Despite chilly weather and a brisk breeze, 18 hearty souls ventured out on Paynes Praire at 8:00AM on Saturday February 25th to see what wildfowl might be present that day. Quite frankly, I was worried because I had conducted my own recognizance trip a few days before and had seen few birds of interest. I attributed the poor showing to the severe drought we have experience the past few months (and years). Little did I know there is a reason to employ experts like Adam and Gina Kent to lead such an outing. When you are with people who know what they are doing, you discover the unusual. With even a quick glance at Adam’s report (filed below), you can see we had an amazing day. Not only did we see the usual birds that I had seen many times before, but we also saw birds I had never heard of including a sora, a yellow-rumped warbler, and a northern parula. Since Adam is an expert on sparrows, it is not surprising that we saw such a variety of this species. All in all, everyone had a great day.
A few photos.
Paynes Prairie Preserve SP–La Chua Trail, Alachua, US-FL
Feb 25, 2012 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga) 2 Flying
Great Blue Heron (Blue form) (Ardea herodias [herodias Group]) 3
Great Egret (Ardea alba) 1
Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) 1
Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea) 7
White Ibis (Eudocimus albus) 12 fly-by seen by a few
Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus) 5
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) 30
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) 6 2 on nest by bathroom while three others circled overhead calling. At least 1 more over prairie basin.
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) 3
Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) 3
Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) 1 Quick fly-by not seen by many
Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) 3
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) 1
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) 3
Sora (Porzana carolina) 1
Common Gallinule (Gallinula galeata) 5
Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) 70 About 40 of more in a few groups heading north at 11:30. Some pairs that were likely residents.
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) 6 From platform
Wilson’s Snipe (Gallinago delicata) 15 From platform
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 2 Quick looks at flying birds
Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) 1 One called briefly while we were in the parking lot.
Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) 6 Great scope views of one.
White-eyed Vireo (Vireo griseus) 4
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) 3
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) 10
Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus) 2
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) 100
Carolina Chickadee (Poecile carolinensis) 2
Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) 3
Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) 4
Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) 2
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 30 Fly-overs
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) 3
Northern Parula (Setophaga americana) 1
Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum) 5
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) (Setophaga coronata coronata) 50
Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus) 4 Heard only, calling
Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus) 8 Quick scope views for some of group
Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) 5 Many fewer than have been here in recent weeks.
Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum) 1 Seen by a few from boardwalk, but well hidden in grass
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 2 Calling “jimp”
Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana) 2
White-crowned Sparrow (Eastern) (Zonotrichia leucophrys leucophrys) 4
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) 15
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) 300
Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major) 20