Category Archives: Gemini Springs

Birding Gemini Springs, June 2014

Yes, I skipped birding at Gemini Springs completely in May. For nearly the entire month I was out of the country. I did some birding elsewhere — hopefully some of that will make it onto the blog eventually.

During June I birded at Gemini Springs just 4 times (!!!), for a total of 37 species. Yikes. Huh, it’s not too shabby for me, apparently — I saw 39 in June 2013 and 27 in June 2012. I didn’t get any new or spectacular birds (duh) but I actually found two new (to me, not rare at all) butterflies.

Here are some photo highlights from birding at Gemini Springs during June 2014.

Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)
Red-shouldered Hawk | 02 June 2014

Limpkin (Aramus guarauna)
Limpkin | 09 June 2014

warning sign
new sign, yay! | 09 June 2014

Immature Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)
Darling little loud begging confused clumsy goofball baby Blue Jay | 09 June 2014

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)
Calm cool collected adult Blue Jay | 16 June 2014

Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia)
Variegated Fritillary (new to my life list) | 16 June 2014

nesting turtle
Freshwater turtle digging in the middle of a path — good luck, mama!| 16 June 2014

swimming turtle
Freshwater turtle swimming under the fishing pier | 16 June 2014

Raccoon [Procyon lotor]
Raccoon peek-a-boo | 30 June 2014

Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)
Gray Hairstreak (new to my life list) | 30 June 2014

Marsh Rabbit  (Sylvilagus palustris)
Marsh Rabbit | 30 June 2014

If you are a fan of Gemini Springs, please consider becoming a Fan of Gemini Springs on Facebook!

Gemini Springs logo

Gemini Springs, June 2014 month bird list

Wild Turkey – Meleagris gallopavo
Anhinga – Anhinga anhinga
Great Blue Heron – Ardea herodias
Great Egret – Ardea alba
Snowy Egret – Egretta thula
Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis
Green Heron – Butorides virescens
White Ibis – Eudocimus albus
Black Vulture – Coragyps atratus
Turkey Vulture – Cathartes aura
Osprey – Pandion haliaetus
Red-shouldered Hawk – Buteo lineatus
Common Gallinule – Gallinula galeata
American Coot – Fulica americana
Limpkin – Aramus guarauna
Black-necked Stilt – Himantopus mexicanus
Mourning Dove – Zenaida macroura
Chimney Swift – Chaetura pelagica
Ruby-throated Hummingbird – Archilochus colubris
Red-bellied Woodpecker – Melanerpes carolinus
Downy Woodpecker – Picoides pubescens
Northern Flicker – Colaptes auratus
Pileated Woodpecker – Dryocopus pileatus
Great Crested Flycatcher – Myiarchus crinitus
Red-eyed Vireo – Vireo olivaceus
Blue Jay – Cyanocitta cristata
American Crow – Corvus brachyrhynchos
Fish Crow – Corvus ossifragus
Tufted Titmouse – Baeolophus bicolor
Carolina Wren – Thryothorus ludovicianus
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – Polioptila caerulea
Northern Mockingbird – Mimus polyglottos
Northern Parula – Setophaga americana
Eastern Towhee – Pipilo erythrophthalmus
Northern Cardinal – Cardinalis cardinalis
Red-winged Blackbird – Agelaius phoeniceus
Boat-tailed Grackle – Quiscalus major

Share the birds, share the love!
Posted in Gemini Springs | Leave a comment

Birding Gemini Springs, April 2014

Note: this post is back-dated.

There were a lot of disruptions in April. Inconvenient home repairs took up a lot of time, as did preparations for a long trip my husband and I took in May. At the end of the month, however, my mom visited, and that was just the best!

During April, I birded Gemini Springs 10 times. I saw 68 different species, which is more than April 2013 (55 species) and April 2012 (which was a very good month even with just 67 species). One of the 68 was an all-time new bird for me at Gemini Springs (see below).

Here are some photo highlights from April’s birding outings at Gemini Springs.

Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinal | 04 April 2014

Sandhill Crane
Sandhill Crane | 07 April 2014

lantana
lantana | 09 April 2014

Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron | 11 April 2014

Grey Catbird
Grey Catbird | 12 April 2014

Osprey
Osprey | 12 April 2014

On April 14, I looked across a field towards an area where I sometimes find Loggerhead Shrikes. In the far distance I saw a greyish bird of the right size, and almost dismissed it as my sought-after shrike. But something just wasn’t right. I looked again and found a Northern Mockingbird in the same tree, and a Great Crested Flycatcher. I thought my shrike was gone but the birds all appeared to be playing musical branches in the same tree and I was able to relocate the shrike that just didn’t look quite right. After another look I realized it was a Gray Kingbird! This is a very good bird, especially for inland Volusia (at least I think it is!), so I tried really hard to take a photo. The mockingbird and flycatcher were still bouncing around the tree so when I was able to check my photos at home I realized I got about as many photos of the other birds as I did of the kingbird. The lousy photo below is extremely cropped from a digitally-zoomed photo. Not the best, but identifiable!

