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Tuesday, February 5 - Celery Fields … Sarasota

A wonderful day to go birding.  Leaving Lake Placid and traveling to Celery Fields yielded many species.  We had a recent rain storm come through and there was a lot of water for the birds to enjoy.  Great egrets abounded as did other common species including a barred owl perched atop a fence post.  Night herons appeared the further we got into Myakka State Park.  We were just driving through to the Celery Fields but true to our state parks there were many wonderful species to enjoy on the way.  A total of 36 species were observed traveling with a grand total of 61 species for the entire trip.  Thank you Dale Knapp and Janet Delaney for keeping our list.  There were two birds of note on this trip.  The first notable one was a Cinnamon Teal.  (the photo of the teal was provided by Mary Keller.)  The next notable bird was an Ash throated flycatcher.  It's been said before and needs to be repeated you really should join us on one of our trips.  A heartfelt shoutout to our faithful drivers Jim and Cathy Howell, Tom and Janet Delaney, Ron Hazelton, and me (Roberta Lake.)  

Species List for Platt Branch 3-11-2019 (Thank you Dale Knapp)

Kestrel          Anhinga          Great Egret          Cattle Egret          Mockingbird          Cardinal          Meadowlark

Blue Jay          Green Heron          Crow          Tree Swallow         Boat Taile Grackle           Mourning Dove     

Scrub Jay          Red-bellied Woodpecker          Ground Dove           Bobwhite Quail          Pine Warbler          

Red-winged Blackbird          Brown Headed Nut Hatch           Ring Billed Gull           Red-cockaded Woodpecker 

Bachman Sparrow          Pileated Woodpecker          Osprey         Crested Caracara          Black Vulture     

Turkey Vulture          Great Crested Fly Catcher          Downy Woodpecker          Black & White Warbler

Vireo          Catbird          Red-headed Woodpecker          Swallow-tailed Kite          Wild Turkey          White Ibis

Species List - Fort DeSoto April 3, 2019 - As always, thank you Dale Knapp for keeping the list.

​Mottled Duck,     Great Egret,     Bald Eagle,     Boat Tailed Grackle,     Mourning Dove,     Black Vulture,     White Ibis,     Kestrel,     Loggerhead Shrike,     Cattle Egret,      American Crow,      Double Crested Cormorant,      Osprey      Laughing Gull,     Fish Crow,     Royal Tern,     Rock Dove,     Brown Pelican,     Forester's Tern,     Starling,     Blue Jay,     Turkey Vulture,     Great Blue Heron,     Western Kingbird,     Black Hooded Parakeet,     Herring Gull,     House Finch,     Willet,     Black and White Warbler,     Mockingbird,     Black Bellied Plover,     Palm Warbler,     Cardinal,     Ring Billed Gull,     Yellow Throated Warbler,     Sanderling,     Yellow Throated Vireo,     Tri Colored Heron,     Semi Palmated Plover     Least Sandpiper,     Merlin,     Short Billed Dowitcher,     Rosette Spoonbill,    American Oystercatcher,     Red-Breasted Merganser,     Common Grackle,     Gray Catbird,     Prairie Warbler,     Dunlin,     Ground Dove,     Ruddy Turnstone,     Little Blue Heron,     Anhinga,     Snowy Egret,     Wood Stork,     Swallow Tailed Kite,     Red Shouldered Hawk,     Black Bellied Whistling Duck,     Tree Swallow,     Great Crested Flycatcher,     Sandhill Crane,     Red Bellied Woodpecker.

Saturday, April 13, 2019 - Royce Unit

Saturday’s trip  to Royce Unit, Lake Wales Ridge WEA, Lake Placid Florida was so rewarding. Seven members arrived at three different times.  This trip was close and some of us had different activities that afternoon so it made sense to just meet up at the Unit.  47 species including a banded sandhill crane with a transmitter and a truly amazing find…a Great White Heron! Thank you, Dale Knapp for going early and finding this fantastic creature. To view the Great White Heron it was necessary to get your feet wet.  This magnificent creature was in an area where FWC had dropped some gravel to repair the area.  This required using a game trail the hogs had made then through a thicket of trees and the a walk toward the other end of the area.  The photos are from afar and not quite the quality we are used to but documentation for sure.  Dave Forman led us to two bluebird boxes, one with eggs, and one with babies. Thank you, Cathy Howell for the photo of the babies. This was our last trip for this season. Check back here the first of June for next year's trips.

Monday, March 4 and Monday, March 11, 2019 Platt Branch 

Wow, that is all I have to say.  What a special time we had.  Thank you so much Steve Shattler for sharing your little piece of heaven with us.  We very much appreciate you accommodating us both days.  Being out in this special area of Florida with its diversity brings one to imagine what the settlers who came to Florida so very long ago must have thought.  From the pines to the oaks and everything in between it was not only enjoyable in its beauty but also in the knowledge gained from Steve.   Notable species included of course the Red-cockaded woodpecker, the brown headed nuthatch, the Bachman sparrow, the Florida Scrub Jay, and one of my favorites the red-headed woodpecker.  Birds were not the only sights to behold.  The spider webs with the sun glistening on them in early morning, the many epiphytes (air-plants), the deer, and wow all the tracks in the sand that prove it's still a wild part of our state.  A special shout-out to Dale Knapp for taking his 4x4 so we could all go to the far ends of the property and he also kept our species list.  You really should join us on one of our trips.  I also need to thank Steve Blair for his photos, Mary Keller for her photos, and Betsy Buck for her photos.

