Green Birding in Southwest Volusia County, June Challenge 2017

Note: this post is back-dated

In June I did my own version of the Green Challenge. Like the standard challenge dictates, I was looking for birds in a single county. I allowed heard-only birds on my list though, and I only listed “green” birds. I had hoped to find 80 species, but I fell short, tallying 77 — the same total I had for this challenge in 2015 (the last time I tried). The complete list is at the end of this post.

Here are some photo highlights from the month.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk at Audubon Park | 05 June 2017

Sandhill Cranes
Sandhill Cranes at Audubon Park | 05 June 2017

I completed 29 checklists during the month. I went to 14 different local birding spots, plus counted birds at home and as I was biking in several locations. I ended up biking over 165 miles.

Limpkin at Lake Monroe Park | 08 June 2017

Eastern Bluebird
Eastern Bluebird at Quail Lakes Powerline Trails | 10 June 2017

On the 10th I went to the Quail Lakes Powerline Trails to look for a few target species: Eastern Bluebird; Eastern Towhee; Red-headed Woodpecker; Common Ground-Dove; Florida Scrub-Jay; and Northern Bobwhite. I found all of them, but the bobwhite and scrub-jay were extremely frustratingly heard-only. I stood around for a half hour waiting for a jay to pop up but I didn’t have any luck. What a ridiculous species to record as heard-only. As a consolation I added Killdeer, Northern Flicker, and Brown Thrasher here too.

Eastern Towhee
Eastern Towhee at Quail Lakes Powerline Trails | 10 June 2017

bear tracks
bear tracks at Quail Lakes Powerline Trails | 10 June 2017

Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-headed Woodpecker at Quail Lakes Powerline Trails | 10 June 2017

six-lined racerunner
Six-lined Racerunner at Quail Lakes Powerline Trails | 10 June 2017

The best finds of the month were Roseate Spoonbill and Pied-billed Grebe. A birding friend tipped me off on the spoonbill and I headed out on my bike just minutes later, with sunset fast approaching. I hadn’t seen a “green” Roseate Spoonbill for years, but the grebe was a big surprise — I’ve NEVER had one in June before. Purple Gallinule, Mottled Duck, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and Yellow-throated Vireo were all also new green birds for June listing. I was also happy to find Least Bittern at Lake Monroe Boat Ramp, and Purple Martin & Cooper’s Hawk at Gemini Springs.

Purple Gallinule
Purple Gallinule at Lake Monroe Conservation Area | 13 June 2017

birding at Mariner's Cove
Happy birder at Mariner’s Cove after finding a Yellow-billed Cuckoo | 18 June 2017

Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron at Gemini Springs | 20 June 2017

Common Ground-Dove
Common Ground-Dove at Dewey Boster Park | 26 June 2017

Before the month began I made a list of past “green” June birds as well as some targets I thought I might have a chance to find. There were some big misses. Wood Stork, American Coot, and Wood Duck shouldn’t have been too hard, but they evaded me. If I had gone birding at a few spots I ended up skipping, I could have probably added Bachman’s Sparrow and Common Yellowthroat. I kept hearing Common Nighthawks on early morning runs but I drove to those. Each time I biked out after dark or before sunrise I struck out.

eastern cottontail
Eastern Cottontail at Dewey Boster Park | 26 June 2017

marsh rabbits
Marsh Rabbits at Gemini Springs | 27 June 2017

Great Egret
Great Egret at Gemini Springs | 27 June 2017

Green Heron
Green Heron at Gemini Springs | 27 June 2017

That’s it for June! In July I decided to have a running streak (where I ran at least a mile a day and ended up with 112+ total miles run, my first 100+ month!) so I didn’t get to bird too much.


