|Boat-tailed Grackles were active at this watering spot|
Last week Eary Warren with wife Jennifer and Dave & Tammy McQuade had discovered the yellow-headed blackbird in the parking lot of the Win Dixie store at corner of US 17 and Bermont Road in Charlotte County. Eary, Jennifer, Dave and Tammy have been racking up a long list birds, as the awesome birders that they are, to start the new year and it is no surprise that Eary was going to spot this guy.
Arrived to day about 2:30 pm and note that the parking lot lacked any grackles. The yellow-head has been hanging with a local flock of boat-tailed grackles. drove behind the stores to the retention pond, where wood storks, white ibis, laughing gulls, Ring-billed Gulls and the
The Yellow-headed Blackbird was initially very hard to find.
As it was well concealed in the shrubbery
grackles were found. Ran into Monica Higgins who was already monitoring the grackles for our target bird. Made a quick recheck in the parking lot. Still empty. returned to the pond an was informed that the flock had been spooked by an eagle and the yellow-headed blackbird
was easily seen and photographed. Big oops on my part, as I ended up waiting for well past an hour for the target to reappear. The grackles were still active, so the blackbird was still expected to be at hand. Was joined in the wait by Margi Haas and several ladies from Sarasota.
Eventually the bird was seen deep in the foliage, preening and being very inconspicuous. Patience paid off and the Yellow-headed Blackbird finally came out into the open. Got my pics. Yeah..
Early Florida settlers called these birds Old Flintheads
and found them not to be very appetizing for the pot