Gray Kingbird
Gray Kingbird | 14 April 2014

Eastern Glass Lizard
Eastern Glass Lizard | 14 April 2014

Marsh Rabbit
Marsh Rabbit | 14 April 2014

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk | 16 April 2014

ID HELP requested
oh no, an unknown! possible brown form Red-fringed Emerald (Nemoria bistriaria)? | 18 April 2014

American Alligator
American Alligator | 19 April 2014

mom & me
Blogger with mom | 19 April 2014

Brown Anole with breakfast
Brown Anole with breakfast (cockroach sp?) | 23 April 2014

If you are a fan of Gemini Springs, please consider becoming a Fan of Gemini Springs on Facebook!

Gemini Springs logo

Gemini Springs, April 2014 month bird list

Wood Duck – Aix sponsa
Wood Stork – Mycteria americana
Double-crested Cormorant – Phalacrocorax auritus
Anhinga – Anhinga anhinga
Great Blue Heron – Ardea herodias
Great Egret – Ardea alba
Snowy Egret – Egretta thula
Little Blue Heron – Egretta caerulea
Tricolored Heron – Egretta tricolor
Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis
Green Heron – Butorides virescens
White Ibis – Eudocimus albus
Glossy Ibis – Plegadis falcinellus
Black Vulture – Coragyps atratus
Turkey Vulture – Cathartes aura
Osprey – Pandion haliaetus
Bald Eagle – Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Red-shouldered Hawk – Buteo lineatus
Red-tailed Hawk – Buteo jamaicensis
Sora – Porzana carolina
Common Gallinule – Gallinula galeata
American Coot – Fulica americana
Sandhill Crane – Grus canadensis
Black-necked Stilt – Himantopus mexicanus
Ring-billed Gull – Larus delawarensis
Forster’s Tern – Sterna forsteri
Mourning Dove – Zenaida macroura
Common Ground-Dove – Columbina passerina
Ruby-throated Hummingbird – Archilochus colubris
Red-bellied Woodpecker – Melanerpes carolinus
Downy Woodpecker – Picoides pubescens
Pileated Woodpecker – Dryocopus pileatus
Great Crested Flycatcher – Myiarchus crinitus
Eastern Kingbird – Tyrannus tyrannus
Gray Kingbird – Tyrannus dominicensis
White-eyed Vireo – Vireo griseus
Blue-headed Vireo – Vireo solitarius
Red-eyed Vireo – Vireo olivaceus
Blue Jay – Cyanocitta cristata
American Crow – Corvus brachyrhynchos
Fish Crow – Corvus ossifragus
Tufted Titmouse – Baeolophus bicolor
House Wren – Troglodytes aedon
Carolina Wren – Thryothorus ludovicianus
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – Polioptila caerulea
Ruby-crowned Kinglet – Regulus calendula
Gray Catbird – Dumetella carolinensis
Brown Thrasher – Toxostoma rufum
Northern Mockingbird – Mimus polyglottos
Cedar Waxwing – Bombycilla cedrorum
Black-and-white Warbler – Mniotilta varia
Common Yellowthroat – Geothlypis trichas
American Redstart – Setophaga ruticilla
Northern Parula – Setophaga americana
Blackpoll Warbler – Setophaga striata
Black-throated Blue Warbler – Setophaga caerulescens
Palm Warbler – Setophaga palmarum
Yellow-rumped Warbler – Setophaga coronata
Yellow-throated Warbler – Setophaga dominica
Prairie Warbler – Setophaga discolor
Eastern Towhee – Pipilo erythrophthalmus
Swamp Sparrow – Melospiza georgiana
Northern Cardinal – Cardinalis cardinalis
Red-winged Blackbird – Agelaius phoeniceus
Common Grackle – Quiscalus quiscula
Boat-tailed Grackle – Quiscalus major
Brown-headed Cowbird – Molothrus ater
American Goldfinch – Spinus tristis

Share the birds, share the love!
Posted in Gemini Springs | Leave a comment

Birding Gemini Springs, March 2014

I’m so glad March is over. An unexpected emergency home repair project turned into a multi-week home improvement saga that is still ongoing — though by now the end is in sight. March was an extremely stressful month to say the least.

I did manage to bird at Gemini Springs 9 times during March (with no visits between the 16th and the 21st — that was a rough week). I saw 69 species (compared to 79 in March 2013), including one awesome new addition to my patch list – Prothonotary Warbler (that was a really good day). The complete list of birds is at the end of this post.

Despite visiting 9 times, I have few photos from the month that was. A lot of my visits were fairly quick and I just didn’t take the time I usually do. Here are a handful of photographic highlights from birding at Gemini Springs in March, 2014.

sunrise @ Gemini Springs
sunrise | 10 March 2014

American Bittern
American Bittern photoshop fun | 12 March 2014

Common Gallinule
Common Gallinule | 15 March 2014

moonrise
moonrise | 15 March 2014

moon
moon | 15 March 2014

Common Buckeye
Common Buckeye | 26 March 2014

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk | 26 March 2014

Prothonotary Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler | 26 March 2014

I was finishing up my walk on the afternoon of the 26th, hurrying along the bike path in a normally relatively bird-free part of my route. I heard a Tufted Titmouse scolding and the birding gods were with me because I decided to investigate. I doubt the titmouse was in any way perturbed by the Prothonotary Warbler foraging in an adjacent tree, but if it wasn’t for the crazy scolding, I never would have stopped there. I saw a flash of yellow but wasn’t sure what it was until I got my bins on the bird. An unexpected find — I am sure I gasped.

