Category Archives: Volusia Birding

Birding Gemini Springs, April 2012 [part 1]

I completed 13 eBird checklists for Gemini Springs in April, recording a total of 67 species. Ten of these were new for the year (bold indicates new to my all-time Gemini Springs list): Least Bittern; Yellow-crowned Night-Heron; Great Crested Flycatcher; Eastern Kingbird; Red-eyed Vireo; Barn Swallow; Brown Thrasher; American Redstart; Chimney Swift; and Indigo Bunting.

April was full of fun discoveries at Gemini Springs! This blog post is part one of two, just because there’s so much I want to share. 🙂

The month started out great with my first outing on April 1st. First, I saw what I presume to be a this-year’s-model Bald Eagle awkwardly land next to one of the adults I’ve often seen at the park since a pair returned to their territory back in late August.

Bald Eagles
Bald Eagles; April 1 2012

Red-winged Blackbird
Red-winged Blackbird; April 1 2012

Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinal; April 1 2012

Then I really lucked out with a sighting of a Least Bittern along the Bayou. I was scanning across the water at a spot where Arthur and I had heard a Sora calling the previous week. I didn’t see anything at all until the bittern flew over and landed in my binocular view. I was happy to manage a photo or two of this tough Volusia bird before it disappeared into the reeds.

Least Bittern
Least Bittern; April 1 2012

White-marked Tussock Moth caterpillar
White-marked Tussock Moth caterpillar; April 1 2012

Common Snapping Turtle
Common Snapping Turtle in the parking lot, probably looking to nest; April 1 2012

On April 8th I took a very long walk into the woods along the bike path and stumbled upon some ex-armadillo bits.

ex-armadillo
ex-armadillo; April 8 2012

Carolina Wren
Carolina Wren; April 8 2012

Passiflora incarnata
Passiflora incarnata; April 8 2012

Green Heron
Green Heron croaking; April 8 2012

On April 10th I found the Barred Owl family. The morning rewarded me with many other wonderful discoveries.

White-tailed Deer
White-tailed Deer (rarely spotted by me at Gemini Springs); April 10 2012

Downy Woodpecker
One-eyed Downy Woodpecker; April 10 2012

Pearl Crescent
Pearl Crescent; April 10 2012

Gray Catbird
Gray Catbird; April 10 2012

Peninsula Ribbon Snake
Peninsula Ribbon Snake; April 10 2012

Limpkin
Limpkin; April 10 2012

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk; April 10 2012

tiger moth sp
Tiger Moth sp caterpillar; April 10 2012

Red-winged Blackbird
Red-winged Blackbird; April 10 2012

Gemini Springs
Gemini Springs; April 10 2012

After watching the Barred Owls that first day, it was tough to NOT visit the springs as often as possible in the following days. Finding them continued to be quite easy, as the babies weren’t shy about asking mom and dad for food. And there were still other discoveries to be made.

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron; April 11 2012

Habitat For Humanity
A Habitat for Humanity wristband stuck around a post; April 13 2012

Marsh Rabbit
Marsh Rabbit; April 13 2012

Red-eared Slider
Red-eared Slider; April 13 2012

That covers the first part of April. I’ve split the month’s adventures into two posts — more to come soon!

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I discovered a Barred Owl family at Gemini Springs!

Much to my chagrin, I have zero owl-finding skills. So this post’s title isn’t really 100% accurate. Something like Baby Barred Owls make so much noise I can’t help but find them might have been more appropriate. Anyway…

On April 10th I was birding at Gemini Springs, taking my usual route over the spring run bridges on my way to the path that runs along DeBary Bayou. While crossing the second bridge, I heard the unmistakable hissy begging call of a baby owl. Naturally I followed the sound, which had me take a right after the bridge and head into the woods. A few minutes later, I sent a text message to Arthur.


iPhone photo of my camera’s viewscreen [phone screen shot edited for space / privacy]

So even though I’m lousy at finding owls, two hungry babies taking turns crying for food are hard to miss. I had located two branching babies but no adults.

baby Barred Owl
Baby Barred Owl begging for food | 10 April 2012

baby Barred Owl
Baby Barred Owl | 10 April 2012

After I sent the text and took a lot of photos of the two babies, I continued on my walk.

Before heading to my bike, I went back into the woods to see if I could relocate the owls. This time I found one of the adults perched beside a baby.

Barred Owl
Adult (#1) Barred Owl | 10 April 2012

I texted Arthur again and he indicated he was on his way over, so I sat down to wait. That’s when I saw the second adult bird fly in to deliver a green anole to one of the babies. After the delivery, the adult perched nearby. Of course I took more photos, which is what I was doing when Arthur joined me.

