Well it seems that I am not a very good birder. Through out the year I've chased after many interesting birds. Many I was able to see, but those misses can be so disappointing and annoying.
Yesterday, I toured birding venues around
were so many interesting
birds are being reported. Started out at
County Hudson Beach Park. I hadn't been here since I
was kid back in the 60s. Back then, my family took our yearly vacation to visit my Grandparents, who lived
in New Port Ricky. We spent a lot of time at . That was before much of
anything had been developed out there. The beach was really just a rocky
shoreline, where we caught tiny blowfish and sea horses. There was a cinder
block snack shop on site and there was very little shade. Our sunburns were
I arrived at
at seven-thirty to a much
more modern beach setting. The air was cool and Monk Parakeets were squeaking nearby. Was hoping to be successful
in adding my name to the list of birders who have sighted a rare-to-Florida
Red-necked Grebe. Well after an hour of scanning, it appeared that I had dipped.
There was a grebe, but it seemed to me to be a Horned Grebe. A trio of Buffleheads
(first of the season for me), a pair of Bald Eagles perched together on
signage in the channel and some Mallards
were present. Hudson
From here I went twelve mile north to
Bayport Park and Jenkins Creek Park
for the female Brewer's Blackbird. This lone Brewers has been a reliable winter visitor to this location for a few years now always in the company of Boat-tail Grackles. Back in February,
Bob Pelkey and I dipped on this bird, and now I dipped on it again. Several
birders reported seeing it at Bayport on the same day as my visit. Interesting birds
seen here included an American Bittern
at Bayport and a huge flock of American
Pelicans soaring southward over Jenkins Creek.
Next stop was
Key Vista Nature Park
in Holiday. Made a second stop at
first, were results were not better. Arrived at Hudson
a bit after eleven where I did, finally, see one of my target birds in a Red-breasted Nuthatch of maybe two. Not
a Lifer for me , but the a first for me in Key
Vista Park Florida.
Normally this species doesn't venture this far south in the winter, but several
have now been reported in Alachua, Pasco
Tried to get pics before they moved out of sight, but they were much to active.
Another species that shouldn't be this far south was a confirmed Winter Wren. I couldn't get a photo of the wren either but
heard it several times close to the parking lot. Other interesting birds seen
here included a FOS Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Tufted
Titmice. Pinellas Counties
Next stop was Philippe County Park in
I've never been there before but it was quite nice. Came here to look for Brown Boobies know to seen resting on
the power line towers located off-shore. Needed to use my scope, but could pick
out at least three boobies among the scores of Double-crested Cormorants and Brown
Pelicans on the furthest tower. Other interesting birds included Ospreys and a Bald Eagle. Safety Harbor
A final stop was to look for the yellow-headed blackbird at
It was supposed to be easy. Others had seen it that day. But I dipped. Interesting
birds present included Brown-headed
Cowbirds, a Northern Harrier and
a few Northern Shovelers.
In reflection, it wasn't a bad trip. But the most annoying thing about missing some of the birds, and you never get all of them, is that you can build up expectations based on all the successful results others have reported.
Just this past Monday I entered the Winkler Point section of
in Ft Myers. This is always a tough hike. Its usually wet and mucky, subject to
hordes of mosquitoes and exposure to the elements can be draining. But the salt
marshes here can host some very good birds. Estero Bay
Buffer State Park
Elected to give it try, based on some great, recent reports by friends on the bird activity here. The weather was good that day, cool with a light breeze, and there was no insect activity. But I could not replicate my friends list. Did see the hundred-plus American Avocets in the bay and a few Blue-winged Teal, a Green-winged Teal, Cooper's Hawk and heard a Clapper Rail, but that was about all.
So, its actual quite unimportant, to fall a little short. Look for satisfaction in what you have accomplished.
|So What Kind of Grebe IS This?|