Prothonotary Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler | 26 March 2014

26MAR_watching
Prothonotary Warbler keeping an eye on a potential meal | 26 March 2014

The month ended with another gasp — my Bobcat sightings are few and far between.

bobcat
why did the Bobcat cross the road? | 30 March 2014

Gemini Springs, March 2014 month bird list
Wood Duck – Aix sponsa
Blue-winged Teal – Anas discors
Wild Turkey – Meleagris gallopavo
Pied-billed Grebe – Podilymbus podiceps
Double-crested Cormorant – Phalacrocorax auritus
Anhinga – Anhinga anhinga
American Bittern – Botaurus lentiginosus
Great Blue Heron – Ardea herodias
Great Egret – Ardea alba
Snowy Egret – Egretta thula
Little Blue Heron – Egretta caerulea
Tricolored Heron – Egretta tricolor
Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis
Green Heron – Butorides virescens
Black-crowned Night-Heron – Nycticorax nycticorax
White Ibis – Eudocimus albus
Glossy Ibis – Plegadis falcinellus
Black Vulture – Coragyps atratus
Turkey Vulture – Cathartes aura
Osprey – Pandion haliaetus
Bald Eagle – Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Red-shouldered Hawk – Buteo lineatus
Red-tailed Hawk – Buteo jamaicensis
King Rail – Rallus elegans
Sora – Porzana carolina
Common Gallinule – Gallinula galeata
American Coot – Fulica americana
Killdeer – Charadrius vociferus
Caspian Tern – Hydroprogne caspia
Forster’s Tern – Sterna forsteri
Mourning Dove – Zenaida macroura
Belted Kingfisher – Megaceryle alcyon
Red-bellied Woodpecker – Melanerpes carolinus
Downy Woodpecker – Picoides pubescens
Northern Flicker – Colaptes auratus
Pileated Woodpecker – Dryocopus pileatus
American Kestrel – Falco sparverius
Eastern Phoebe – Sayornis phoebe
White-eyed Vireo – Vireo griseus
Blue-headed Vireo – Vireo solitarius
Red-eyed Vireo – Vireo olivaceus
Blue Jay – Cyanocitta cristata
American Crow – Corvus brachyrhynchos
Fish Crow – Corvus ossifragus
Tree Swallow – Tachycineta bicolor
Tufted Titmouse – Baeolophus bicolor
House Wren – Troglodytes aedon
Carolina Wren – Thryothorus ludovicianus
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – Polioptila caerulea
Ruby-crowned Kinglet – Regulus calendula
American Robin – Turdus migratorius
Gray Catbird – Dumetella carolinensis
Northern Mockingbird – Mimus polyglottos
Black-and-white Warbler – Mniotilta varia
Prothonotary Warbler – Protonotaria citrea
Common Yellowthroat – Geothlypis trichas
Northern Parula – Setophaga americana
Palm Warbler – Setophaga palmarum
Yellow-rumped Warbler – Setophaga coronata
Yellow-throated Warbler – Setophaga dominica
Prairie Warbler – Setophaga discolor
Chipping Sparrow – Spizella passerina
Savannah Sparrow – Passerculus sandwichensis
Swamp Sparrow – Melospiza georgiana
Northern Cardinal – Cardinalis cardinalis
Indigo Bunting – Passerina cyanea
Red-winged Blackbird – Agelaius phoeniceus
Boat-tailed Grackle – Quiscalus major
American Goldfinch – Spinus tristis

Share the birds, share the love!
Posted in Gemini Springs | Leave a comment

Birding Gemini Springs, February 2014

In February I birded at Gemini Springs an insane 22 times. Whoa! Why did I visit my local patch so often?

So here’s a confession: I love eBird. This year, eBird has been promoting various challenges for the title of “eBirder of the Month”. I’m not in it to win it, but I find the challenges a fun way to mix up my regular birding habits. In January eBirders were challenged to submit an average of one complete checklist per day. Easy, peasy! In February, eBirders were challenged to submit at least 20 checklists from a single patch. I thought this would be super-easy, but I was unpleasantly surprised to find myself getting a little bit sick of Gemini Springs about midway through the month! I guess I normally bird at the park about 2 times per week on average. Last month, I felt like I was there every stinkin’ day. I did a few stationery counts (which I normally never do) from the fishing pier and at the sinkhole; I did accelerated walks; I followed tried-and-true routes backwards. I made it, with a couple of checklists to spare. Phew!

I ended up seeing 73 species; which is, unbelievably, ONE SHY of my total from 2013, where I only submitted 9 checklists! Blergh. The total list for 2014 is at the end of this post.

Here are some photographic highlights from a month of birding at Gemini Springs.

Because of the eBird Challenge, several times I went out when I normally would have stayed home. There were a lot of foggy mornings and misty, rainy walks during the month.

foggy
Misty morning at Gemini Springs | 01-FEB-14

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk in the mist | 01-FEB-14

Pileated Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker | 02-FEB-14

Barred Owl
Barred Owl | 03-FEB-14

Great Egret
Great Egret, great catch | 03-FEB-14

fishing buddies
fishing buddies | 03-FEB-14

dew
dew | 04-FEB-14

Scarlet Kingsnake
Scarlet Kingsnake on the bike path | 05-FEB-14

One morning I took a path I hardly ever walk and was rewarded with a small flock of Field Sparrows. I entered 8 in my checklist (which was flagged) but estimated there might have been up to 12 birds. Nice! Only my second Field Sparrow sighting at Gemini Springs.

