After having ignored my back-yard bird feeder for several days, the birds were very active today and cleaned it out quickly. The weather continues to be very cold for Florida and will remain so all week. Perhaps the cold spell inspired there appetite. In the morning the feeder was surrounded by doves. Dozens of mourning doves worked the ground below the feeder with a few Ground Doves working the perimeter. Eurasian Collared Doves dominated the feeder itself. The resident Mockingbird, Cardinal and Red-Bellied Woodpecker were keeping an eye on all this.
By the afternoon the doves were replaced by a huge gathering of Boat-Tailed Grackles, who dominated the feeder, Common Grackles, Brown-Headed Cowbirds and Starlings. One strange common grackle lacked the normal black color, but was actually brown in color.
The big surprise came while I was sorting through all of the brown-headed cowbirds looking for a shiny cowbird, not found, when a Monk Parakeet landed on the feeder. The bird stayed for a few minutes till the whole flock burst into the air. Many came back, but the parakeet did not. The closest I have seen of any of these birds to San Carlos Park was in nearby Cape Coral.
The parakeet is one of the best sightings so far at my feeder. I was lucky once to have a male Painted Bunting make a pit stop a few years ago and last winter I had a Clay-Colored Sparrow hang-around for a couple of days. But usually we only get the usual backyard birds.