Bird-a-Day 50

Red-tailed Hawk
12-FEB: Red-tailed Hawk | Spring-to-spring Trail, Volusia Co. FL

Today is the 50th day of the year, and I’m still alive in the Bird-a-Day Challenge.

Since my last update on January 17th, I’ve added 33 birds.

Ten birds came from Gemini Springs or the adjacent Spring-to-spring Trail: Hermit Thrush; Eastern Phoebe; Merlin; Forster’s Tern; Green-winged Teal; House Wren; Red-tailed Hawk; Belted Kingfisher; Swamp Sparrow; and today’s American Bittern.

Swamp Sparrow
17-FEB: Swamp Sparrow | Gemini Springs, Volusia Co. FL

Another eight birds came from our back yard. I always have a tiny little feeling of despair when I have to use a yard bird for the challenge, even though I have a lot of yard birds yet to use. A fair bunch of the birds I used are migrants that will soon leave, plus there was a pair of seldom-seen-anywhere species that I shouldn’t lament at all. The latest yard birds: Palm Warbler (ouch but will leave for the summer); Brown-headed Cowbird (abundant last year but a three-day wonder this season (so far)); Common Ground-Dove (new yard bird and seldom seen by me otherwise); Black-and-white Warbler (a rare yard visitor); Ruby-throated Hummingbird (visited two days after putting up the feeders and a regular visitor since); Yellow-rumped Warbler (ouch but will leave for the summer); Yellow-throated Warbler (seldom seen by me anywhere); and Chipping Sparrow (ouch but will leave soon).

Common Ground-Dove
26-JAN: Common Ground-Dove | our yard, Volusia Co. FL

A few birds came from neighborhood outings or errand runs: a Gray Catbird and flyover Sandhill Cranes while house-hunting; and a Pied-billed Grebe pit-stop on the way home.

I picked up three nice birds during the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife festival at the end of January. I didn’t take a lot of field trips but Arthur and I had the chance to visit Merritt Island during the festival where I picked up Lesser Yellowlegs and Eurasian Wigeon. I used a lifer, Bridled Tern, during the festival’s pelagic trip.

There were just two Disney birds in this bunch: a Eurasian Collared-Dove at the Magic Kingdom and a lovely posing Cooper’s Hawk at Hollywood Studios.

Cooper's Hawk
08-FEB: Cooper’s Hawk | Hollywood Studios, Orange Co. FL photo by Arthur de Wolf

I also picked up a pair of birds at a new-to-me birding spot in nearby Deltona: Audubon Park. There I added Greater Yellowlegs and Killdeer. Two more came from morning walks at Lake Woodruff NWR: Brown-headed Nuthatch (when we were looking for Red-breasted!) and Sora.

Finally, I picked up another lifer (American Pipit) on a targeted outing, a coastal bird on a day I joined Arthur on his volunteering day (Common Loon), and a flock of Cedar Waxwings at my volunteer gig.

Common Loon
05-FEB: Common Loon | Port Orange Causeway Park, Volusia Co. FL

I’m not sure how much longer I’ll last! With no travel planned I’m afraid I’ll be burning up regular, common local birds at a crazy rate. Hopefully there are some surprises out there for me! Bird on!

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