Friday, February 23, 2018

Birding in Saraota County

Friday February 23rd

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher seen off Zemel Road in Charlotte County

Seems that there are can be days when birding can be very underwhelming for any number of reasons and days when the birding can be a lot of fun. Today's was a fun day.

The Purple Martin colony
is active at the Celery Fields

My plans this morning was to bird The Celery Fields and Oscar Scherer State Park in Sarasota County. 

Bronzed Cowbird seen at the Celery Field

But first, I retraced yesterday's visit at Babcock-Webb WMA, which was an underwhelming birding day. As I was passing Babcock-Webb, along I-75 in Charlotte County, it struck me that it was still possible to stake-out one of the Red-cockaded Woodpecker Colony as they would emerge from their nest holes. Had tried yesterday, but missed seeing any. As I was waiting Eastern Towhee, Red-winged Blackbirds, Northern Bobwhite, Eastern Meadowlark and Pine Warblers could be heard. Most interesting was hearing a Bachman's Sparrow sing. Didn't hear any Bachman's singing yesterday. As for the Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, their morning exit was barely heard as a lone bird was calling far from the stake-out point. Now onto The Celery Fields.

Purple Gallinule

Arrived about 8:30 and found the venue to be a very busy place.  Lots of people here already. Was about to photograph the Purple Martins who are recent arrivals to the Purple Martin Nest Boxes. Brown-headed and Bronzed Cowbirds were also active around the Nature Center. Purple Gallinules, Wilson's Snipes and a busy Sora were all easily seen from the boardwalks. 

Purple Gallinule

Sora seen from the boardwalk at The Celery Fields

Loggerhead Shrike

Green Heron

Mottled Duck. Most of these ducks seen here have been hybridized with mallards,

Spent only a bit over an hour here as I wanted to get over to Oscar Scherer State Park near Osprey. I was interested in spotting the lark sparrow and Blue Grosbeaks reported here. Arrived about 10:30. The birds in question had been reported along the Red Trail, which I found to be very quite.  Mostly Blue Jays were noticed in the open scrub oaks environment. But as I was retracing my steps back to my car I encountered a family of Florida Scrub Jays. Cool. As I am enjoying these birds the birding activity picked up. A Swallow-tailed Kite floated past and a Blue Grosbeak began singing. The grosbeak were being rather stealthy, but a trio of the birds were seen flying to cover. Even though the singing continued, I couldn't capture any photos. Didn't see the lark sparrow today

Florida Scrub Jay at Oscar Scherer State Park

One the way home I made one additional stop. Made another try at the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher that can be seen along the western fence line of the trash dump off of Zemel Road in Charlotte County. The flycatcher was being quite cooperative today. Nice.

This was diffidently a fun birding day.  Some of the interesting ticks today included  Bachman's Sparrow, Northern Bobwhite, Eastern Towhee, Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Florida Scrub Jays, Swallow-tailed Kite, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Northern Harriers, Purple Gallinule, Sora and FOS sightings of Purple Martins, Bronzed Cowbirds and Blue Grosbeaks.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018


Tuesday February 6th

Had some nice looks at Savannah and Grasshopper Sparrows today at Harns Marsh. They were active in the weedy berm located between the marsh and canal, north from the parking area

Savannah Sparrow

Savannah Sparrows

Savannah Sparrow
Grasshopper Sparrow

Grasshopper Sparrow

Grasshopper Sparrow