Field Sparrows (eBird record shot)
Field Sparrows | 10-FEB-14

American Five-lined Skink (deceased)
Beautiful blue underside of an American Five-lined Skink (unfortunately deceased) | 11-FEB-14

American Coot
American Coot | 12-FEB-14

Carolina Wren
Carolina Wren | 17-FEB-14

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron | 20-FEB-14

Osprey
Osprey | 20-FEB-14

Florida Green Watersnake
Florida Green Watersnake | 20-FEB-14

American Alligator
American Alligator | 23-FEB-14

Gemini Springs fishing pier
fishing pier | 23-FEB-14

Walking a well-known path in reverse order was interesting. I didn’t see any new birds but I was surprised how different the path looked in some places just because I was looking at things from the opposite direction. I stop at this Live Oak tree all the time, but I never saw that nice critter-sized hole on the other side of the chest-high limb where I sometimes rest my arms while looking at songbirds. :O

Live Oak
Live Oak | 24-FEB-14

Yellow-rumped Warblers visit Florida in the winter. I’ve been seeing them since about November. Their numbers seemed to increase during February; by the beginning of April they’ll mostly have moved out. Maybe these guys were bathing after a long night of migration?


Bathing Yellow-rumped Warblers | 25-FEB-14

The eBird challenge for March is extremely appealing: submit checklists from at least 20 different hotspots! Woo hoo! Though I wish they had posted the criteria before March 3rd, I don’t think I will have any problem fulfilling this one. I am looking forward to getting away from Gemini Springs just a bit this month! ๐Ÿ˜€

Gemini Springs, February 2014 month bird list
Wild Turkey – Meleagris gallopavo
Pied-billed Grebe – Podilymbus podiceps
Wood Stork – Mycteria americana
Double-crested Cormorant – Phalacrocorax auritus
Anhinga – Anhinga anhinga
American Bittern – Botaurus lentiginosus
Great Blue Heron – Ardea herodias
Great Egret – Ardea alba
Snowy Egret – Egretta thula
Little Blue Heron – Egretta caerulea
Tricolored Heron – Egretta tricolor
Black-crowned Night-Heron – Nycticorax nycticorax
White Ibis – Eudocimus albus
Glossy Ibis – Plegadis falcinellus
Black Vulture – Coragyps atratus
Turkey Vulture – Cathartes aura
Osprey – Pandion haliaetus
Bald Eagle – Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Red-shouldered Hawk – Buteo lineatus
Red-tailed Hawk – Buteo jamaicensis
Sora – Porzana carolina
Common Gallinule – Gallinula galeata
American Coot – Fulica americana
Sandhill Crane – Grus canadensis
Killdeer – Charadrius vociferus
Ring-billed Gull – Larus delawarensis
Caspian Tern – Hydroprogne caspia
Forster’s Tern – Sterna forsteri
Mourning Dove – Zenaida macroura
Great Horned Owl – Bubo virginianus
Barred Owl – Strix varia
Belted Kingfisher – Megaceryle alcyon
Red-bellied Woodpecker – Melanerpes carolinus
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – Sphyrapicus varius
Northern Flicker – Colaptes auratus
Pileated Woodpecker – Dryocopus pileatus
American Kestrel – Falco sparverius
Eastern Phoebe – Sayornis phoebe
Loggerhead Shrike – Lanius ludovicianus
White-eyed Vireo – Vireo griseus
Blue-headed Vireo – Vireo solitarius
Blue Jay – Cyanocitta cristata
American Crow – Corvus brachyrhynchos
Fish Crow – Corvus ossifragus
Tree Swallow – Tachycineta bicolor
Carolina Chickadee – Poecile carolinensis
Tufted Titmouse – Baeolophus bicolor
House Wren – Troglodytes aedon
Carolina Wren – Thryothorus ludovicianus
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – Polioptila caerulea
Ruby-crowned Kinglet – Regulus calendula
American Robin – Turdus migratorius
Gray Catbird – Dumetella carolinensis
Northern Mockingbird – Mimus polyglottos
Black-and-white Warbler – Mniotilta varia
Orange-crowned Warbler – Oreothlypis celata
Common Yellowthroat – Geothlypis trichas
Northern Parula – Setophaga americana
Palm Warbler – Setophaga palmarum
Pine Warbler – Setophaga pinus
Yellow-rumped Warbler – Setophaga coronata
Yellow-throated Warbler – Setophaga dominica
Prairie Warbler – Setophaga discolor
Chipping Sparrow – Spizella passerina
Field Sparrow – Spizella pusilla
Savannah Sparrow – Passerculus sandwichensis
Swamp Sparrow – Melospiza georgiana
Northern Cardinal – Cardinalis cardinalis
Red-winged Blackbird – Agelaius phoeniceus
Common Grackle – Quiscalus quiscula
Boat-tailed Grackle – Quiscalus major
Brown-headed Cowbird – Molothrus ater
American Goldfinch – Spinus tristis

Share the birds, share the love!
Posted in Gemini Springs | Leave a comment

Birding Gemini Springs, January 2014

Last month I birded at Gemini Springs six times, finding 70 different species. That’s two more species than my January 2013 list — in about half the visits. King Rail, Mallard, and Mottled Duck were new additions to my patch list. The complete list for this month is at the end of this post. Now, here are some photographic highlights from birding at Gemini Springs in January 2014.

