A Travellerspoint blog

Canaveral National Seashore

New Smyrna, FL

sunny 50 °F

Yesterday afternoon, my family and I visited Canaveral National Seashore near our rental place in New Smyrna, FL. The main activity of the day was walking up and back down Apollo Beach in search of Wilson’s Plover.

BROWN PELICAN:
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LAUGHING GULL:
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SANDWICH TERN:
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SANDERLING:
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WILLETS:
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We ended up finding a single WILSON’S PLOVER which allowed for great views!
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More birds from the preserve - here is a BLACK VULTURE:
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BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER:
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YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER:
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Horizontally-growing Palm Tree:
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Oranges from a wild-growing orange tree:
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View of the preserve from atop a lookout called Turtle Mound:
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Immature RED-SHOULDERED HAWK:
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Then, we went go-carting as a family which was a blast!

Good birding,
Henry
World Life List: 937 Species (no life birds today)

Posted by skwclar 09:59 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Great Central Florida Birding!

Florida

sunny 49 °F

Today, my family and I planned on visiting Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge for the day, which is considered the greatest birding spot in this part of the state.

We were treated to Chicago-like temperatures, which ranged from 30-49F today!

On the way, this Otter crossed the road far away:
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Our first stop was Shiloh Road, in search of Saltmarsh Sparrow, Clapper Rail, and Reddish Egret.

Immature WHITE IBIS:
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BELTED KINGFISHER:
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TRICOLORED HERON:
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REDDISH EGRET, one of my target birds for the day and a life bird!
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I also had my life bird CLAPPER RAIL cross the trail in front of me, but it disappeared too quickly for photos.

AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN:
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LESSER SCAUP:
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LESSER YELLOWLEGS:
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WILLETS, LESSER YELLOWLEGS, AMERICAN AVOCET, RING-BILLED GULL, and SNOWY EGRET:
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BONAPARTE’S GULL:
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Female COMMON YELLOWTHROAT:
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We were then notified by another birder that unfortunately pretty much the rest of Merritt Island was flooded from recent storms! We therefore shifted gears to inland birding and concentrated our focus on Deer Path Road primarily in search of Burrowing Owls.

EASTERN PHOEBE:
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SANDHILL CRANE:
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LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE:
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CRESTED CARACARA, I’ve only ever seen this bird before once before in Costa Rica and it was not nearly as excellent of a look!
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Calf:
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AMERICAN KESTREL:
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RED-SHOULDERED HAWK:
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Unfortunately, we dipped on the Burrowing Owls.

The next stop was Hal Scott Regional Preserve & Park where I hoped to find Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, Brown-headed Nuthatches, and Bachman’s Sparrow. Unfortunately, due to the time of day and windy conditions, I missed all three species.

There were a few consolation birds to be found though, including PALM WARBLER:
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EASTERN BLUEBIRDS:
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YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER:
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BLUE-HEADED VIREO:
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BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER:
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BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER:
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PINE WARBLER:
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Our final stop for the day was Orlando Wetlands, which turned out to be quite fruitful.

BLACK VULTURE:
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ROSEATE SPOONBILLS:
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ANHINGA:
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Here it is swimming:
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SNOWY EGRET:
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Immature GLOSSY IBIS:
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TRICOLORED HERON:
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LITTLE BLUE HERON:
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COMMON GALLINULE:
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Here is the view of the wetlands:
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BOAT-TAILED GRACKLE:
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WOOD STORK:
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And a nice BALD EAGLE to end the day!
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Bird-of-the-day goes to the Reddish Egret, my only photographed life bird today, with runners-up to the Crested Caracara and Roseate Spoonbill.

More to come, stay tuned!
Good birding,
Henry
World Life List: 937 Species (2 life birds today: Clapper Rail and Reddish Egret)

Posted by skwclar 13:38 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Florida: New Smyrna Beach Shorebirding

New Smyrna Beach, FL

all seasons in one day 45 °F

Today, the superstorm finally cleared out of Florida so that I could actually go birding on this vacation! We spent the afternoon birding local areas near New Smyrna Beach where we’re staying.

Snail:
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BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS:
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WILLETS:
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LAUGHING GULLS:
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RUDDY TURNSTONE:
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YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON:
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OSPREY diving for prey - very cool!
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SNOWY EGRET, notice the stunning “golden slippers:”
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NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD:
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At New Smyrna Dunes Park, an impressive flock of 500 BLACK SKIMMERS flew by, life birds for me! Very neat!
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And a PALM WARBLER to end the day:
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Stay tuned, because tomorrow my family and I will travel to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge near the Kennedy Space Center - Merritt is arguably one of the most renowned birding hotspots in all of Florida, with many possibly life birds in store for me.

Bird-of-the-day goes to the BLACK SKIMMERS, with runner-up to the SNOWY EGRET.

Good birding,
Henry
World Life List: 935 Species (1 life bird today: Black Skimmer)

Posted by skwclar 17:29 Archived in USA Comments (2)

Sept - Dec 2017 Summary!

USA

rain 60 °F

Hello birding friends,

Sorry I haven’t posted in quite a long time - it has been a very busy semester with college preparations, classes, music, and of course a little birding sprinkled in here and there. I will give an overall summary of the last few months, as I am finally now finding time to write this post because of Christmas break.

College prescreenings done!
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The ONE birding trip I did after the bird walk season was over was a trip to the downtown lakefront to look for Snowy Owls near Montrose. First, though, I found this GREAT HORNED OWL. Unfortunately, my camera was not working so I only managed horrible iphone photos.
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I did find the SNOWY OWL in Montrose Harbor - again an iphone photo!
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Last but not least, a photo of my beautiful girlfriend Maddie and I after taking her to Tesla Chicago to see her favorite type of car!
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Now, I am at Merritt Island, Florida for a week of vacationing with family and of course, birding! Luckily, my new P900 Coolpix camera will arrive tomorrow so I can start actually taking photos of birds again finally!

The one life bird I gained on this New Year’s Day were SANDWICH TERNS flying over the beach - luckily the apartment we are renting looks out onto the Pacific Ocean. It should be a nice week and I hope to post daily!

Good birding,

Henry
World Life List: 934 Species (1 life bird today: Sandwich Tern)

Posted by skwclar 18:52 Archived in USA Comments (2)

Wednesday Bird Walk

Oak Park, IL

rain 65 °F

Today, I led a morning bird walk starting from my house in Oak Park, IL.

It was a wet morning as we were treated to the outer remnant bands of recently-dissipated Hurricane Irma!
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SWAINSON'S THRUSH abounded by the dozen - here is the most photogenic of them all as they tended to be quite elusive today:
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We also saw quite a few unpictured warblers including REDSTART, MAGNOLIA, NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, BAY-BREASTED, & OVENBIRD. Bird-of-the-day goes to the many Swainson's Thrush seen with runner-up to the semi-cooperative Ovenbird seen toward the end of the walk. Stay tuned!

Good birding,
Henry
World Life List: 933 Species (no recent life birds)

Posted by skwclar 20:04 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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