Barred Owl
Adult (#2) Barred Owl | 10 April 2012

Barred Owl
Adult (#2) Barred Owl | 10 April 2012

Barred Owl dead center
Superzoom! The adult (#2) Barred Owl is dead center | 10 April 2012

Here are a few more photos of the second adult Barred Owl: Sleepy Barred Owl; Alert Barred Owl; Sunning Barred Owl.

I can hardly begin to describe how happy I was to find and observe these owls. I had only seen a handful of individuals before that morning, so discovering and observing this family at length was a tremendous treat (made even more wonderful when Arthur joined me).

The next morning, April 11, Arthur and I headed back to Gemini Springs, but we were only able to locate one baby owl.

baby Barred Owl
Baby Barred Owl from behind – lots of adult feathers | 11 April 2012

baby Barred Owl
Same baby Barred Owl as pictured above | 11 April 2012

During a visit two days later, on April 13, I found one baby and one adult.

baby Barred Owl
Fluff! | 13 April 2012

Barred Owl
Adult Barred Owl searching for prey | 13 April 2012

I guess you can tell I can’t get enough of these beautiful owls. I have returned to Gemini Springs to look for the owls (and other birds!) a few more times in the last weeks. I’ll have some more photos to share in the coming days (you have been warned!).

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The Owl Clan

A large statue of an owl was recovered from the St. Johns River near DeLand, Florida in 1955. An artifact of the Timucua Native American tribes that historically lived in the area, the original pine wood statue dates from 1400-1500 A.D. The original piece is on display at the Florida State Museum in Gainesville. A replica of the statue stands on Hontoon Island, a state park cut out of the St. Johns River near DeLand.

The Owl Clan

The owl totem identified the local “clan” of Timucua; similar statues representing a pelican and an otter were found elsewhere along the St. Johns in 1978. These three totems are the only such Native American statues found in North America outside of the Pacific Northwest. The owl totem is remarkable for its large size.

The Owl Clan

The stylized totem statue probably represents a Great Horned Owl and stands over six feet tall from horns to talons. Interestingly, the totem owl has five talons, instead of the four naturally found on Great Horned Owls. Was there perhaps a bit of anthropomorphizing among the Owl Clan? I’m not judging. In fact, as a lover of owls, I say — sign me up for the modern version of the Owl Clan.

The Owl Clan

Sources: The Florida anthropologist via the University of Florida and replica signage

The Owl Clan

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Purple Sandpiper at Lighthouse Point Park

At the end of March, Arthur and I took a day off to do some birding at a few spots in Volusia County. Lately I’ve been really interested in increasing my home county list, so I trolled eBird for birds missing from my year list. I determined our route based on a rather long wishlist of needed birds.

Our first stop was a hotspot I’d never been to before: Longleaf Pine Preserve outside of DeLand. Here I had a target list of way too many birds. We had a very nice 6 mile hike where we recorded a total of 15 (!) species, only one of which was on my target list. We first heard and then had very nice looks at a male Bachman’s Sparrow singing in typical habitat for this species. This one target was also the only potential lifer we expected here, so, you know, mission accomplished!

Next we stopped at Port Orange Causeway Park, located under Dunlawton Avenue where it crosses the Intracoastal Waterway. Part of the park looks over the Port Orange Sanctuary, though birds can be viewed from all over this eBird hotspot. My two targets here were American Oystercatcher and Reddish Egret; we found both. After this short visit we headed to our final destination for the day, to search for the subject of this blog post.

Lighthouse Point Park is located in Ponce Inlet, close to the lighthouse, natch. The lighthouse isn’t in the park, though, as signs at the park entrance take great pains to inform all visitors. Anyway, the beautiful beach and clear water attracts families and sunbathers, and, during our visit, lots of surfers. I had just one target species here: Purple Sandpiper.

Purple Sandpiper

We found an active bird as we walked along the jetty. This was not a life bird, but it was new to my U.S. list.

Purple Sandpiper

Previously we had seen Purple Sandpipers along a different jetty on the other side of the Atlantic, at IJmuiden.

Purple Sandpiper

I’ve submitted this post to the current Bird Photography Weekly. BPW is a regular collection of user-submitted bird photos from all over the world. The new edition comes out every Sunday. Go have a look at this week’s submissions!