Savannah Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow | 10 Jan 2014

Anhinga
Anhinga | 13 Jan 2014

Northern Flicker
Northern Flicker | 13 Jan 2014

reflection
reflection | 13 Jan 2014

Yellow-throated Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler | 13 Jan 2014

Northern Mockingbird
ready for my close-up | 18 Jan 2014

Prairie Warbler
Prairie Warbler | 18 Jan 2014

Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Phoebe | 19 Jan 2014

red sunrise
sunrise colors and moon | 19 Jan 2014

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler | 19 Jan 2014

misty morning
misty morning | 20 Jan 2014

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk | 20 Jan 2014

Gemini Springs, January 2013 month list
Wood Duck – Aix sponsa
Mallard (Domestic type) – Anas platyrhynchos (Domestic type)
Mottled Duck – Anas fulvigula
Hooded Merganser – Lophodytes cucullatus
Pied-billed Grebe – Podilymbus podiceps
Wood Stork – Mycteria americana
Double-crested Cormorant – Phalacrocorax auritus
Anhinga – Anhinga anhinga
American Bittern – Botaurus lentiginosus
Great Blue Heron – Ardea herodias
Great Egret – Ardea alba
Snowy Egret – Egretta thula
Little Blue Heron – Egretta caerulea
Tricolored Heron – Egretta tricolor
Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis
White Ibis – Eudocimus albus
Glossy Ibis – Plegadis falcinellus
Turkey Vulture – Cathartes aura
Osprey – Pandion haliaetus
Bald Eagle – Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Red-shouldered Hawk – Buteo lineatus
King Rail – Rallus elegans
Sora – Porzana carolina
Common Gallinule – Gallinula galeata
American Coot – Fulica americana
Sandhill Crane – Grus canadensis
Caspian Tern – Hydroprogne caspia
Forster’s Tern – Sterna forsteri
Mourning Dove – Zenaida macroura
Belted Kingfisher – Megaceryle alcyon
Red-bellied Woodpecker – Melanerpes carolinus
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – Sphyrapicus varius
Downy Woodpecker – Picoides pubescens
Northern Flicker – Colaptes auratus
Pileated Woodpecker – Dryocopus pileatus
Eastern Phoebe – Sayornis phoebe
Loggerhead Shrike – Lanius ludovicianus
White-eyed Vireo – Vireo griseus
Blue Jay – Cyanocitta cristata
American Crow – Corvus brachyrhynchos
Fish Crow – Corvus ossifragus
Tree Swallow – Tachycineta bicolor
Carolina Chickadee – Poecile carolinensis
Tufted Titmouse – Baeolophus bicolor
House Wren – Troglodytes aedon
Marsh Wren – Cistothorus palustris
Carolina Wren – Thryothorus ludovicianus
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – Polioptila caerulea
Ruby-crowned Kinglet – Regulus calendula
American Robin – Turdus migratorius
Gray Catbird – Dumetella carolinensis
Brown Thrasher – Toxostoma rufum
Northern Mockingbird – Mimus polyglottos
Cedar Waxwing – Bombycilla cedrorum
Black-and-white Warbler – Mniotilta varia
Orange-crowned Warbler – Oreothlypis celata
Common Yellowthroat – Geothlypis trichas
Palm Warbler – Setophaga palmarum
Pine Warbler – Setophaga pinus
Yellow-rumped Warbler – Setophaga coronata
Yellow-throated Warbler – Setophaga dominica
Prairie Warbler – Setophaga discolor
Chipping Sparrow – Spizella passerina
Savannah Sparrow – Passerculus sandwichensis
Swamp Sparrow – Melospiza georgiana
Northern Cardinal – Cardinalis cardinalis
Painted Bunting – Passerina ciris
Red-winged Blackbird – Agelaius phoeniceus
Boat-tailed Grackle – Quiscalus major
American Goldfinch – Spinus tristis

Share the birds, share the love!
Posted in Gemini Springs | Leave a comment

Birding Gemini Springs, December 2013

Yikes, I’m so far behind where I want to be with my blogging! What happened to January, that’s what I want to know?!

In December 2013 I birded at Gemini Springs five times, where I saw a total of 67 species (4 more than my 2012 December total). New for my all-time Gemini Springs list was Great Horned Owl on Christmas Day. My total bird list is at the end of this post. Here are some photographic highlights from a month of birding my local patch.

Gemini Springs
Dam viewed from the fishing pier | 03 December 2013

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk | 03 December 2013

eBird record shot
Very late American Redstart | 11 December 2013

ex-armadillo
ex-armadillo | 16 December 2013

Bobcat
Bobcat | 16 December 2013

Common Ground-Doves
Common Ground-Doves | 16 December 2013

Common Snapping Turtle
Common Snapping Turtle | 16 December 2013

pre dawn
Before sunrise | 20 December 2013

Anhinga sunrise
Anhinga sunrise | 20 December 2013

easy rider
easy rider | 20 December 2013

American Kestrel
American Kestrel | 20 December 2013

Loggerhead Shrike
Loggerhead Shrike | 20 December 2013

memorial
memorial | 20 December 2013

Eastern Phoebes
Eastern Phoebes | 25 December 2013

Late in the afternoon on Christmas Day, Arthur and I biked the Spring-to-spring bike trail to Lake Monroe Park. It was getting dark on our way back when a softly hooting Great Horned Owl stopped us in our tracks. Soon we heard a second bird and did our best to locate them visually. Arthur spotted one bird and we tracked it as it flew to its mate. A new bird for the park and a nice Christmas gift for us. ๐Ÿ™‚

Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owl | 25 December 2013

Gemini Springs bird list, December 2013

Wood Duck – Aix sponsa
Pied-billed Grebe – Podilymbus podiceps
Wood Stork – Mycteria americana
Double-crested Cormorant – Phalacrocorax auritus
Anhinga – Anhinga anhinga
American Bittern – Botaurus lentiginosus
Great Blue Heron – Ardea herodias
Great Egret – Ardea alba
Snowy Egret – Egretta thula
Little Blue Heron – Egretta caerulea
Tricolored Heron – Egretta tricolor
Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis
White Ibis – Eudocimus albus
Glossy Ibis – Plegadis falcinellus
Black Vulture – Coragyps atratus
Turkey Vulture – Cathartes aura
Osprey – Pandion haliaetus
Bald Eagle – Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Red-shouldered Hawk – Buteo lineatus
Red-tailed Hawk – Buteo jamaicensis
Sora – Porzana carolina
Common Gallinule – Gallinula galeata
American Coot – Fulica americana
Ring-billed Gull – Larus delawarensis
Forster’s Tern – Sterna forsteri
Mourning Dove – Zenaida macroura
Common Ground-Dove – Columbina passerina
Great Horned Owl – Bubo virginianus
Belted Kingfisher – Megaceryle alcyon
Red-bellied Woodpecker – Melanerpes carolinus
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – Sphyrapicus varius
Downy Woodpecker – Picoides pubescens
Pileated Woodpecker – Dryocopus pileatus
American Kestrel – Falco sparverius
Eastern Phoebe – Sayornis phoebe
Loggerhead Shrike – Lanius ludovicianus
White-eyed Vireo – Vireo griseus
Blue-headed Vireo – Vireo solitarius
Blue Jay – Cyanocitta cristata
American Crow – Corvus brachyrhynchos
Fish Crow – Corvus ossifragus
Tree Swallow – Tachycineta bicolor
Carolina Chickadee – Poecile carolinensis
Tufted Titmouse – Baeolophus bicolor
House Wren – Troglodytes aedon
Carolina Wren – Thryothorus ludovicianus
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – Polioptila caerulea
Ruby-crowned Kinglet – Regulus calendula
American Robin – Turdus migratorius
Gray Catbird – Dumetella carolinensis
Brown Thrasher – Toxostoma rufum
Northern Mockingbird – Mimus polyglottos
Cedar Waxwing – Bombycilla cedrorum
Black-and-white Warbler – Mniotilta varia
Orange-crowned Warbler – Oreothlypis celata
Common Yellowthroat – Geothlypis trichas
American Redstart – Setophaga ruticilla
Palm Warbler – Setophaga palmarum
Pine Warbler – Setophaga pinus
Yellow-rumped Warbler – Setophaga coronata
Yellow-throated Warbler – Setophaga dominica
Chipping Sparrow – Spizella passerina
Swamp Sparrow – Melospiza georgiana
Northern Cardinal – Cardinalis cardinalis
Red-winged Blackbird – Agelaius phoeniceus
Boat-tailed Grackle – Quiscalus major
American Goldfinch – Spinus tristis

Share the birds, share the love!
Posted in Gemini Springs | Leave a comment

Birding Gemini Springs, November 2013

In November I birded at Gemini Springs 9 times, finding 62 different species of bird. Last year I saw 57 species in 6 outings and in 2011 I had 48 species in 6 outings. This year I didn’t add anything to my all-time bird list, but I did add a new butterfly and a new mammal. The complete bird list is at the end of this post.

November seemed kind of dreary, and according to WeatherSpark, indeed it was: “the cloudiest month of the last 12 months was November, with 77% of days being more cloudy than clear. The longest spell of cloudy weather was from November 12 to November 23, constituting 12 consecutive days that were cloudier than they were clear.” So I wasn’t imagining it! We also seemed to have more rainfall than usual for this time of year.

Despite my doldrums (did I mention that I was also sick for over a week early in the month?), migration continued and birds and other wildlife were to be found living their lives at my dear local patch. Here are some photographic highlights from last month’s birding at Gemini Springs.

Common Gallinule
Common Gallinule | 04-NOV-13

Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Phoebe | 06-NOV-13

Painted Bunting
lousy photo, nice bird: Painted Bunting | 06-NOV-13

path
Gemini Springs path | 06-NOV-13

Zebra Longwings
Zebra Longwings | 06-NOV-13

In addition to a plethora of Zebra Longwings, on November 6th I saw more dragonflies than I have ever seen at the park. If you make the following video full-screen you can better see the abundance:


dragonflies | 06-NOV-13

Double-crested Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant | 12-NOV-13

Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron | 12-NOV-13

Palm Warbler
Palm Warbler in its namesake habitat | 12-NOV-13

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk | 12-NOV-13

Northern Mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird on a rare “blue” day | 18-NOV-13

