being fed there.
Usual visitors to the backyard including a Carolina wren, a titmouse, a chickadee and a very young bluebird.
I caught a great crested flycatcher getting a drink at the bird bath. You can see a little bit of orange in her tail feathers in the bottom picture.
Brett yelled from upstairs (I was in the kitchen) “Look out the back window.” I grabbed my camera and ran outside to get a shot of this guy on the fairway. Even though my camera was in my backpack in the closet, as soon as I ran outside the lens fogged up. I stood there for a few minutes and then this was the only shot I got before some golfers came through and he took off.
Caution – beetle porn. I saw these 2 on the window sill and had to go out and get a shot. The green beetles are native to Florida and are harmless.
My jaw dropped when I saw this out of the back window. I took this shot from inside as they cruised across our little backyard.
As they were leaving the yard I ran outside and got the above. They made their way down the back of our townhomes, towards the woods at the end. What a treat to have 5 baby turkeys in your backyard
The downy woodpeckers and the chickadees keep coming to the feeder together.
Another set of Carolina wren babies were hopping around our backyard. I think they had been born in my neighbor’s pot because I kept seeing an adult flying over there with bugs. Mom was close by. You can still see the fuzz in their head and necks.
A beautiful cooper’s hawk in our tree. I was walking back from getting the mail and he landed on my husband’s car in the driveway. I ran back in and grabbed my camera thinking he would be gone when I got back outside but he flew up to the tree when I came out.
I have seen hummingbirds coming through the backyard but this is the first time I was able to catch one. They were buzzing around my gardenia bush but they don’t stay long. I was looking out the back window watching a squirrel and saw her fly in and feed on my hanging purslane flowers. I grabbed my camera and waited, half hiding behind the curtains. She came back again and I was able to snap the above but then she took off and I didn’t see her again that afternoon.
A smiling gator drying out behind the pond near my house. I was riding my bike around the neighborhood with my camera and stopped to catch it.
Juvenile osprey are everywhere in the neighborhood. There’s a nest in every utility tower across the neighborhood and they are all filled with osprey.
As I was biking home I stopped at the pond down the street and noticed something moving around with an adult limpkin. I was glad I had brought my camera in my backpack. At first I thought there was just one baby but when they started swimming across the pond I could see all 5 of them. The pond turns into a river that runs through the neighborhood and once they crossed they started heading behind some houses so I lost track of them.
The rain was starting to move in. I love the summer skies after the rain. The lake across from my house is going to be a good spot to catch some orange sunsets.
I keep seeing downy woodpeckers and chickadees on the feeder at the same time.
I think this chickadee was going to tell me to get better seed.
I’ve been seeing baby bluebirds bouncing around in the backyard. I’ve seen 4 at one time but it’s hard to get more than one through the window. They are very skittish and take off if I go out in the back.
The doves were napping under the bird bath.
I think this is the first time I’ve seen a lizard shedding his skin.
Sunset in the lake across the street.
I usually stop at the lake as I’m getting the mail and one night I saw a lone skimmer cruising around right before dark. This was taken with my phone, which I usually have in my pocket. I went out there the next 2 nights with my camera but didn’t see him again.
Tricolored herons and anhingas are usual in the lake, getting that last meal before dark.
I caught this tern flying overhead right at dark. I think it’s a Caspien tern.
We had a bad storm one night that formed a small pond on the other side of the golf course. Early the next morning I saw a turkey hanging around the newly formed pond. I grabbed my camera and ran out before the golfers came through. These were taken with my 400mm lens and are cropped up a little but she didn’t seem to mind me standing there. She just went about her preening and strutting around.
A limpkin stopped by while I was shooting the turkey.
The usual birds were coming through the backyard in early May. I’ve been seeing the brown thrashers pretty regularly now.
The baby bluebirds were old enough to cruise around the area. They nest in my neighbor’s nest boxes (several doors down, the neighbors have been living there for years so I think the birds are use to using their boxes). This young one was sitting on the feeder pole in the rain.
Another visit from an armadillo and I always take a shot of the squirrels if they are doing something cute. This time he was just sitting back and relaxing.