Grosbeaks and friends migrating through

Male rose breasted grosbeaks were all over Fort Desoto in mid-April. They were eating the mulberries while resting up before their migration up north. Most of them had mulberry juice all over their beaks.

A few females and juveniles were also munching on the berries.

Catbirds were eating as well.

I only got a brief glimpse of the Baltimore oriole before he took off.

I only saw one indigo bunting on this trip but more would pass through later in the month.

A small portion of the crowd at Fort Desoto during spring migration in mid-April. It felt like there were more people than birds that morning but at least there were a lot of eyes looking out for the birds. There wasn’t a lot of variety there but it was still early for migration.

Linking to Wednesday Around the World.

Rainbow of birds

I finally got some shots of the painted buntings that have hanging around the nature center at Circle B Bar Reserve.

A lady painted bunting was also present.

A juvenile indigo bunting was eating on the ground.

Other usual birds were the gnatcatcher and the yellow rumped warbler.

Sandhill cranes were around, digging in the dirt for bugs.

Lots of birds flying around.

Across the lake, an eagle sits in a bald cypress tree.

Just a few pretty things at Circle B Bar Reserve in mid-March.

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More of the same

A red shoulder hawk greets me as I walk on the trail. Right after I shot the hawk, an eagle flies high over my head.

A snowy egret skimming along the marsh and a great blue heron posing.

I think this is a female indigo bunting. I had heard there were buntings in this part of the trail but I didn’t see any male blue ones.  Any confirmation?

One of the many sparrows that hangs out at the intersection of Heron Hideout trail and Eagles Roost trail. Not sure if it’s a Savannah or Swamp,

This little lady flew right in front of me and landed on the tiny stick. She sat there forever.

More black bellied whistling ducks in the marsh.

Same ole gators along the trail.

From my early November visit to Circle B Bar Reserve.

Linking to Wednesday Around the World

More birds passing through

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A very young Baltimore oriole way up high in the tree. He didn’t have all of his adult feathers in yet.

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A black throated blue warbler.

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A black throated green warbler.

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A few blackpoll warblers in the mulberry bushes.

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I think this is a female black throated blue warbler.

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Brown thrashers were eating the mulberries.

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Summer tanagers were in the oak trees.

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This is either a female scarlet tanager or a summer tanager.

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A lone indigo bunting.

Spring migration felt a little slow this year. It was much harder to find the birds at Fort Desoto. It felt like there were more people than birds in the woods. It was still a fun morning out. No new birds this spring but there’s always next year.

Which blue bird is it?

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Indigo bunting in the flowers.

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A female something. I was told this is a female blue grosbeak. It looks like it but it also looks a little like a female indigo bunting.

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People were saying this was a blue grosbeak.  It looks just like an indigo bunting to me. In my Stokes Birding Guide, the blue grosbeak has brown in his feathers.

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Another blue bird. Grosbeak or bunting?

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Female blue grosbeak?

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This one is easy. A male painted bunting on a rusted fence.

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I’m going with indigo bunting on both above and below.

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More pictures from spring migration at Fort Desoto. These little blue birds are throwing me off. There was flashes of blue everywhere. Both indigo buntings and blue grosbeak with a few painted buntings thrown in. People were saying this and that was a blue “something”. They all look like indigo buntings now that I have gone back and looked them up.  The female indigo doesn’t have the darker brown feathers that the female blue grosbeak has so I’m pretty sure the females are grosbeaks.  Way too much work for a hobby. Anyway, most of the migrating birds are gone. Now all we are left with are the usual summer birds.

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A few more from spring migration

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I was told this is a Tennessee Warbler. It looks like it from my Stokes Birding Guide.

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If so, it’s a lifer for me.

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White eyed vireo singing in the morning.

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He was chirping away.

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This was my last indigo bunting sighting of the season. These were taken in mid-April.

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I saw this guy for a flash of a second so this was all I got. It was the only time I saw a hummingbird at the feeder during all of those trips to the park this spring.

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Swallowtail on the flowers.

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This guy was jumping around while we were trying to take pictures of the bunting.

This has been a long drawn out migration season. Last spring there were tons of birds in two weekends and then nothing.  This spring it’s been a small handful of birds each weekend starting at the end of March and fizzling out near the end of April. I saw a few new birds this spring and met a ton of new people. It’s amazing the bird traffic at Fort Desoto. People come from all over the country during April for a “bird vacation”. Most of the travelers I spoke with were hitting parks all around Florida. At least at Fort Desoto, when you walk out of the woods, you’re on the beach and your “bird vacation” can become a few hours of a “beach vacation”.

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Rainbow of birds for spring migration

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I think the indigo bunting was my favorite bird of the day. Last spring I could not get a decent picture of him. When I first got the woods I saw a flash of blue and didn’t see him again for a while. Later, while standing in front of the fountain talking to some other birders, he landed right on the base of the fountain. He bounced around for at least 10 minutes from branch to fountain.

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I totally blew this shot out. I had been taking pictures of birds deep in the bushes early in the morning and had my ISO too high. When I drove over to the other section of woods, as soon as I got out of the car I saw the scarlet tanager in the tree and immediately started snapping. Then I realized he was in full sun and I hadn’t lowered my ISO. A second later he flew off.  So the shot overall is too bright but I’m just glad I got him.

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This one I took right into the sun and then had to blow out to get the details. I think this is another scarlet tanager but we had heard there were summers around and I was hoping it was a summer instead. I can’t really see his wings in this picture to tell. Any experts have an opinion?

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Later in the morning, when I came back to the mulberry bushes, they were full of orchard orioles. I only saw males while I was there. They were all busy eating the berries.

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Another one with berries pieces in his beak.

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Not a good picture but it was the only one I got of an american redstart.

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Is this a gray kingbird or an eastern kingbird? People were calling it both. All About Birds does not even show a gray kingbird in their list, only the eastern. He was flying back and forth between the mulberry bushes with some lunch left on his beak.

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My first red eyed vireo.

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I thought this was a red eyed vireo at first. I’m thinking it’s the same bird as the picture before it and that I just couldn’t see it’s red eye. It also looks like a female redstart.

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The very common gray catbird. The mulberry bushes were full of them. This one had red all over his face from eating the berries. What a feast.

The mulberry bushes at the trails have signs posted saying “Do not pick the fruit.” Just in case a tourist wanted to have a snack and wipe out an entire bush. The birds migrating through in spring count on these bushes for fuel to get them home up north. They are exhausted and hungry when they stop by Fort Desoto for a rest. The bushes were full of birds in early April. They were all busy eating and most birds had a little berry juice stained on their beaks and faces. Most of these pictures were taken standing in front of the big mulberry bushes or at the water fountain so I didn’t have to travel far. Just stand in one place and have patience (which I don’t have a lot of).

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