Ceraunus Blue
Ceraunus Blue, new to my life list | 18-NOV-13

Mourning Dove
Mourning Dove against some more blue | 18-NOV-13

Pearl Crescent
Pearl Crescent | 18-NOV-13

unknown raided eggs
raided nest | 22-NOV-13

unknown fluff
sneeze machine | 24-NOV-13

unknown fungus
fungus, ID unknown | 24-NOV-13

On November 24th I heard a sound I did not recognize coming from the vegetation between a mowed path and the bayou. I looked for the source but could not find it; I guessed it was a frog. Later along the same path I heard the same call again. It sounded very close so I peered into the vegetation and saw a snake with a frog in its mouth. The cry I heard was coming from the distressed (!!) frog. I tried to take some photos but it was hard to get a clear line of sight to the un/fortunate action. In the below photo you can see the frog, its back legs in the snake’s extremely widely opened mouth. The frog’s eye is in the bottom quarter of the frame, about center. The head of the snake is in the top quarter of the frame, also near the center of the photo. Its mouth is open VERY wide. I think it’s a Peninsula Ribbon Snake. The doomed frog is a Southern Leopard Frog, which you can kind of tell from the photo but I was able to confirm by its distress call, a recording of which I found on YouTube. I heard the same cry in two different spots — it seems November 24th was a bad day for Southern Leopard Frogs at Gemini Springs. Click on the photo to see it bigger on Flickr. There I have also pointed out the frog and snake if you have trouble seeing them here.

snake with frog
Peninsula Ribbon Snake (?) with Southern Leopard Frog | 24-NOV-13

Gemini Springs
a spring (1 of 2, natch) | 27-NOV-13

American Alligator
American Alligator | 30-NOV-13

Grey Catbird
Grey Catbird | 30-NOV-13

On November 30th I saw a new mammal at Gemini Springs — a North American River Otter! A couple of Carolina Wrens were going crazy close to the spot where I found the frog-eating snake just days earlier. I paused to see what had their panties in a bunch and was surprised to see a large brown mass of something lurking on the ground in the dense foliage. By the time I realized it was an otter, it started to move off. But as I stood still, the otter’s curiosity seemed to get the better of it, because it turned around and looked at me for a full minute. The below photo is the best I could manage between all the twigs. Can you see the otter looking at me? If you need help, click on the picture to see it larger and tagged on Flickr.

North American River Otter
North American River Otter | 30-NOV-13

That’s it! Here’s hoping for sunnier skies in December. ๐Ÿ™‚

Gemini Springs bird list, November 2013

Hooded Merganser – Lophodytes cucullatus
Pied-billed Grebe – Podilymbus podiceps
Double-crested Cormorant – Phalacrocorax auritus
Anhinga – Anhinga anhinga
Great Blue Heron – Ardea herodias
Great Egret – Ardea alba
Snowy Egret – Egretta thula
Little Blue Heron – Egretta caerulea
Tricolored Heron – Egretta tricolor
White Ibis – Eudocimus albus
Glossy Ibis – Plegadis falcinellus
Black Vulture – Coragyps atratus
Turkey Vulture – Cathartes aura
Osprey – Pandion haliaetus
Bald Eagle – Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Red-shouldered Hawk – Buteo lineatus
Sora – Porzana carolina
Common Gallinule – Gallinula galeata
American Coot – Fulica americana
Sandhill Crane – Grus canadensis
Killdeer – Charadrius vociferus
Ring-billed Gull – Larus delawarensis
Mourning Dove – Zenaida macroura
Belted Kingfisher – Megaceryle alcyon
Red-bellied Woodpecker – Melanerpes carolinus
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – Sphyrapicus varius
Downy Woodpecker – Picoides pubescens
Northern Flicker – Colaptes auratus
Pileated Woodpecker – Dryocopus pileatus
American Kestrel – Falco sparverius
Eastern Phoebe – Sayornis phoebe
White-eyed Vireo – Vireo griseus
Blue Jay – Cyanocitta cristata
American Crow – Corvus brachyrhynchos
Fish Crow – Corvus ossifragus
Tree Swallow – Tachycineta bicolor
Tufted Titmouse – Baeolophus bicolor
House Wren – Troglodytes aedon
Carolina Wren – Thryothorus ludovicianus
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – Polioptila caerulea
Ruby-crowned Kinglet – Regulus calendula
Gray Catbird – Dumetella carolinensis
Brown Thrasher – Toxostoma rufum
Northern Mockingbird – Mimus polyglottos
Ovenbird – Seiurus aurocapilla
Black-and-white Warbler – Mniotilta varia
Common Yellowthroat – Geothlypis trichas
Northern Parula – Setophaga americana
Palm Warbler – Setophaga palmarum
Pine Warbler – Setophaga pinus
Yellow-rumped Warbler – Setophaga coronata
Yellow-throated Warbler – Setophaga dominica
Prairie Warbler – Setophaga discolor
Chipping Sparrow – Spizella passerina
Savannah Sparrow – Passerculus sandwichensis
Swamp Sparrow – Melospiza georgiana
Northern Cardinal – Cardinalis cardinalis
Painted Bunting – Passerina ciris
Red-winged Blackbird – Agelaius phoeniceus
Common Grackle – Quiscalus quiscula
Boat-tailed Grackle – Quiscalus major
American Goldfinch – Spinus tristis

Share the birds, share the love!
Posted in Gemini Springs | Leave a comment

Birding Gemini Springs, October 2013

Last month I visited Gemini Springs nine times, finding 57 different species of bird. Last year we spent most of the month out of state so I have no checklists from Gemini Springs for October 2012. The complete 2013 list is at the end of this post.

