Bright colors on a Saturday morning.

Summer Tanagers only come through the Tampa bay area twice a year during spring and fall migration. The only place I can usually find them during that time is in the woods at Fort Desoto. In mid-April the woods were full of them including young ones that were just starting to turn red and still had some of their yellow baby feathers.

Female summer tanagers are all yellow.

A few of the orange and black birds were there including the orchard oriole and the American redstart above.

The female orchard oriole is also all yellow.

A cute little wood pewee.

A Tennessee warbler.

Also flying in the mangroves.

Most of the birds on this particular Saturday morning were feeding in the mangrove bushes along the road. Huge crowds had gathered to see the birds and the people who were coming into the park to fish or hit the beach were slowing down trying to figure out what we were all staring at. People would stop in their cars and ask us what we were looking at. “Birds” was the answer. They looked at us like we were crazy. It was a fun morning to be crazy.

Photographing New Zealand

 

The end of spring migration.

Cape May warblers above, a female and male.

A female Cape May on the fountain.

An immature male rose breasted grosbeak with mulberry juice on his face.

An ovenbird on the fountain.

A blackpoll warbler hanging around.

An indigo bunting.

Redstarts above.

Scarlet tanagers.

There were still a few interesting birds moving through Fort Desoto in early May, heading north for the summer. It feels like that was so long ago. I’m just finishing editing those pictures and soon the birds will be cruising through again, this time heading south for the winter. So many birds, so little time.

“Warbler Neck” part 2

dsc_6227 dsc_6239 dsc_6267 dsc_6315 dsc_6324

All of the above look almost alike. There are a few differences in some of them.  One has a black bill while the others have orange bills.  I was told that morning at Fort Desoto by “bird experts” that these were flycatchers.   They could be eastern woodpee or a least flycatcher.  They all looked like eastern phoebes to me.

dsc_6232

dsc_6259

There were a few redstarts in the trees. I’m not sure why they call them redstarts. They don’t have any red in them, only yellow and orange.

dsc_6275

I think this is a Tennessee warbler.

dsc_6333

A new bird for me, a Swainson’s Thrush. He was high up in the trees and I had to brighten up this one.

dsc_6339

This looks like a young mockingbird.

dsc_6342

A usual sight during migration, a black and white warbler.

Next year I’m going to take the time to take notes on what these birds are.  I heard several times different people calling birds different things. I usually come home and look everything up but they are all starting to look the same. Please correct me if any of these are wrong.

Going home with “warbler neck”

dsc_5975 dsc_6020

Summer tanagers were posing for the crowd.

dsc_6042

Black and white warbler with a bug.

dsc_6072

Redstart hiding in the shadows.

dsc_6082

dsc_6086

Blue gray gnatcatchers eating bugs.

dsc_6102

A rare yellow billed cuckoo was the star of the day. I had seen one once before at Circle B Bar Reserve but there were many birders there that had their first sighting of one. He was high up in the tree but everyone was able to get a good shot.

dsc_6150

The one of many palm warblers that hang out here in the winter.

dsc_6166

White eyed vireos will be common to spot this winter.

dsc_6046

dsc_6175

I was told the two above were Nashville warblers. Can anyone confirm?

dsc_6205

A brief glimpse of a Tennessee warbler.

dsc_6095

My first Philadelphia Vireo. He was hanging around the cuckoo.

“We got fall out!” was the term used on the bird forums.  Fort Desoto Park was covered in birds that had stopped for a rest on their way south for the winter in early October. I got to the park around 8am and many people already looking up in the oak trees at the picnic area. I spent several hours taking tons of pictures and had “warbler neck” from staring straight up into the trees for so long. A nap after lunch got rid of that. It’s not often you get a day where you can stand under a tree and see so many different birds.

Almost the end of spring migration – Skywatch Friday

DSC_9354

A rose breasted grosbeak chowing on mulberries.

DSC_9341

My first Tennessee warbler.

DSC_9331

Bay breasted warbler. This one is fairly rare around here, even during migration.

DSC_9303

I can’t remember what this is. Probably just a yellow rumped warbler.

DSC_9278

American redstart.

DSC_9288

I can’t remember what this is either. I think a red eyed vireo.

DSC_9261

Black throated blue warbler.

DSC_9182

Prothonotary warbler

DSC_9210

Scarlet tanager with a snack in his beak.

DSC_9175

I think this is a blue grosbeak. He had some brown on his feathers.

DSC_9164

Cardinal with a half eaten grasshopper.

DSC_9299

A nanday (black hooded) parakeet showed up in the middle of the little migrating birds. He was looking around like “What are all of these people doing in the woods?” He didn’t stay long.

It was early May and spring migration was still going on. The little birds were passing through on their way up north for the summer. Another Saturday morning with the trails packed with people. I saw my first Tennessee warbler this morning. I know I should have been more excited but really, they are all starting to look alike. Now that it’s June, not a soul is on the trails except mosquitos but the beaches are packed with tourists.

Check out more sky pictures at Skywatch Friday