Saturday, March 25 - Flamingos - John Stretch Park and STA2. The day was so windy but the temperature was close to perfect. Eighteen of us ventured down Highway 27 on our quest to see flamingos. We stopped at John Stretch Park just south of Clewiston to have lunch and do some birding. Straight out of the vehicles a merlin perched in a tree with such dignity. A walk around the park allowed us the usual. The spillway to Lake Okeechobee gave us brown pelicans and other shore birds. Some of our group climbed the embankment of the Hoover dike to see the Big O. Then off to STA2. Our trip was dusty and the caravan was long. Others joined our group but fortunately our group led the way. A great big thank you to Rick, Susan, Dee, and David. A sighting of nine pink birds flying high and in formation at the end of the trip could have been flamingos, or could have been spoonbills. Rick sent a follow-up email showing a comparison of the two in flight. This is a trip worth taking.
Red-breasted Merganser Magnificent Frigatebird Double-crested Cormorant
Anhinga Brown Pelican Great Blue Heron Great Egret Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron Cattle Egret White Ibis Glossy Ibis Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture Osprey Red-shouldered Hawk Sandhill Crane
Black-bellied Plover Killdeer Ruddy Turnstone Willet Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull Great Black-backed Gull Forster's Tern Royal Tern
Black Skimmer Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) Common Ground-Dove
Mourning Dove Belted Kingfisher Red-bellied Woodpecker Crested Caracara
American Kestrel Loggerhead Shrike Fish Crow Tree Swallow
American Robin Northern Mockingbird European Starling Red-winged
Blackbird Eastern Meadowlark Boat-tailed Grackle
Number of Taxa: 43 - Ft. Pierce Inlet State Park Jan 2017
Saturday, April 22, 2017 Alafia Bank Bird Sanctuary, Tampa Bay and Alafia River - Ann Paul Guide. Eleven of our society were on this trip. There were two boats and two amazing guides. Ann Paul and Carol Cassels were our boat captains. More importantly they were our teachers. The day was warm and the river and bay were calm. Birds sighted included but were not limited to spoonbills, pelicans, oyster catchers, white and glossy ibis, least terns, laughing gulls, and the beautiful yellow-crowned night-heron. Some were nesting with young, some were resting on their migration journey all were a welcomed sight. The group I traveled with had 43 species noted.
Saturday May 20, 2017 Get-together Luncheon - Christian Church Fellowship Hall Everyone had a great time. A wonderful way to celebrate the closing of the season. Thank you Dale for your lovely slide shows. The one with inspirational sayings was spot on.
April 1, 2017 - Earth Day at Highlands Hammock State Park. This was the first year the park had activities for Earth Day and although it is actually celebrated on April 22 this day was equally special.
Photos by Jim Upchurch
Julie Henderson TEEHEE
Friday, March 17, 2017 - Lake Kissimmee State Park Pontoon Boat Tour Temperatures in the 40's at launch time but no one was going to miss this trip. There were jackets, gloves, hats, and lap blankets to keep us warm. Captain Fred agreed to go slow so as not to have a lot of cold wind. Right off the dock we saw a snowy egret and just after launch Carol spotted a purple gallinule. Further down the way bald eagles, and a few limpkins were viewed. Once out on the lake snail kites came in to view. All in all there were close to 30 species viewed from the boat. A highlight for this birder was the swallow-tailed kite soaring just above our heads on the way back in.
An additional highlight was the celebration of Helen Obenchain's 86th birthday.
Photos by Mary Keller
Wednesday and Thursday April 5th and 6th. Six-Mile Cypress, Ding Darling, Lighthouse, Bailey Tract. This overnight trip was truly a treat. Thirteen of us wandered around for two days looking at over 60 species. One highlight was the forty plus frigate birds flying together. Jim Upchurch got his photo of a reddish egret and I enjoyed the black-necked stilts. There will be more photos posted when they are processed.
Saturday , January 14, 2017– STA 5/6 A late start required our group to go it alone. It was a good day of birding with 66 species spotted. A different group posted 74 species. Both list had the Gray Kingbird, the Tropical Kingbird, the Neotropical Cormorant and the Smooth-billed Ani on their list. STA 5/6 is a wonderful place to visit and our chapter will probably return again next year.
Photos by R. Lake
Click on photos and scroll down for more accounts.
Our Jaywatch Team for July 2017 Ranger Andrea and Ruth not in photos.
Photos by Lee Miles
Photos and Accounts 2017
Thursday, January 26, 2017 Ft Pierce Inlet State Park and Avalon State Recreation Area. The day was absolutely beautiful with abundant sun and warmth. While most of the country was in the midst of winter we were enjoying a fantastic day on the coast. There were about 30 of us. Some new, most regulars, but all had a wonderful time. Thanks to Dale and Mike Knapp for scouting the area prior to our arrival and suggesting our lunch spot. 44 plus species were spotted and that was without any warblers or other small birds. A lifer for me was the Great Black-Backed gull seen on a sandbar during lunch. The Red Breasted Merganser duck seemed out of place but delighted us none-the-less.