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Birding Gemini Springs, March 2012

I completed 11 eBird checklists for Gemini Springs in March, recording a total of 66 species. Nine of these were new for the year (bold indicates new to my all-time Gemini Springs list): Wood Duck; Wild Turkey; Sora; Black-necked Stilt; Barred Owl; Marsh Wren; Prairie Warbler; Swamp Sparrow; and American Goldfinch. The complete list of 66 birds is at the end of this post.

CHSP
Chipping Sparrow; March 6 2012

ANHI
Anhinga; March 9 2012

croc
An American Coot swims dangerously close to a croc; March 9 2012

flowers
Extremely fragrant flowers (sorry I don’t know the species); March 9 2012

CARW
Singing Carolina Wren; March 12 2012

Yakking at Gemini Springs
Kayaking in DeBary Bayou; March 16 2012

Kids at Gemini Springs
A large group of children visiting Gemini Springs; March 16 2012

RSHA
Red-shouldered Hawk; March 19 2012

wristband
Habitat for Humanity wristband I found on the ground & placed around a post; March 20 2012

Osprey
Osprey; March 20 2012

Wild Turkey
A lone Wild Turkey; March 25 2012

Southern Black Racer [maybe]
Southern Black Racer (I think); March 25 2012

Pileated Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker working around a palm trunk; March 27 2012

a type of webworm / tent caterpillar, I think
A type of webworm or tent caterpillar (I think); March 27 2012

March 2012 bird list, Gemini Springs

Wood Duck – Aix sponsa
Blue-winged Teal – Anas discors
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
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
Limpkin – Aramus guarauna
Sandhill Crane – Grus canadensis
Killdeer – Charadrius vociferus
Black-necked Stilt – Himantopus mexicanus
Forster’s Tern – Sterna forsteri
Mourning Dove – Zenaida macroura
Barred Owl – Strix varia
Belted Kingfisher – Megaceryle alcyon
Red-bellied Woodpecker – Melanerpes carolinus
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – Sphyrapicus varius
Downy Woodpecker – Picoides pubescens
Pileated Woodpecker – Dryocopus pileatus
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
Carolina Chickadee – Poecile carolinensis
Tufted Titmouse – Baeolophus bicolor
Carolina Wren – Thryothorus ludovicianus
Marsh Wren – Cistothorus palustris
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – Polioptila caerulea
Ruby-crowned Kinglet – Regulus calendula
Gray Catbird – Dumetella carolinensis
Northern Mockingbird – Mimus polyglottos
Cedar Waxwing – Bombycilla cedrorum
Black-and-white Warbler – Mniotilta varia
Orange-crowned Warbler – Oreothlypis celata
Common Yellowthroat – Geothlypis trichas
Northern Parula – Setophaga americana
Palm Warbler – Setophaga palmarum
Yellow-rumped Warbler – Setophaga coronata
Prairie Warbler – Setophaga discolor
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

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Wildlife Festival at Lake Woodruff NWR

Lake Woodruff NWR lookout

On February 25th we attended the first Lake Woodruff NWR Wildlife Festival. The free event included eco-buggy tours of the refuge, guided bird walks, live music, and more. At the visitor center there was a nature fair with stands from Halifax Audubon and West Volusia Audubon, bat experts and rehabbers Fly by Night, Lyonia Preserve, plus other wildlife experts, local artists, and other vendors. FWC and the US Army Corps of Engineers had impressive stands with loads of information about prescribed burns and invasive species, respectively. It was a nice little nature fair with a good amount of stands, plus a food truck and plenty of picnic space. Thumbs up to the crew that put together the festival!

We started our visit with an early morning walk around the refuge, where we spotted 36 species of bird through the various habitat types in the refuge. Lake Woodruff NWR is a gem here in Volusia County and I am looking forward to getting to know it better.

Lake Woodruff NWR

Ibises
Flock of White Ibis and Glossy Ibis

Blue-winged Teal
Blue-winged Teal drakes

Lake Woodruff NWR

Dragonfly with larva
Dr. Terry Farrell shows off a dragonfly and dragonfly larvae and other creatures found in and around the waters of Lake Woodruff NWR

Pied-billed Grebe
Pied-billed Grebe

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle

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Gemini Springs, February 2012

I didn’t get to bird my local patch as much as I wanted to last month. I had a long-lasting head cold that kept me away for a while and then I was just really busy with work and other stuff (like a little birding getaway in the last week of February). In the end I tallied 7 complete checklists, but on two mornings I kept two lists so I only visited for birding a total of five times (plus a couple of quick bike-throughs on Spring-to-spring trail runs to Lake Monroe Park).