1 Carolina Wren 06/01 home
2 Northern Cardinal 06/01 Gemini Springs
3 Northern Parula 06/01 Gemini Springs
4 Red-bellied Woodpecker 06/01 Gemini Springs
5 Common Gallinule 06/01 Gemini Springs
6 Mourning Dove 06/01 Gemini Springs
7 Little Blue Heron 06/01 Gemini Springs
8 Black-necked Stilt 06/01 Gemini Springs
9 Tricolored Heron 06/01 Gemini Springs
10 Red-winged Blackbird 06/01 Gemini Springs
11 Boat-tailed Grackle 06/01 Gemini Springs
12 Great Crested Flycatcher 06/01 Gemini Springs
13 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 06/01 Gemini Springs
14 Barred Owl 06/01 Gemini Springs
15 Chimney Swift 06/01 Gemini Springs
16 Downy Woodpecker 06/01 Gemini Springs
17 Pileated Woodpecker 06/01 Gemini Springs
18 American Crow 06/01 Gemini Springs
19 Wild Turkey 06/02 home
20 White-eyed Vireo 06/02 home
21 Blue Jay 06/02 home
22 Fish Crow 06/02 home
23 Tufted Titmouse 06/02 home
24 Common Grackle 06/02 DeBary Hall
25 Ruby-throated Hummingbird 06/03 home
26 Muscovy Duck 06/03 Deltona Landings
27 Great Egret 06/03 Lake Monroe Boat Ramp
28 Great Blue Heron 06/03 Lake Monroe Boat Ramp
29 Anhinga 06/03 Lake Monroe Boat Ramp
30 Glossy Ibis 06/03 Lake Monroe Boat Ramp
31 Osprey 06/03 Lake Monroe Boat Ramp
32 Bald Eagle 06/03 Lake Monroe Boat Ramp
33 White Ibis 06/03 Lake Monroe Boat Ramp
34 Red-shouldered Hawk 06/03 Lake Monroe Boat Ramp
35 Limpkin 06/03 Lake Monroe Boat Ramp
36 Mallard 06/03 Deltona Landings
37 Mottled Duck 06/03 Deltona Landings
38 House Sparrow 06/03 Deltona Landings
39 Black Vulture 06/03 home
40 Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 06/05 Audubon Park
41 Swallow-tailed Kite 06/05 Audubon Park
42 Sandhill Crane 06/05 Audubon Park
43 Cattle Egret 06/05 Audubon Park
44 Carolina Chickadee 06/05 Audubon Park
45 Double-crested Cormorant 06/05 Lake Monroe Boat Ramp
46 Least Bittern 06/05 Lake Monroe Boat Ramp
47 Least Tern 06/05 Lake Monroe Boat Ramp
48 Barn Swallow 06/05 Deltona
49 Snowy Egret 06/06 Gemini Springs
50 Loggerhead Shrike 06/06 Gemini Springs
51 Northern Mockingbird 06/06 Gemini Springs
52 Red-tailed Hawk 06/06 DeBary Memorial Park
53 Roseate Spoonbill 06/07 Ft Smith/Drysdale Pond
54 Pied-billed Grebe 06/07 Ft Smith/Drysdale Pond
55 Purple Martin 06/08 Gemini Springs
56 Cooper’s Hawk 06/08 Gemini Springs
57 Northern Bobwhite 06/10 Quail Lakes
58 Eastern Towhee 06/10 Quail Lakes
59 Killdeer 06/10 Quail Lakes
60 Red-headed Woodpecker 06/10 Quail Lakes
61 Eastern Bluebird 06/10 Quail Lakes
62 Brown Thrasher 06/10 Quail Lakes
63 Common Ground-Dove 06/10 Quail Lakes
64 Northern Flicker 06/10 Quail Lakes
65 Florida Scrub-Jay 06/10 Quail Lakes
66 Green Heron 06/10 DeBary Country Club
67 Eastern Meadowlark 06/13 Lake Monroe C.A.
68 Purple Gallinule 06/13 Lake Monroe C.A.
69 European Starling 06/14 DeBary
70 Yellow-billed Cuckoo 06/18 Mariner’s Cove
71 Red-eyed Vireo 06/18 Mariner’s Cove
72 Pine Warbler 06/18 Deltona / Enterprise
73 Rock Pigeon 06/20 Lake Monroe Park
74 Turkey Vulture 06/20 Lake Monroe Park
75 Northern Rough-winged Swallow 06/21 Lake Monroe Boat Ramp
76 White-winged Dove 06/26 Dewey Boster Park
77 Yellow-throated Vireo 06/27 Gemini Springs
Share the birds, share the love!
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