These seven photos were taken by Mia Keriazes during our July Jaywatch Click on each photo for a larger view.
Friday, January 6, 2017—Lake Istokpoga & Royce Unit. Windy Point, Peace Pond, and Istokpoga Park. It was a beautiful day to go birding. Warm temperatures aided in spotting 53 species. Our trip started at peace pond where a magnificent red tailed hawk was spotted. shortly after Dale Knapp was kind enough to flush a snipe. The photo only shows him pointing to where it went. Boy do they move fast. A walk to the Lake Istokpoga shore where Josephine Creek comes in gave us a look at a bald eagle. Lunch at Windy Point and Istokpoga park completed the day.
Wednesday, February 15, 2017 – Payne’s Creek Historic State Park and Solomon’s Castle Our group wasn't large but, it was a good group. We expected rain however, it never materialized. It was very windy and thus the reason for the limited bird sightings, Bob ( a guide associated with the State Park) did a good job describing the flora as we went through the park. Solomon's Castle finished the day. Lunch and a tour of the Castle kept everyone together. Our new magnetic signs are awesome...thanks Carol, YOU ROCK!!!
Tuesday, February 28, 2017—Kissimmee Prairie State Park. Thank you Dr. Paul Gray for a wonderful and educational day. A small group, meeting on the General Store's porch, learned of the area and its significance as part of Florida's History. Then a caravan of cars proceeded to the Prairie. Land contrasts of then and now were brought to our attention. The importance of fire was stressed as undeveloped land that had controlled burns vs. private lots not burned were compared. Dr. Gray took us onto a pond area (dry season access) and pointed out the small sun dew plant and the different subtle elevation changes. Then it was on to a short walk down to the seven-mile-slough. Whew, there sure were some huge alligators sunning themselves along the bank. Most bird sightings were here where there was water.
July, 2017 - Jaywatch activities at Lake June In Winter Scrub State Park. The weather was hot, humid, and unrelenting. Andrea Nelson our Ranger Guide was awesome. We had two full days with her in the north end of the park. This part of the park is only 1.2 miles by .75 miles. On the first day Andrea's four wheel drive pick up took us (Susan Volpitta, and me) from the picnic area north then looped east and returned to the starting point. 12 stations were observed with more jays that expected. The second day we were joined by Ruth, Georgia, and Mia. Georgia and Mia are mother and daughter. Mia is 15 and delighted us with her youthful abilities. Many of the spots were by her and her mother. The third day was cut short by technical issues. Ruth our ranger guide did however show Susan and me a blue gray gnatcatcher nest with 3 babies inside. This was so special. I'll try to locate photos and post separately. Thanks to everyone for a hot, humid, and special week in the Florida Scrub. RDL
Human Photos by Roberta Lake.
Photos by Steve Blair
Tuesday, February 7, 2017 Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge and Green Cay Boynton Beach There is an old saying....What starts out bad ends up good. I'm not going to profess that it makes sense scientifically but it did happen on this trip. Thank you Rick Schofeld for saving our day. The board walk at Loxahatchee produced only 9 species. Rick recommended we go to Green Cay and BINGO the species count went way up. One of our birders collected a lifer (a sora) and I saw my first immature purple gallinule. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
Pelican, Red-Breasted Merganser, Ruddy Turnstone photos by Sue Corbett
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 – Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary & Blair Audubon What a wonderful day to be birding in Florida. We met Sally Stein our guide and started out on the two mile boardwalk. Thirteen of us walked and talked as Sally told us of the many splendid attributes of Corkscrew. She discussed the fact that it was an unusually dry year and that the water levels were way down. This fact made it apparent that a whole lot of wildlife will be found at the lake. One of the fascinating sights was a banded water snake sticking out of a log with an exotic fish in its mouth. We watched and watched but the snake could not swallow the fish. An egret and anhinga stood by waiting and watching too. Further down the walk we were privy to a sleeping Barred Owl. Altogether from beginning to end of trip 42 species were noted. Thanks to all who attended and sent pictures. There are so many photos I'll post most but certainly not all.
Lake Placid Country Fair - Audubon Booth
Photos by Jim Upchurch
Photos by R. Lake
Photos by Sue Corbett
Tuesday January 17, 2017 General Meeting - Guest Speaker Ann Paul The attendance was up without advertising our guest speaker. Ann Paul's popularity was the draw. What an amazing conservationist. Not only did she remind us of how far Audubon has come with her historical photo presentation but she also gave us the heads up on how far we still have to go for our birds and our environment. The meeting was equally productive with a consensus vote to provide County Commissioners with a preliminary resolution to rewrite retaining its essence to forward to our lawmakers in Tallahassee in support of Amendment 1 land acquisition monies being spent in accordance with the voter's intent. In addition the covered dish gets better each meeting. Kudos to our home chefs.
Human photos by R Lake
Photos by Susan Corbett