Birding Gemini Springs, December 2012

In December I birded at Gemini Springs 7 times. My species total for the month was 63. Four of these were new for my year list, which ended at a total of 106 species. The new birds were Black-crowned Night Heron, Ring-billed Gull, Field Sparrow, and Baltimore Oriole. Only Field Sparrow was new for my all time Gemini Springs list, which stands at 110. Field Sparrow was a new Florida bird for me as well. The complete list is at the end of this post. Here are some of my favorite photos from the month.

Northern Mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird | 01 December 2012

Red-bellied Woodpecker feathers
Red-bellied Woodpecker feathers | 01 December 2012

Bald Eagle pair; female on right | 02 December 2012

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker | 02 December 2012

Florida snow
gone to seed | 02 December 2012

misty morning
misty morning | 10 December 2012

On December 10th I stopped to watch an Eastern Grey Squirrel busy in the treetop above me. I think she was gathering nest material. She would grab a leafy branch and then bring it into a large clump of vegetation that I think she was shaping into a cozy nursery. She would disappear into the clump and then each time she emerged, she would spend a moment washing her face and sides before proceeding to gather another branch. The below photo is awful but you can see she is working with a twig.

busy squirrel
busy squirrel | 10 December 2012

Cooper's Hawk
Cooper’s Hawk | 10 December 2012

Grey Catbird
Grey Catbird | 10 December 2012

young gator
American Alligator | 10 December 2012

Osprey | 10 December 2012

Tricolored Heron
Tricolored Heron | 10 December 2012

On December 28th Arthur and I went to the park in the afternoon for a short walk. We were surprised to see a Gopher Tortoise close to some picnic tables in the lawn area across from the dog park. A family was using the closest table, and a little boy was interested in the tortoise and watching it from a respectful distance. This was the second time I have seen a Gopher Tortoise at Gemini Springs. The park does not have the kind of sandy scrub or longleaf pine habitat where I would expect to find them, but obviously I am no expert.

Gopher Tortoise | 28 December 2012

Pileated Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker | 30 December 2012

Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinal | 30 December 2012

Pied-billed Grebe – Podilymbus podiceps
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
Black-crowned Night-Heron – Nycticorax nycticorax
White Ibis – Eudocimus albus
Black Vulture – Coragyps atratus
Turkey Vulture – Cathartes aura
Osprey – Pandion haliaetus
Cooper’s Hawk – Accipiter cooperii
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
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
American Kestrel – Falco sparverius
Eastern Phoebe – Sayornis phoebe
Loggerhead Shrike – Lanius ludovicianus
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
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
Yellow-throated Warbler – Setophaga dominica
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
Baltimore Oriole – Icterus galbula
American Goldfinch – Spinus tristis

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