One species, Eastern Kingbird, was new for my year list. Returning winter visitors arrived, including Eastern Phoebes, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, Swamp Sparrows, and Ruby-crowned Kinglets. I also saw an adult Red-headed Woodpecker, my first at the park since March. I’m still looking for my First of Fall Yellow-rumped Warblers (already seen by others at Gemini Springs), Chipping Sparrows, American Goldfinches and American Robins.

Here are some photographic highlights from October 2013.

Southern Leopard Frog
Southern Leopard Frog | 01-OCT-13

Tricolored Heron
Tricolored Heron | 01-OCT-13

Common Yellowthroat
Common Yellowthroat | 04-OCT-13

Green Anole
Green Anole | 04-OCT-13

Loggerhead Shrike
Loggerhead Shrike | 04-OCT-13

pollinator
pollinator | 04-OCT-13

On October 9th I took a trail I don’t often take. It’s a mowed path but it had not been cut for some time, and there were deep grooves of mud throughout. As I walked on, the path got more and more overgrown and I wished I hadn’t gone the way I had. It looked like rain and I was afraid I would have to do some serious bushwhacking — in sandals and shorts — to get back to pavement. I was rewarded with a nice aerial dance by our breeding pair of Bald Eagles soaring above me, the female being chased by her mate.

ritual
Bald Eagle pair | 09-OCT-13

And then I found a lifer insect smiling up at me. Worth it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Bold Jumping Spider
Bold Jumping Spider | 09-OCT-13

Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Phoebe | 11-OCT-13

Southern Black Racer
Sunning Southern Black Racer | 11-OCT-13

kayaking
We finally got our kayaks in the water | 14-OCT-13

Black-and-white Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler | 16-OCT-13

Peninsula Cooter
Peninsula Cooter | 21-OCT-13

If you are a fan of Gemini Springs, please consider becoming a Fan of Gemini Springs on Facebook!

Gemini Springs logo

October 2013 bird list, Gemini Springs

Anhinga – Anhinga anhinga
Great Blue Heron – Ardea herodias
Great Egret – Ardea alba
Snowy Egret – Egretta thula
Little Blue Heron – Egretta caerulea
Tricolored Heron – Egretta tricolor
Green Heron – Butorides virescens
Black Vulture – Coragyps atratus
Turkey Vulture – Cathartes aura
Osprey – Pandion haliaetus
Bald Eagle – Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Red-shouldered Hawk – Buteo lineatus
Red-tailed Hawk – Buteo jamaicensis
Common Gallinule – Gallinula galeata
American Coot – Fulica americana
Mourning Dove – Zenaida macroura
Common Ground-Dove – Columbina passerina
Ruby-throated Hummingbird – Archilochus colubris
Belted Kingfisher – Megaceryle alcyon
Red-headed Woodpecker – Melanerpes erythrocephalus
Red-bellied Woodpecker – Melanerpes carolinus
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – Sphyrapicus varius
Downy Woodpecker – Picoides pubescens
Northern Flicker – Colaptes auratus
Pileated Woodpecker – Dryocopus pileatus
American Kestrel – Falco sparverius
Eastern Phoebe – Sayornis phoebe
Eastern Kingbird – Tyrannus tyrannus
Loggerhead Shrike – Lanius ludovicianus
White-eyed Vireo – Vireo griseus
Blue Jay – Cyanocitta cristata
American Crow – Corvus brachyrhynchos
Fish Crow – Corvus ossifragus
Tufted Titmouse – Baeolophus bicolor
House Wren – Troglodytes aedon
Marsh Wren – Cistothorus palustris
Carolina Wren – Thryothorus ludovicianus
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – Polioptila caerulea
Ruby-crowned Kinglet – Regulus calendula
Gray Catbird – Dumetella carolinensis
Brown Thrasher – Toxostoma rufum
Northern Mockingbird – Mimus polyglottos
Ovenbird – Seiurus aurocapilla
Black-and-white Warbler – Mniotilta varia
Common Yellowthroat – Geothlypis trichas
American Redstart – Setophaga ruticilla
Palm Warbler – Setophaga palmarum
Pine Warbler – Setophaga pinus
Yellow-throated Warbler – Setophaga dominica
Prairie Warbler – Setophaga discolor
Swamp Sparrow – Melospiza georgiana
Northern Cardinal – Cardinalis cardinalis
Indigo Bunting – Passerina cyanea
Painted Bunting – Passerina ciris
Red-winged Blackbird – Agelaius phoeniceus
Common Grackle – Quiscalus quiscula
Boat-tailed Grackle – Quiscalus major

Share the birds, share the love!
Posted in Gemini Springs | Leave a comment

Limpkin show

It took me a long time to find my FOY (First Of Year) Limpkin this year. Just a couple of days later I spent some time watching an individual at Gemini Springs foraging for snails by the dam. All of the photos in this post were taken at Gemini Springs on April 29, 2013.

Limpkin

Limpkin

Limpkin

Limpkin

Limpkin

It was interesting to see how much it work it was to get the snail out of the shell. You can see the Limpkin banging on the snail and finally gulping down its prize in the video below.

Though I haven’t seen many Limpkins this year, I know this species is often a target for out-of-state birders visiting Florida. I do feel lucky that nearly every time I go out birding locally, there is a chance I could see a Limpkin.

Share the birds, share the love!
Posted in Florida, Gemini Springs | Leave a comment