Sunday, October 28, 2012

Floridian Goodness



Yellow-throated Warblers are flashy birds year-round. Their everlasting luminescence is a optical reprieve from the hordes of homely Palm Warblers that roam the keys. Key West Botanical Gardens, Stock Island, FL.

Boy, I sure saw a lot of birds on my nonbirding vacation. I hope Booby Brittany doesn't read this, I was pretending to be hung over most of the time. I think I managed to go birding every single day we were there, which is not a feat I expected (or thought I wanted to) pull off. It's just so easy though.

One of the benefits of staying on the semi-dilapidated sailboat (Dragonseeker) moored offshore was how quiet it was at night. On at least three nights, we could hear thousands of thrushes, warblers and who knows what else flying over. My moth frothed, my mind reeled. Being a west coast birder I don't really know my flight calls of eastern migrants very well (let alone a lot of their regular calls), so I felt a bit impotent beyond working on my thrush calls (heard lots of Swainson's, Gray-cheeked and Veeries). It was pretty amazing though...those birds had a big flight ahead of them.



I was surprised to keep seeing Clay-colored Sparrows down there, but I guess they aren't that unusual...not something I thought of as a trans-gulf migrant though. Boca Chica Road, Big Coppitt Key, FL.

A lot of my Key birding was done at Zachary Taylor State Park, and I wish I got to spend more time at the botanical gardens and Indigenous Park, which were both very good. Little Hamaca City Park was pretty dull, as was Boca Chica Road on Big Coppitt Key. Of course, I missed the Fork-tailed Flycatcher on Big Pine Key, but at least I didn't drive right by the bird while it was there...

Hope you all had a righteous weekend, full of good birds, safe sex, and responsible drug use.

WHO SAID THAT???? I need to take away The Great Ornithologist Felonious Jive's ability to post on here...great birders always think they're rock stars. - Seagull Steve



Yellow-throated Vireo (year bird). This isn't a great picture but considering the unretouched version is all black and white, it came out out amazingly well. This isn't a bird I've seen too much of, it's been many years since I've laid eyes on one. Zachary Taylor State Park, Key West, FL.


Here's an immature Tricolored Heron (year bird) getting photobombed by a Snowy Egret. I had decent opportunities to see waders in the Keys and the Everglades, but it could have been a lot better...I dipped on Roseate Spoonbill and Limpkin (not a heron, I know), if I'm lucky I'll find them in Costa Rica in a couple months. Photographed at Salt Ponds, Key West, FL.


Eastern Wood-Pewee (year bird) was the most abundant flycatcher. Not much else to say about them, except I enjoyed a few half-heartedly singing on the Dry Tortugas. Key West, FL.


Broad-winged Hawks were present in impressive numbers, and could be seen flying over just about anywhere. Little Hamaca City Park, Key West, FL.



White Ibis (year bird) are pretty tame in many areas. I thought this made for a better picture than one on a lawn or next to a picnic table. Boca Chica Road, Big Coppitt Key, FL.


Reddish Egret. Salt Ponds, Key West, FL.


I think is the best Reddish Egret photo I've taken. Obviously, I need to get back to Florida in spring someday...these subdued basic-plumage birds don't quite cut it.


Graves are very attractive to Green Iguanas. This is an exotic species, basically a pest (being vegetarians, they can't be very good for the native veg left out there), albeit a very amusing one. Key West Cemetery, Key West, FL.


Lots of cool butterflies were out, which I almost entirely failed to photograph. This is a Mangrove Skipper (props to Jason for the ID). Boca Chica Road, Big Coppitt Key, FL.

17 comments:

  1. I'm very much enjoying seeing your Florida birds and critters. Love your Reddish Egret shots especially.

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    1. Good to here it Mia, because there is a slug of photos to post still, heh.

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  2. If your moth froths for more than four hours you should see your lepidoctor.

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  3. Agree with Mia. I think you've seen more birds in your short trip down here than I see all the time. We have a clay colored sparrow living at Fort Desoto but I have yet to be able to get a shot of him. You've got to stop by Fort Desoto on your next trip down.

    Thanks for the ID on those birds.

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    1. The Birdosphere has really put the fort on the map...cant wait to check it out. I missed it on my previous FL trip as well...hopefully next time.

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  4. Believe that's a Mangrove Skipper.
    Seems my attempt to do all of south Florida in 5 days this spring wasn't the best idea, must get back and see some of these places soon.

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    1. Thanks for the i.d., apreesh.

      Yeah there are just too many good spots in Florida...it takes a while to do all of them justice.

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  5. How old is the white ibis in that shot?

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  6. And believe me I knew you weren't hungover every day. I expected to turn around and for you to have disappeared into the trees and shrubbery with your nocs.

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  7. Glad you were able to find a few birds on your trip! Nice shots, especially the Broad-tailed Hawk & Yellow-throated Warbler.

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    1. Thanks! I was practically crushed by the volume of good birds down there. Florida birding is sooooooo good.

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  8. So so jealous... I really need to find an excuse to go to Florida. Everything you have posted here is awesome.

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    1. Well...that wheatear should sustain you for a while.

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  9. Fantastic. Looked like you had a good time. I've missed seeing a Broad-winged Hawk--I need to get down there at the right time of year.

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    1. I think a few winter in south Florida, but yeah they were pushing through in impressive numbers. I hear the hawkwatch gets a lot of action.

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