The ladies were out at the Botanical Gardens

This female summer tanager did not mind me watching her while she feasted on a beautyberry bush. Or, maybe she didn’t see me. I was hiding in the bushes after all. She stayed for a few minutes filling up on berries and then took off.

A female indigo bunting was hiding in the bushes.

A female rose breasted grosbeak was eating something high up in the tree.

Female woodpeckers. A pileated and a downy.

Both males and females look the same for thrashers and green herons so these could be either.

My Corner of the World

A new bird in late October

I had heard he was there for a over a week before I made it down to Fort Desoto. I headed down to the park early one Saturday morning in late October thinking it would be a needle in the haystack story. As I drove into the park I saw several people with binoculars in a field near the boat ramp. After walking through ankle deep ant infested water (the field was flooded due to recent rains) I found the Vermilion Flycatcher. He was out in the open buzzing from tree to tree so it was pretty easy to spot that flash of red unless you weren’t paying attention and thought it was a cardinal. It was the first time I have heard of one being in the Tampa bay area so there were a lot of people coming through that morning looking for him. He’s a beautiful bird and totally worth enduring the over 50 ant bites.

Otherwise, there were just the usual migrating birds at the park. This female rose breasted grosbeak was very accommodating.

The white pelicans are back but they were across the lagoon. You can tell how much bigger they are than our resident brown pelicans.

Osprey have taken over the park. They are everywhere.

Shorebirds near the fishing pier.

TOTO is still hanging out at the park. He’s got a band on his legs with TOTO. I’ve been taking pictures of him for over 8 years. He’s always there with his girlfriend.

image-in-ing: weekly photo linkupOur World Tuesday Graphic

A 2nd bobolink sighting

Watching this osprey hover for a few minutes over the lake reminded me of angels. This one never did catch a fish. He kept hovering, then circling the pond, then hovering.

My 2nd sighting of a bobolink. The first was years ago at Fort Desoto. There were several here that stayed for a few days.

A rose breasted grosbeak hiding in the bushes.

An egret’s gotta eat but I feel sad for the little mouse.

Always an alligator floating in the pond but they are not too big here.

A nice walk after work in early May before it got too hot.

Possum Branch Preserve is a small watershed not to far from home. Most of the year it’s pretty quiet with only alligators and the usual big water birds but there are several mulberry trees that attract migrating birds in the spring and fall.

SkyWatch Friday

“We have fall out”.

The star of the spring migration weekend at Fort Desoto was the rose breasted grosbeak. They were everywhere, eating in the mangroves and not shy at all.

The blue winged warbler was also not shy.

More shots of the Tennessee warbler although we think there were several there.

A prothonotary warbler hopping around.

I had to take some phone shots of the crowd. “What are you guys looking at?” was what we heard from people passing by. We were in the far corner of the park so there wasn’t a lot of traffic. It was actually a lot of fun with people calling out what they see. Everyone was quiet and friendly.

A secluded spot at the park.

 

Fall out is an exciting term for birders. It means a storm came through earlier and the birds stopped to spend a few days in the park resting and eating before finishing their trip back up north for the summer.

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.

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