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.

Blue Grosbeaks and a few other birds

Blue grosbeaks were all over Fort Desoto during spring migration back in late April.  The all blue ones are males and the blue and brown one is a juvenile male that will eventually be all blue.

Hanging out on the fence. The light brown ones are females.

I think this is a very young male rose breasted grosbeak.

A laughing gull playing with his food.

A cardinal checking himself out in the mirror in the parking lot.

Osprey are everywhere at the park.

SkyWatch Friday

Almost the end of spring migration – Skywatch Friday

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A rose breasted grosbeak chowing on mulberries.

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My first Tennessee warbler.

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

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

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American redstart.

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

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Black throated blue warbler.

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Prothonotary warbler

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Scarlet tanager with a snack in his beak.

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

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Cardinal with a half eaten grasshopper.

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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

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

Like a kid in a candy store – spring migration.

My first rose breasted grosbeak.

Not my first black and white warbler. I have seen a couple in that past but there were quite a few flying around at Fort Desoto.

My first scarlet tanager. There was a few there but they stayed high up in the trees.

My first Baltimore oriole.

My first eastern wood-pewee. At first I thought this was a phoebe but the bill is a little lighter.

I thought I had missed the boat. Saturday, 4/21, a nasty storm moves through the Tampa bay area. I did chores and ran errands. Sunday morning I woke up to sunny skies so I headed out to a park. I thought that since there were extremely high winds at Fort Desoto, it might not be a good place to go since water birds tend to be scarce on windy days. I decided to go inland to Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland. It was a nice morning and I saw some cool things. Later that night I was reading Pinellasbirds.com and just found out how little I knew about birding. The sky was falling with birds at Fort Desoto. Record numbers of migrating birds had landed there. I knew I had a long work week ahead so my heart fell. But all was not lost. I was able to leave work at a reasonable time on Tuesday night and headed straight for Fort Desoto. I headed first to the east beach turnaround and then to the mulberry bush woods at the ranger’s house. There were birds flying everywhere. All colors flashing by. I was so excited I didn’t know where to start. I just stood there and started snapping away. My friend Pam and her hubby met me there because they wanted to see what all the excitement was about. We stayed until the sun went completely down and it was dark driving out.  More to come tomorrow.