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.
A northern parula going for a mulberry at Possum Brand Preserve. This is one of two trees there but only one blooms in the fall.
I’m not sure what the second picture is. I thought it was a red eyed vireo like the 3rd one but the yellow around the eyes is throwing me off.
Yellow-rumped warblers are pretty easy to spot. Mostly drab colors but that pop of yellow on his backside gives him away.
A house wren with a teeny snack in his beak. These guys are usually pretty shy and stay deep in the bushes but this one popped out for a minute.
The grebes are always looking up. Ready to take a dive if a hawk flies by.
The anhinga was across the pond but I managed to catch him with his catch.
After leaving Possum Branch I headed for a quick walk at Chesnut Park. I found a purple gallinule at the end of the dock there. Last year a pair had babies there in the spring so hoping for another crop this year.
I spotted this great blue heron with breakfast.
At the beginning of January, if finally looked like winter at the pond at Chesnut Park. The bald cypress leaves had fallen and blanketed the pond with brown and orange.
At Possum Brand Preserve, some of the cypress trees still had their leaves but they were already brown.
My second ever rufous hummingbird sighting. This one and the one before were both at Bok Tower Gardens. Rufous hummingbirds are fairly rare around this area. This is only the 2nd time of hearing about one and I was happy to have seen it even briefly. I caught him high up on a tree taking a break. When he went to feed, he would go deep in the bushes or the other side making it impossible to get feeding shots. At one point I could barely see him feeding deep in the firebush.
Ruby throated hummingbirds are pretty common. I caught this male feeding near the carillon tower.
He buzzed off and disappeared. I stood under a pine tree for a long time waiting for him to come back. At one point I looked up and he was sitting right over my head.
Birds with yellow. The top one is an easy one, a yellow throated warbler. The 2nd I think is a red eyed vireo with a bug. The last is a a female common yellowthroat.
An ovenbird and blue gray gnatcatcher.
A usual sight, a harmless black racer crosses the sidewalk in front of me.
A bee house in the garden. Used by mason or other solitary bees, they lay their eggs in the holes.
Busy little birds at Bok Tower Gardens. A black and white warbler, a titmouse (with a nut), a red eyed vireo and a female redstart were the only migrating birds I could find in mid-October. I realized as I was running around in the woods at Bok Tower why fall migration is much harder than spring migration. The birds are more scarce in the fall and it’s just too hot to be running around looking for tiny birds high up in the trees. Here in central Florida in the spring, if you are lucky to be out on a day when there are a lot of birds around, at least the weather is usually cooler. On this morning in October it was 85 degrees by 9:30 and the humidity was brutal. It takes a lot of patience to wait for these little birds to come down from the tops of the trees and it’s hard to be dripping in sweat. With that said, it was still a fun morning out even if I only saw a few birds.
Beauty in the pond.
A grasshopper high up in the tree. He caught my eye while I was watching a hummingbird on the other side of the tree.
I was taking a break on a bench when this little squirrel came up to me. He looks like he had a bot fly problem this summer. He should be okay though.
Reflections on the pond.
Looking down on the pond, the fish were waiting for a handout.
I stopped by my new favorite turtle pond at McGough Nature Park in early May. I went there looking for birds but had to stop and watch the turtles napping for a few minutes.
I saw this hummingbird go by in a flash and landed on a branch right in front of me on the trail. She only stayed for a few seconds and then took off.
This black and white warbler was looking for bugs.
A redstart in the bushes.
A red eyed vireo high up in the tree.
My first yellow throated vireo. I watched him for a while as he picked up worms and caterpillars in the tree. This beautiful bird was having a feast. Fattening up before he heads north for the summer. I found him near the closed playground.