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.
More of the usual visitors in early January. House finches, goldfinch and lots of pine warblers. Red bellied woodpeckers show up every day.
Also the same birds at the bird bath but now we have a lot of yellow rumped warblers visiting as well.
A downy woodpecker was giving me a “Why haven’t you taken down your Christmas lights yet” look. I had some green lights wrapped around our two short trees in the backyard that finally got taken down.
The lone hermit thrush showed up again.
I’ve been sticking close to home for a while now. In a cruel twist of fate, just as I was started to head out on hikes with my longer heavy lens and camera after my shoulder surgery, I developed a nasty case of plantar fasciitis in my left foot with severe heel pain. It’s been going on forever, almost 6 weeks and is taking forever to heal. I’m doing all of the standard stuff to help it heal but it’s being stubborn. Any one ever had to deal with this? Any words of wisdom? I’m icing it, rolling the ball on my foot, sleeping with a plantar boot, stretching, etc. I’ve always worn orthopedic shoes and slippers. On a fun note, I’ve been seeing lots of interesting things in the backyard.
There were a lot of non-breeding male indigo buntings at Felts Preserve the morning I was there in late December. It was cold that morning as I sat in the bushes waiting for them to come to the feeders (just under 40 degrees is cold for us central Florida folks). They were all fighting over the best feeding spots. Occasionally a painting bunting would pop out of the bushes but most of the birds there that morning were indigo buntings.
Either a very young bunting or a female.
There were a few other birds as well including doves and a cardinal.
Splattered blue on the leaves. This guy had a little more blue on his head.
A non-breeding male goldfinch also made an appearance. I never see goldfinches in the parks near my house. The only time I’ve seen bright yellow breeding ones are during my visits to Atlanta in the spring.
A blurry shot of a dark eyed junco. I saw a lot of these while we were in Flagstaff.
My 2nd sighting that week of a mountain chickadee.
Some type of yellow warblers or finches. After pouring over my Stokes Birding Guide, all of the little yellow colored warblers look the same. Any ID’s on these would be great appreciated
My first plumbeous vireo. Looked a little like a cerulean warbler but that white circle around his eye made it easier to identify.
I thought this was another white breasted nuthatch but the all white head is throwing me off. Maybe a juvenile?
This looks like a female goldfinch but it could be anything.
So many little birds. And I was snapping as fast as they were zipping around. At first I thought I was getting all the same bird but I realize now there were several different ones out there. So many of these little birds look different in the fall than during breeding season. Or they could be females or juveniles. Anyway, I was having too much fun running around the woods at the Flagstaff Arboretum taking pictures to stop and look them up while I was there. I’m more of a “shoot now and look it up later” kind of person. That doesn’t always work out when you are looking pages of birds and all you have is a small blurry shot.
It’s always fun seeing a cormorant trying to gulp down a big fish.
Wood duck reflection.
I think this is a male american goldfinch in his winter feathers. He was high up in the trees and didn’t sit still for a minute. I rarely see these here.
Great blue heron hopping around in the trees.
There were a lot of great blue heron nests high up in the trees. It was hard to see up there but this nest had two babies that were almost grown.
Green heron hanging around.
Most of these birds were not tagged. They might just be hanging out with the permanently injured birds for the winter.
This is a white morph great blue heron. I’ve never seen one here before and this is 2nd time I’ve ever seen one. He wasn’t tagged so I’m not sure if he is just stopping by for a quick visit.
A great egret trying to catch some minnows and coming up with a beak full of leaves.
I made my annual trip to Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park in early March. It’s a safe haven for permanently injured birds and other Florida animals. A lot of wild birds and ducks hang out there to get free food. Some come in to nest in the trees over the water. There’s always a lot to take pictures of at the park. Sometimes in nice not to have to run around in the woods looking for tiny birds high up in the trees. Sometimes it’s nice to just stand in one place and take lots of pictures.