I tallied a total of 60 species for the month, with 10 new year birds (bold were new to my all-time Gemini Springs list) Green-winged Teal, Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, Killdeer, Caspian Tern, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Cedar Waxwing, Northern Parula, Yellow-throated Warbler, and Painted Bunting. The complete list of 60 species is at the end of this post.

Tricolored Heron
Tricolored Heron; February 4 2012

Double-crested Cormorants
Double-crested Cormorants; February 4 2012

White Ibis
White Ibis; February 4 2012

Arthur and I joined Seminole Audubon on their club walk at Gemini Springs on February 18th. They seemed like a fun group so I hope we’ll be able to bird with them again some time. Since they started after 8:30AM this was one of the days I kept two lists – Arthur and I birded the park a bit before the official walk began.

Birders @ Gemini Springs
Birders from Seminole Audubon looking at one of the springs; February 18 2012

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron; February 18 2012

Limpkin
Limkpin; February 18 2012

Apple snail shells
Limkpin leavings (apple snail shells); February 18 2012

I had been asked to lead a home school group on a birding walk on February 21st. Our walk was to begin at 9AM so this was the other day where I recorded two lists. Unfortunately our group was not as large as expected, but Arthur and I enjoyed birding Gemini Springs with a young mother and her two boys. The youngsters blew us away with their bird (and fish!) knowledge. It was a pleasure to bird Gemini Springs with kids. 🙂

Gemini Springs
Gemini Springs; February 21 2012

Painted Bunting
Female Painted Bunting; February 21 2012

February bird list, Gemini Springs
Blue-winged Teal – Anas discors
Green-winged Teal – Anas crecca
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
Northern Harrier – Circus cyaneus
Red-shouldered Hawk – Buteo lineatus
Red-tailed Hawk – Buteo jamaicensis
Common Gallinule – Gallinula galeata
American Coot – Fulica americana
Limpkin – Aramus guarauna
Sandhill Crane – Grus canadensis
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
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – Sphyrapicus varius
Downy Woodpecker – Picoides pubescens
Pileated Woodpecker – Dryocopus pileatus
Eastern Phoebe – Sayornis phoebe
White-eyed Vireo – Vireo griseus
Blue Jay – Cyanocitta cristata
Fish Crow – Corvus ossifragus
Tree Swallow – Tachycineta bicolor
Tufted Titmouse – Baeolophus bicolor
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
Cedar Waxwing – Bombycilla cedrorum
Orange-crowned Warbler – Oreothlypis celata
Northern Parula – Setophaga americana
Palm Warbler – Setophaga palmarum
Pine Warbler – Setophaga pinus
Yellow-rumped Warbler – Setophaga coronata
Yellow-throated Warbler – Setophaga dominica
Chipping Sparrow – Spizella passerina
Savannah Sparrow – Passerculus sandwichensis
Northern Cardinal – Cardinalis cardinalis
Painted Bunting – Passerina ciris
Red-winged Blackbird – Agelaius phoeniceus
Boat-tailed Grackle – Quiscalus major

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Volusia County Gull Spectacle

One of the largest concentrations of gulls found anywhere in the United States occurs on winter afternoons right here in Volusia County, Florida. A stretch of beach in Daytona Beach Shores hosts from 30,000 up to 50,000 loafing gulls as they gather before nightfall. The gulls group together on the beach in the late afternoon before heading just offshore to spend the night. This short video clip featuring Michael Brothers of the Marine Science Center explains this unique phenomenon.

While I find this huge concentration of birds amazing, I have to admit I still haven’t fully embraced the joy of identifying and ageing gulls. Luckily for me, there are birders that are more than up for the challenge. Even luckier, they are happy to share their knowledge with larophobes like me.

During the Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival, a team of larophiles, including Michael Brothers and Alvaro Jaramillo, headed the Gull Fly-in based at Frank Rendon Park. Here Arthur and I joined several other birders in happily watching the gulls flying in in huge, unbelievable, remarkable numbers. We watched them gather into gigantic flocks on the beach that must have stretched for several miles.

Before the field trip began, Arthur took this video as we drove along a stretch of beach, heading to the park. This was taken at about 2:45PM, hours before the gull numbers reached their peak.

We birders gathered at the park to watch the gulls fly in before we headed down onto the beach.

Gull flying in

Gulls flying over birders

Gulls

The most common gulls in the flocks were Ring-billed, Laughing, Herring, Lesser Black-backed, and Great Black-backed. Among these species, keen eyes can pick out the birds that are different. Shortly after we stepped onto the beach, Alvaro found a California Gull. There was also a Glaucous Gull and a hybrid gull that I didn’t get a chance to see. Another highlight was watching a Pomarine Jaeger harassing gulls out on the water. But the biggest highlight was simply seeing huge numbers of beautiful birds hanging out and doing their thing.

