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.
For years I have heard about Chinsegut Wildlife Area about an hour north of Tampa but had never made the drive until recently. In mid-April I wanted to go somewhere different so I finally made the trip up north. I got there right when the nature center opened the gates at 8am and was the only person there. For the first hour I had the whole place to myself. I walked over to the dock first and realized that the lake was choking with vegetation. There was only a little water across the lake. The only bird I saw was a hawk cruising around and then landing in the middle on the other side.I had read this small lake was full of water birds this time of year but that must have been old information. Even the little bit of water I could see across the lake didn’t have birds there.
After a quick walk around one of the short trails, I headed over to the nature center to see what birds where hanging around the feeders behind it. The first one I saw was a chipping sparrow.
The usual birds were at the feeder. House finches, doves and cardinals were the only ones. They usually get a lot of migrating birds through here but maybe I picked an off day.
Several red bellied woodpeckers came to the suet.
A lone chickadee.
Looking behind the feeders, I saw a bluebird peeking out at me.
It was a really nice park with tons of trails but I didn’t walk to much since my hip was bothering me. I sat on a bench behind the center for a while and just enjoyed the morning out. I will definately get back in the winter when I can walk a little farther.
Even though chipping sparrows are not rare, I don’t see them often.
I found a female ruby throated hummingbird feeding in the english garden at Bok Tower Gardens in late February. It almost looks like she was molting around her face.
I was standing on the path for a while under a pine tree waiting for the hummingbird to come back to the flowers and someone walked by and said “Look at the owl over your head”. I didn’t even notice him when I walked up earlier. I’m glad he didn’t poop on me!
Butterflies and flowers in the garden near the bell tower.
The door to the courtyard at the historic house on the grounds. The Pinewood Estate is closed for now but you can still walk around the grounds.
I found the Fairy Garden on this visit. I usually don’t venture into the children’s garden there but it was a quiet morning so I wandered in to see if there were any good birds back there. I loved the big oversize nest and the little houses made from nature. It’s so creative.
Chickadees were the most common bird in my sister’s backyard. There were several on the feeders the weekend I was visiting along with a few cardinals.
I saw one brown thrasher. I was sitting on the back porch and saw him land in the tree right in front of me.
Many other birds passed through while I was there. Brown headed cowbird (I don’t see these near my home in Tampa), carolina wrens, towhees and titmouse. I think the titmouse was working on a nest.
I don’t know what this. Might be a juvenile house sparrow.
I think these are all chipping sparrows. They were all over the yard.
My sister Debbie lives north of Birmingham on a small mountain in Odenville. It’s quiet there and they have woods that back up to their yard. Her and her husband have put in a lot of work making the backyard into a mini botanical gardens with beautiful bushes, flowers and trees. They have 2 fish ponds and several bird feeders which attracts a lot of birds. We spent the afternoon sitting outside chatting while I took pictures of the birds passing through. I was glad I brought my 300mm lens along so I could just sit there and take the pictures.