Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Western Spindalis and Spot-breasted Orioles

Tuesday, December 1st
Markham Park, Sunrise, Florida

The Spot-breasted Orioles were the stars of the day
Today Bob Pelkey and I chased after another rare-to-see-in-Florida bird. A male Western Spindalis. This is a bird normally seen in the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Puerto Rico and Cuba.  Occasionally a vagrant will find its way to Florida. Now we have a beautiful specimen hanging out in the coco plum and ficus trees at Markham Park in Sunrise, Florida just two hours away.
A poor photo of the Western Spinalis

We arrived about 7:30 AM and met up some folks from Tampa who had just seen the Western Spindalis and the flock of Spot-breasted Orioles it has been associating with. So we were on the watch for the orioles as the spindalis should be close at hand. And this plan worked. 

The Orioles were putting on quite a show and the Western Spinalis did show up several times for the many birders assembled near the butterfly garden enjoyment. Its skulky manners made photograph difficult, but not so with the orioles. 

A few other nice birds seen here included a beautiful Cape May Warbler, a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird and several  fly-over Monk Parakeets. A nice trip
Spot-breasted Oriole

Spot-breasted Oriole

A Northern Brown Basilisk

A Cuban Brown Anole

A White Peacock Butterfly

A Viceroy

Spot-breasted Oriole dining on Coco Plum


  1. A stupendous trip it was, Tom. The wildlife was overall very cooperative for photography and observations of behavior. Too bad the spindalis was so secretive. I think the red bug seen on the Nature Trail was a Stink Bug. If the birds had remained visible after the hawk flyby I think I would have insisted on staying longer. ; )

  2. Fantastic find with the Spindalis! Loved the Orioles too!