No Blue Skies this morning at Ft Cooper, but CCAS members and Hernando totaling 24 came out to call in the birds. Wood Ducks, Ring-billed Ducks, Herons, Wilson's Snipe, Sedge Wrens calling through out the water's edge, House and Carolina Wrens, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Pileated Woodpeckers, and 2 Bald Eagles doing some air aerobics fit the bill for the morning. We had 38 species in about 90 minutes and then "The Rains Came." The highlight would be the Northern Harrier. The morning was not complete until we retired to two restaurants for breakfast.
We couldn't have asked for a better day as far as the weather and for our bird count. Fourteen participants enjoyed a walk down Sparrow Alley where the highlight was the Yellow-breasted Chat.There weren't many warblers, but 20 or so Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. A little way up from the boardwalk was our American Bittern for the day, Black-crowned Night Heron, Wilson's Snipe, and two White-throated Sparrows. Our total for Paynes was 54 species. We then traveled to Powers Park and had 20 species adding 4 new ones, Sora, American Coot, Limpkin and Merlin. Then for lunch at Bono's BBQ.
This was a joint field trip with Hernando Audubon. We had 30 plus participants combined. The Withlacoochee part of the Green Swamp is really quite an extensive park where one could get lost and few were presumed so, but with today's technology not a problem. GPS in smart phones is a great asset. The park was not a total loss for birds, but there didn't seem to be a lot of activity. We left the park and birded Auton Rd where we were rewarded with a Northern Harrier. A great lunch was had by about 20 members of the party at a local Panera type restaurant in the downtown district.
Another great morning with 18 participants. Lake Panasoffkee is a very nice birdy place escpecially in and around the pavillion. Much activity from the Kestrels and a Merlin that was after a flock of Eastern Meadowlarks. A Loggerhead Shrike was also amongst the fray. Northern Flicker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Eastern Bluebirds, Palm & Pine Warblers dominated the scene. A count of 90 Fish Crows came streaming over with their answer to the question, "Are you American Crows" and their reply "Un-Unh." We gave up after the count of 90.
Cool and a foggy morning greeted us at the Rainbow Springs State Park Tube Entrance. It took a while to get the birds stirring. We walked the boardwalk with very few encounters. We were greeted by the "snow-bird" Yellow-breasted Sapsucker who has come in to spend the winter down by the river. We then walked back up the drive where a few warblers were awakening and being warmed by the bright, sunny rays of the sun. Activity was on the upswing. In just a matter of an less than an hour we counted 27 species.
This trip began with Dade and ended at McKethan. Our numbers of participants started with 16 including Kristen at Dade Battlefield with 34 species (and by the way, thank you Kristen). We were thrilled to see the many Red-headed Woodpeckers, 5 species of warblers including the Ovenbird, and others. We then started with 14 (losing two participants) for Lake Townsen but stopped at a pond west of the entrance to Dade where we got 12 species.
Whoop!! It has been awhile since we have been to Inglis Island and have we missed a lot. A good birding day was had by all 16 participants. We were able to drive onto the island and had a good warbler plus day. Wild turkeys, egrets & herons, Bald Eagles, Limpkin, Spotted Sandpiper, American Kestrels, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, 11 warbler species including the Ovenbirds, Hooded, Magnolia, and Black-throated Green. We spotted several of each specie and many of some.
We had a great attendance this morning at ECO. There were 20 participants with several welcomed new faces. We would like to see you all back soon. Check out the website where our next event is our meeting tomorrow at 7:00 at Unity and our next field trip will be this Saturday at Pepper Creek with the following Monday Oct 20 Inglis island.
Many conservationists, especially the thousands that have been working hard to assure the passage of Amendment One, were surprised, outraged and perhaps even discouraged by the Tampa Bay Times recent decision not to support it. I share these emotions, even though on one level I do understand the Times’ argument. Even so, to vote against Amendment One would be a mistake and downright foolish!
Friday October 10th was a beautiful day to be out and about. Fifteen participants traveled to this gem of a park. This really is a beautifully laid out facility with a diverse habitat. There weren't that many species about this morning, but all enjoyed the walk and views. The warblers were not plentiful. A weather front would have helped to bring them in. There were a few species of warblers including about 20 plus Palms. Total number of species was 29. The complete list can be viewed here.