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; 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; 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!

Share the birds, share the love!
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