Monday, January 25, 2010

Swamp Sparrow

White Ibis

Babcock-Webb and The Celery Fields
January 19th - Day #2 of Birding Vacation

Babcock-Webb WMA - I try to time my arrival at Babcock-Webb just at dawn so as to have the best opportunity to locate the Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers as they exit their holes. Today my timing was perfect as I arrived at the colony site on Oilwell Grade and found that the pair of RCW were already poking their heads out of their holes and calling to each other. Then in a burst each exits their home to begin a new day. At the next side trail I was lucky to get a Bachman's Sparrow and several Grasshopper Sparrows. Even
had a sole Brown-headed Nuthatch working the pine trees here, were a fox squirrel was also busy constructing a nest. So within a half hour I had hits on all three of Babcock's big three - RCW, bachman's sparrow and the brown-headed nuthatch

Later I came onto a nice mixed flock of Yellow-Rumped and Pine Warblers, with Downy Woodpeckers. A bit further on had a repeat hit on an RCW and and another brown-headed nuthatch.
Lastly, I came across a few sparrows, which I at first took for chipping sparrows, which I had not seen before at Babcock-Webb, but are listed on the printed bird list. However, after reviewing my photos I believe I actually found Swamp Sparrows, which are not on the bird listing.

My list - Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Little Blue Heron, Green Heron, White Ibis, Wood Stork, Northern Harrier, Sandhill Crane, Mourning Dove, Common Ground-Dove, Belted Kingfisher, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Loggerhead Shrike, Blue Jay, Tree Swallow, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Pine Warbler, Palm Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Eastern Towhee, Bachman's Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Eastern Meadowlark, Common Grackle, Boat-tailed Grackle

Swamp Sparrow

Fruitville Road
Next headed up to Sarasota were I rechecked the pond on Fruitville Road were a female common goldeneye and a female bufflehead were located last month. They were not to be found. But there was a male scaup that was much larger than any of the other Lesser Scaups on hand and bases on the size I have concluded it was a Greater Scaup.
My list - Ring-necked Duck, Greater Scaup, Lesser Scaup, Hooded Merganser

The Celery Fields
Stopped at the nearby Celery Fields with the idea of locating Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks. The nearby ponds were loaded with American Coots, Moorhens, Blue-winged Teal and some Mottled Ducks. A Northern Harrier was working over the area and Palm Warblers were at home at the gazebo. The Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks were located far back on the shoreline of a larger lake and were confirmed as a pair rose up and flew closer to my location.
My list - Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Mottled Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Anhinga, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Northern Harrier, American Kestrel, Common Moorhen, American Coot, Laughing Gull, Loggerhead Shrike, Palm Warbler, Red-winged Blackbird

My count for the day - 49 species

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