Glaucous Gull
Glaucous Gull

Gulls

California Gull
California Gull – notice dark eye, red/black on bill, red gape, brown speckled nape

Gulls

Birders & gulls

Gulls

Gull prints

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Gemini Springs, January 2012

During January I found 61 species at Gemini Springs, beating my previous high species count of 58 from December 2011. The complete list is at the bottom of this post.

Wood Stork
Wood Stork; January 2 2012

New birds for me at the park included Hooded Mergansers and Blue-winged Teal (ducks, finally!).

dusk at Gemini Springs
dusk; January 6 2012

Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron; January 6 2012

Great Egret
Great Egret; January 6 2012

I started regularly walking a different part of the trail on the west side of DeBary Bayou and found a few birds to be quite predictable there: Belted Kingfisher, Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Bluebird, and Bald Eagle. I had seen the eagle from the paved trail on most previous visits (from his high perch he was hard to miss!) but the others were only visible when taking the new patch of trail.

Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Phoebe; January 6 2012

Eastern Bluebirds
Eastern Bluebirds; January 12 2012

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle; January 15 2012

Northern Mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird; January 16 2012

Raided turtle nest
apparently raided turtle nest; January 16 2012

Arthur and I went kayaking in the bayou on January 17th and saw at least three American Bittern plus just tons and tons of herons, egrets, and ibises.

Picking up as we go
bayou trash; January 17 2012

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk; January 18 2012

White-eyed Vireo
White-eyed Vireo; January 18 2012

On January 21st I visited the park for over four hours and explored a new trail I hadn’t walked before. There I found another new bird: Blue-headed Vireo. This part of the trail seemed quiet and as I watched a small mixed flock of warblers and vireos foraging in some trees, I imagined that the part of the park I was in wasn’t visited very often. Just then a group of three mountain-bikers came along the rough trail and surprised me. There are still parts of the park I haven’t visited. I’m glad there are still new spots to explore. Though even the “old” parts hold the mysteries and magic of the great outdoors.

Savannah Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow; January 21 2012

Kayakers at Gemini Springs
kayaks on the bayou; January 21 2012

Common Gallinule
Common Gallinule; January 21 2012

Pied-billed Grebes
Pied-billed Grebes; January 21 2012

Limpkin with monster apple snail
Limpkin with apple snail; January 21 2012

new bike rack
woo hoo, a new bike rack; January 21 2012

January bird list, Gemini Springs
Blue-winged Teal – Anas discors
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
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
Cooper’s Hawk – Accipiter cooperii
Red-shouldered Hawk – Buteo lineatus
Common Gallinule – Gallinula galeata
American Coot – Fulica americana
Limpkin – Aramus guarauna
Sandhill Crane – Grus canadensis
Forster’s Tern – Sterna forsteri
Mourning Dove – Zenaida macroura
Belted Kingfisher – Megaceryle alcyon
Red-bellied Woodpecker – Melanerpes carolinus
Downy Woodpecker – Picoides pubescens
Pileated Woodpecker – Dryocopus pileatus
Eastern Phoebe – Sayornis phoebe
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
Carolina Wren – Thryothorus ludovicianus
House Wren – Troglodytes aedon
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
Palm Warbler – Setophaga palmarum
Pine Warbler – Setophaga pinus
Yellow-rumped Warbler – Setophaga coronata
Chipping Sparrow – Spizella passerina
Savannah Sparrow – Passerculus sandwichensis
Song Sparrow – Melospiza melodia
Northern Cardinal – Cardinalis cardinalis
Red-winged Blackbird – Agelaius phoeniceus
Common Grackle – Quiscalus quiscula
Boat-tailed Grackle – Quiscalus major

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Target Acquired

Before our first programs at the Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival last Wednesday, Arthur and I stopped at Riverbreeze Park, which lies on the Indian River in Oak Hill. This was a new spot for us; I found it by browsing recent eBird sightings for Common Loon in Volusia County. We spent some time birding from the fishing pier.

We saw a couple of loons swimming in the water as soon as we arrived. Target acquired!

Common Loon

I also added American White Pelican, Spotted Sandpiper, and Black Skimmer to my Volusia list.

As we left the park, we saw lots of Great Blue Herons moving around their roosting trees. They were getting ready to start their day. Just like us! Next stop: Titusville and the Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival!

Great Blue Heron roost

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