Birds at Lettuce Lake Park

Usual birds at Lettuce Lake Park in north Tampa.

A rare bird you only see soaring high in the sky in the summer, two swallow-tail kites were cruising by while I was on top of the observation tower. One looked like he had something in his claws.

It looked like it was part of a duck or maybe a baby bird. These guys snatch baby birds right out of a nest. They eat while they are soaring, mostly dragonflies though.

A cute black bellied whistling duck cruised by as well.

I stopped by the teeny tiny golf ball size hummingbird nest before leaving the park. At first the almost grown baby was sitting alone on the nest. Then mom flew in to feed it.

A rainbow of birds at Fort Desoto

Painted buntings were all over the ground.

Summer tanager.

Scarlet tanagers have black wings.

Lots of prothonotary warblers.

An immature male orchard oriole. He’ll turn a burnt dark orange after his next molt.

Above are female orchard orioles.

A rare Kentucky warbler.

An immature blue indigo looking back at me.

Fort Desoto Park in south Pinellas county is known as a hot spot for birds migrating through in the spring and fall. The birds seem to be more plentiful in spring vs. fall migration. All of the above were seen in a 2 hour period in mid-April. Just standing quietly in the bushes watching them fly in and eat the mulberries with 20 or so other people. All with our long lenses and binoculars. I was using my 300mm lens with a 1.4 extender to zoom in. These are also cropped up so we were all pretty far away.

 

 

An early June walk at Lettuce Lake Park.

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I think this is a very young red-eyed vireo.

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A prothonotary warbler.  They nest here in the summer.

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I heard whistling and saw the black bellied whistling ducks on the top of the observation tower, only because there weren’t any people on the tower yet.

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I snuck up the first flight of stairs and saw them looking down at me. I didn’t want to scare them off so I went back down and headed away from the tower. After a few minutes someone came down the boardwalk and headed up the tower so they flew off.

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Some of the little critters at the lake.

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Some young limpkins hiding under a tree near the boardwalk.

SkyWatch Friday

We got fallout – Skywatch Friday

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My first cedar waxwing of the year. There were several in the bush and this was all I got.

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I think this is a female orchard oriole. With berry stains on her beak, looking at me.

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Same as above.

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One of the few male summer tanager sightings I saw.

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Another yellow bird. I’m still going with female orchard oriole.

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Same as above.

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An immature rose breasted grosbeak with berry stains on his chest.

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An immature male orchard oriole.

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Eastern kingbird all covered in berry stains.

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A male orchard oriole.

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A summer tanager with a bug in his beak.

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Hooded warbler with a bee in his beak.

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A prothonotary warbler so busy eating he didn’t even notice us.

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A few seconds later he looks up, all covered in berry juice.

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A crow chasing all of the little birds away from the fountain.

What a busy morning. In mid-April we got spring migration fall out at Fort Desoto. We had storms earlier in the week but the birds stayed put through the weekend. I was expecting to show up at the park and only see cardinals.  Birds were busy hopping from bush to tree and back. Most were eating the mulberries but some were also eating bugs. You really had to pay attention to get pictures for the few seconds they sit still which is hard to do when you keep running into people you haven’t seen since last spring migration and you want to catch up. There were a lot of people on the trails but everyone was nice and pointed out what they were seeing. There were lots of bird experts there and I was going to try to take notes but I was afraid I’d miss something if I stopped to write something down. April was a busy month so I’ll have more little bright bird pictures. If I got any of these wrong, please let me know.

Check out more sky pictures at Skywatch Friday