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.
I was in the mood for a road trip but didn’t want to go anywhere that I would have to walk far. I headed down to a small Audubon preserve about an hour south of Tampa. There’s a small preserve run by the Audubon Society that has feeders set up with a blind in the middle of a neighborhood (mostly horse farms and small cow pastures). It was 40 degrees when I got there early in the morning in late December. No one else was around. I got to the blind and sat for a few minutes thinking “Is it too cold for the birds?”. I walked around the small preserve for a while and when I came back to the blind a half hour later I just sat on the bench. I was about to give up when a saw a flash of color head to the feeders. Several male painted buntings and young blue buntings started coming to feeder. One was sitting on an empty feeder waiting his turn at the full feeder. I think this is the most painted buntings I’ve seen in one place. I ended up spending an hour watching these beautiful birds in the quiet.
Walking out of the preserve, I noticed this tree had turned bright orange. Yes, fall was starting to hit in late December.
Female indigo buntings don’t have any blue at all.
Scarlet tanagers have black wings.
A rare western kingbird.
A painted bunting foraging for food on the ground.
We had great fall out the 3rd weekend in April for migrating birds. After a storm on Friday afternoon, I headed out to Fort Desoto park to see if any of the spring migrating birds had stopped by for a rest. Everyone else had the same idea. Even though there were a ton of people at the park there were lots of birds as well. It’s always fun running into old friends at the park in the spring and having more eyes to spot birds.This was the busiest weekend this spring and I spent most of the day there with lots more pictures to come.
The mangroves along the road at Fort Desoto Park were full of female indigo buntings. They were the most accommodating birds. All of the others were staying hidden.
There were yellow warblers all over the park.
We had one lone bay breasted warbler in the mangroves.
A single black throated green warbler kept us entertained for a while.
I’m not sure if this is a eastern kingbird or an eastern wood-pewee.
The ruby throated hummingbirds were out this morning. There were several females hanging out at the firebush.
We only had a small sprinkle of birds stopping over on their way north for the summer in April. On the first Friday in May we had a big storm come through the area. On Saturday morning I got up early and headed down to Fort Desoto to see if any birds had landed to take a break before heading north. The park was full of little birds. Most were hiding but I managed to get a few shots of them deep in the bushes. There were a lot of barn swallows flying around but after torturing myself for a few minutes trying to get pictures I gave up.