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.
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.
The turkeys were regular visitors to the backyard in early December. One afternoon I saw these 2 looking like they were having a spat. I’m pretty sure they are siblings. Maybe the red head is a male? They were born this spring so they are still pretty young.
Another day I caught them feeding. I think he saw me through the window.
The young doe was also coming by almost every day. She was alone every day until one day I think I saw her with some other females.
One day we had 2 females with a younger deer come by and feed. I was hoping our little Bambi had found some friends.
I heard Harley (our cockatiel) yell his “There’s a hawk in the backyard” scream and I ran over and saw this Cooper’s hawk sitting in the oak tree. I couldn’t get a clear shot of him through the window so I snuck out the back door and was able to get the above. He was not spooked when I walked right up to him. I’m assuming this is the same one that was in our front yard a few months ago.
House finches and pine warblers have been regulars at the feeder and bird bath this winter
I checked in on the neighborhood eagle nest the first week in December. I had been seeing a lone eagle around the neighborhood and this was the first time seeing them both on the nest. I went by right after this and saw a head peak up from the nest but I haven’t seen any other activity. I hope she’s sitting on eggs. I can’t see her from the street so I can’t tell
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.
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.
I was heading down to Fort Desoto in mid-April hoping to see some migrating songbirds as they stop over for a rest before heading north for the summer. It had rained days earlier and the day after the rain had some good fall out but I had to work that day. There might have been some stragglers still hanging out so I was hopeful. On the way into the park I saw some frigatebirds cruising along a pond so I pulled over and shot these as they kept going.
After walking around the usual spots for the birds for several hours, this is what I got. A lone bright yellow house finch was hanging around the bird feeder at the ranger’s house. I usually only see red house finches so the yellow threw me off.
I also found a black and white warbler but those are pretty common here.
I could at least enjoy the view as I was walking around. Not a bad spot to spend the morning out.
All of these dead trees are invasive Australian pine trees so the park killed them off to return the park to it’s natural state. It’s a tough pill to swallow when these trees use to be filled with migrating birds for so many years. I’m not sure if that is why we’ve seen less birds in the park for the last two years.