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.
In mid-October I had some migrating birds stop by the backyard. Black and white warblers were common here last winter but this was the first time seeing house finches in the backyard.
I saw my first ever worm eating warbler in the backyard. Over the years I had heard of one being reported twice in the Tampa Bay area but I could never find them. I was pretty excited to see him bouncing around near the bird bath. He stayed close under the big palm leaves on the ground and then later disappeared.
Common birds to the backyard are catbirds (I get a lot of them in the winter) and red bellied woodpeckers.
A house finch with just a little red on his head stopped by the feeder.
I’ve had an almost grown baby coming through the backyard alone. When I first saw her in mid October, you could still see the spots on her hind legs.She was all alone. I don’t know what happened to her Mom but I was thinking she was old enough to be on her own.
For several weeks she would come by every afternoon and hang out in the back, feeding and napping. I took all of these through the window because I was afraid I would spook her if I went outside. She saw me in the window though. She would take a quick nap up against my neighbor’s oak tree.
Our hibiscus bush in the front yard has been blooming for a few weeks. I took this with my phone.
Some of the little birds that are often seen at Circle B Bar Reserve are the house wren and common yellowthroat.
We were looking for the yellow billed cuckoo along the trail and someone spotted this summer tanager from across the marsh. It’s the first time I’ve seen one here.
We found the pair of cuckoos but they were doing their best to hide high up in the trees.
The usual birds to find in the water here. A common moorhen taking a bath and the grebes have returned for the winter.
“Mom, pay attention. That lady is watching us.”
“She’s not going to bother us unless she’s willing to wade through alligator infested marsh”
“Okay, so we can relax. It’s been a busy morning eating bugs.”
Later I passed the black bellied whistling duck family (looks like the other parent is here) and the babies were all napping. It’s such a treat to see these babies here since the main trails are closed in the summer. This is a late family for late October.
Titmouse are coming to my backyard bird bath pretty regularly to take baths. I try and hide behind the curtains and take pictures through the window so I don’t spook them.
I’m also getting blue jays and catbirds but they just get a quick drink and leave.
Watching the birds fly around the trees, I saw a dash of yellow from across the yard but almost didn’t look twice because I thought it was a palm warlber. I was able to grab a shot of this hooded warbler with a bug in his beak through my dirty windows. (I have since spent some time cleaning them).
I took the shots of the pine wabler and yellow throated warbler outside early one morning, walking around the trees in the back of our home before work.
Twice I watched this red bellied woodpecker hide nuts in a palm tree. He was getting them from a feeder across the fairway and flying back over to our side and hiding them.
Usual morning birds in the back, a great egret and blue jay.
There’s a ton of squirrels in the yard. One climbed up on the outdoor chair and was watching me in the window. I changed out the bird feeder pole to a much higher one and now he can’t get to the food so he wasn’t happy (although at some point he’ll figure out a way to get up there).
This female summer tanager did not mind me watching her while she feasted on a beautyberry bush. Or, maybe she didn’t see me. I was hiding in the bushes after all. She stayed for a few minutes filling up on berries and then took off.
A female indigo bunting was hiding in the bushes.
A female rose breasted grosbeak was eating something high up in the tree.
Female woodpeckers. A pileated and a downy.
Both males and females look the same for thrashers and green herons so these could be either.
I had heard he was there for a over a week before I made it down to Fort Desoto. I headed down to the park early one Saturday morning in late October thinking it would be a needle in the haystack story. As I drove into the park I saw several people with binoculars in a field near the boat ramp. After walking through ankle deep ant infested water (the field was flooded due to recent rains) I found the Vermilion Flycatcher. He was out in the open buzzing from tree to tree so it was pretty easy to spot that flash of red unless you weren’t paying attention and thought it was a cardinal. It was the first time I have heard of one being in the Tampa bay area so there were a lot of people coming through that morning looking for him. He’s a beautiful bird and totally worth enduring the over 50 ant bites.
Otherwise, there were just the usual migrating birds at the park. This female rose breasted grosbeak was very accommodating.
The white pelicans are back but they were across the lagoon. You can tell how much bigger they are than our resident brown pelicans.
Osprey have taken over the park. They are everywhere.
Shorebirds near the fishing pier.
TOTO is still hanging out at the park. He’s got a band on his legs with TOTO. I’ve been taking pictures of him for over 8 years. He’s always there with his girlfriend.
This one looks like a female common yellowthroat. Although, it also looks like a female hooded warbler.
The above two looks more like a female hooded warbler.
Possible pine warbler.
Or these could be a pine warbler.
This is an easy one. A yellow throated warbler.
A palm warbler.
All of these little yellow guys look alike. Especially the females. Pine, Palm, Prairie or Polka Dots??? I can’t keep them straight. Next spring I’m going to take the time to write down what they are as I am taking pictures if someone there knows. Sometimes I have different people telling me the same bird is something different so that’s even more confusing. These were all taken in mid-November at Chesnut Park. It was a busy day for little yellow birds.
All of the above look almost alike. There are a few differences in some of them. One has a black bill while the others have orange bills. I was told that morning at Fort Desoto by “bird experts” that these were flycatchers. They could be eastern woodpee or a least flycatcher. They all looked like eastern phoebes to me.
There were a few redstarts in the trees. I’m not sure why they call them redstarts. They don’t have any red in them, only yellow and orange.
I think this is a Tennessee warbler.
A new bird for me, a Swainson’s Thrush. He was high up in the trees and I had to brighten up this one.
This looks like a young mockingbird.
A usual sight during migration, a black and white warbler.
Next year I’m going to take the time to take notes on what these birds are. I heard several times different people calling birds different things. I usually come home and look everything up but they are all starting to look the same. Please correct me if any of these are wrong.