Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A sunny day for the birds

It was a warm and sunny day for our Neighborhood Nature Walk at the St. Johns Agricultural Center on Tuesday. What a change from last week's weather. There were five of us who showed up to see what birds might be seen on a warm spring morning.

There were mockingbirds a-plenty, singing so lustily that they nearly drowned out any other birds we might have had a hope of hearing. There were a few birds heard faintly in the distance - a northern parula, a Carolina chickadee, but it was hard to hear others.

Sadly we didn't see as many as we had hoped either. There were no herons, egrets, ibises or water birds in any of the ponds we passed. And we had hoped to see some warblers but our hunt was sadly lacking in that regard also.

We saw a single Savannah sparrow hopping in the distance.

And one of the overheard wires gave us several good views of a loggerhead shrike.

One serious hunt finally yielded a few good views of a brown thrasher, who had mostly kept himself just hidden enough to be hard to spot, ID, or photograph.

Among some of the good birds we didn't get photos of were the multiple killdeer, a great crested flycatcher, and a brown-headed nuthatch! Probably our best bird was the yellow-bellied sapsucker we all saw right in the parking lot as we were getting ready to start out on the walk.

However in my previous blog post, when I had said we might see other wildlife as well, it was not alligators I had in mind!

Despite the lack of birds it was still a nice morning to be out and about with other like-mined people, all sharing a common interest and enjoying the birds. Our total tally came to 18 species (unless someone reminds me of one or two I forgot) - those species being:

Turkey Vulture
Red-shouldered Hawk
Mourning Dove
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Great Crested Flycatcher
Loggerhead Shrike
Carolina Chickadee
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Eastern Bluebird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Northern Parula
Yellow-rumped warbler
Savannah Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird

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