Birding in the Sunshine

A blog post from my recent family Florida holiday, which is more a list of species seen with plenty of photo’s thrown in – no multi-post “gone with the wind” esque novel, just wanted to share some of the great birds from the Sunshine State.

Not a massive amount of serious birding as it was very much a family Disney and beach holiday, but I managed a few hours here and there.

1st week was all in Disney so birding restricted to a few early mornings around the hotel and the parks themselves. The best spots were Epcot Lake, the boat from Port Orleans to Disney Springs and Disney Springs’ lake itself. The 2nd week was based at St Augustine Beach – birding again just some early morning trips to the beach at Anastasia State Park, a small walk around Fort Matanzas, the amazing heronry at St Augustine Alligator Farm and 2 visits to the excellent Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (although my lack of decent insect repellent cut the 2nd one short – I’m not a fan of DEET, but I needed it there as the natural stuff was useless!).

Only a modest list, but all birds seen listed below with photo’s interspersed. Happy to take any comments on ID as really not experienced with US birds at all – in fact, I was massively under prepared, particularly with calls and songs!

1 Mallard – Common at Disney

2 Mottled Duck – 2 birds at Guana Tolomato

3 Brown Pelican – common on the Atlantic coastimg_7904

4 Anhinga – several at Disney (Epcot and Springs) plus birds seen flying when driving.img_6667

5 Double-crested Cormorant – Disney lakes and coast

6 Wood Stork – 2 Disney Springs, common at St Augustine Alligator Farm in heronryimg_7878

7 Great Blue Heron – common everywhereimg_8176

8 Great Egret – Common everywhere

9 Snowy Egret – Common everywhereimg_8158

10 Little Blue Heron – fairly common near most areas of waterimg_7866

11. Tricolored Heron – fairly common near most areas of waterimg_7863img_7852

12 Cattle Egret – most areas

13 Green Heron – small numbers in most areas

14 Yellow-crowned Night-Heron – single bird near Fort Matanzasimg_8185-1

15 White Ibis – very common at Disney where they feed under your table!

16. Glossy Ibis – 7 near Fort Matanzas

17. Roseate Spoonbill – fairly common around St Augustine – nesting at the Alligator Farmimg_7857-1img_7842

18 Turkey Vulture – Common

19 Black Vulture – Common

20 Osprey – Common

21 Swallow-tailed Kite – 2 or 3 seen most days – what a bird!img_7872

22 Cooper’s Hawk – 1 St Augustine

23 Red-shouldered Hawk – several Disney

24 Red-tailed Hawk – 2 near Orlando airport

25 Limpkin – 6 birds seen from boats to Disney Springs, 1 very close, but no camera!

26 Clapper Rail – at least 6 birds at Guana Tolomato

27 Wilson’s Plover – small number of pairs breeding on Anastasia Park beachimg_7953

28 Semipalmated Plover – 7 at Guana Tolomatoimg_8130

29 American Oystercatcher – 4 or 5 around the St Augustine area

30 Willet – several pairs around the coastal beachesimg_7935

31 Whimbrel (Hudsonian) – 1 Anastasia beach

32 Ruddy Turnstone – several Anastasia beach

33 Semipalmated Sandpiper – 1 Guana Tolomato (one of my highlights, 3ft away!)img_8153img_8149

34 Sanderling – several Anastasia beach

35 Short-billed Dowitcher – Vilano boat rampimg_7891

36 Laughing Gull – Common on the coast, but the only gull species seenimg_7896img_7784

37 Royal Tern – fairly common on the coastimg_8115img_8124

38 Cabot’s (Sandwich) Tern – 1 on beach at Anastasia during storm with other ternsimg_8120

39 Common Tern – 1 Sterna tern also briefly grounded in the storm which I took to be Common, but comments welcome if I’m wrongimg_8128img_8129

40 Least Tern – very common at Anastasia Beach where there was a fantastic breeding colonyimg_7805

41 Black Skimmer – around 30 birds Anastasia Beach – wow!img_7928img_7933

42 Feral Pigeon

43 Eurasian Collared-Dove – Common

44 Common Ground-Dove – Uncommon on rough groundimg_8080

45 Mourning Dove – Common

46 Chimney Swift – Common

47 Ruby-throated Hummingbird – 2 Disney (Port Orleans)

48 Red-bellied Woodpecker – Commonimg_7734

49 Downy Woodpecker – several in wooded areasimg_7731

50 Hairy Woodpecker – 3 Anastasia Park

51 Black-hooded Parakeet – 2 near Matanzas monumentimg_8037

52 Great Crested Flycatcher – fairly common in scrub areasimg_8093

53 Gray Kingbird – 3 near Matanzasimg_8028

54 Eastern Kingbird – 2 Anastasia Park

55 White-eyed Vireo – 5 birds at Guana Tolomato, adults and this bird I took to be a juv of this species – comments welcomeimg_8109

56 Yellow-throated Vireo – 2 Guana Tolomato

57 Red-eyed Vireo – 4+ Guana Tolomato

58 Blue Jay – fairly commonimg_8068

59 American Crow – Common

60 Fish Crow – Common

61 Purple Martin – Common by bird boxes

62 Barn Swallow – fairly common by coast

63 Tufted Titmouse – fairly common in wooded areas

64 Carolina Wren – 2 Guana Tolomatoimg_8099

65 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – several in wooded areasimg_8091

66 Northern Mockingbird – very common

67 Brown Thrasher – several in brush areasimg_8055

68 Starling

69 Northern Parula – fairly common in wooded areas

70 Pine Warbler – 3 Guana Tolomatoimg_8104

72 Yellow-throated Warbler – 5 Guana Tolomato

73 Eastern Towhee – fairly common at Disneyimg_7718

74 Summer Tanager – 1 Guana Tolomato (excuse the record shot, great looking bird)img_8096

75 Northern Cardinal – very commonimg_8075

76 Painted Bunting – 3 at Anastasia Park, lovely birdsimg_8062

77 Common Grackle – Common

78 Boat-tailed Grackle – Commonimg_8001

79 Red-winged Blackbird – Common

80 House Finch – several Anastasia Parkimg_8085

81 House Sparrow

Thanks for lasting this long!!!!

 

 

 

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