American CrowBlack VultureOspreyRing Billed GullWhite Ibis
Turkey ultureRed-winged BlackbirdGreat EgretCattle EgretMourning Dove
AnhingaKestrelBoat-tailed GrackleStarlingBald Eagle
Blue JayWood StorkKingfisherSandhill CraneEastern Meadowlark
Great Blue HeronEuropean Collared DoveRed Bellied WoodpeckerPileated WoodpeckerDouble Crested Cormorant
MockingbirdCommon MoorhenEastern BluebirdKilldeerLoggerhead Shrike
Blue Gray GnatcatcherRed Shoulder HawkBlue-headed VireoYellow Rump WarblerBarred Owl
Palm WarblerCatbirdCarolina WrenWhite-eyed VireoFish Crow
Tree SwallowBlack and White WarblerGround DoveRuby Throated HummingbirdRosette Spoonbill
Little Blue HeronPurple GallinuleSora RailGlossy IbisBlack-belly Whistling Duck
American CootBlue Wing TealLimpkinTri-colored HeronGreen Heron
Snowy EgretPied-billed GreveBrown PelicanCardinalEastern Phoebe
Forster's TernWhite PelicanPine Warbler** Mottled Duck**Crested Caracara

** Away from group (in route back home)

Friday, January 25, 2019 - Avon Park Air Force Range

This trip was originally scheduled for Thursday but due to really bad weather it was changed to Friday.  Thank you Michelle Dent for being so flexible.  Once again you led our group to some amazing places and what a wonderful day for birding.  Well, almost wonderful.  Some say it was too cold and too windy but the birds cooperated so all is well.  Thank you Dale Knapp for keeping our species list.  Kudos to Susan Volpitta for spotting the American Bittern.  For most of the trip we all agreed that would be our bird of the day then Michelle spotter a Northern Waterthrush.  Wow!  Welcome to Martin and welcome back to Ron.  On top of all that Marian had two lifers, a burrowing owl and the water thrush.  Holy moly, why don't you join us on the next trip and bring a friend.  Oops, I forgot to mention the non-feathered creatures of the otter, one bob-cat, and a very healthy fox squirrel.  More photos will be posted as they come in.

​Species List

Oystercatchers on Nest

Friday, March 15—Lake Apopka North Shore.  We ventured up to Lake Apopka March, 15th 2019. The Lake Apopka Wildlife drive was very enjoyable. Three carloads of members braved the Interstate 4 corridor traffic. 60 plus bird species were observed including a Krider's Red Tailed Hawk.  We had our picnic lunch in Magnolia Park near the entrance to the Wildlife Drive. 

white winged dovering billed gullAmerican Crowboat tailed gracklewhite ibis
mourning dovecommon gracklemockingbirdospreyred-bellied woodpecker
crested caracaragreat egretlimpkinbarred owlkilldeer
wood storkred-winged black birdmeadowlarkkingfisherkestrel
red-shoulder hawkanhingasandhill craneblack vulturestarling
cattle egretdouble crested cormorant loggerhead shrikebald eaglegreat blue heron
Muscovy duckblue jayturkey vulturerobinlittle blue heron 
black-crowned night heronpurple martinmottled ducktri-color heronlesser scaup
pied-billed grebepalm warblercardinalyellow rump warblerblue-gray gnatcatcher
ring necked duckground dovecommon moorhenpurple gallinulegreen heron
blue winged tealcinnamon tealash throated flycatchersnowy egretglossy ibis
sharp shinned hawkphoebehouse sparrowred-tailed hawktree swallow
brown headed cowbird**Florida scrub-jay**black bellied whistling duck
**Viewed after trip was over

LaBelle Walk-Around Species List -  Thank you Dale Knapp for the list.

Species List - Celery Fields Feb. 2019

Thursday, March 14, 2019 - Harney Pond on Lake Okeechobee

Dale Knapp, Susan Volpitta, and I went down to Harney Pond in search of the Smooth Billed Ani.   We all agreed that we would be thrilled if the list we were keeping had the Smooth Billed Ani on it.  Once we got there we looked around for about twenty minutes to no avail.  We had read that the bird was 100 yards past the entry on the lake side.  I called Margaret England from Hendry/Glades Audubon who had a sighting and video recently.  She told us to go to the far end and call it out.  We did.  The wind was howling and we were on foot with no luck.  We went back to the beginning and searched on foot the entire length.  Then we got back in the vehicle and parked where Margaret told us to and called it again.  BAM!!!! Up it came and we all started taking photos, talking a mile a minuet, and celebrating this sighting.  It took three hours but it was well worth it.   This was an unscheduled trip.

Species List  -  Harney Pond March 14, 2019

American Crow     Osprey     Black Vulture     Red-Winged Blackbird     Boat-Tailed Grackle     Great Egret

Mourning Dove     Anhinga     Euro-collared Dove     White Ibis     Wood Stork     Limpkin     Crested Caracara

Tree Swallow     Kestrel     Red-Shoulder Hawk     Red-Belly Wookpecker     Little Blue Heron     Kingfisher

Purple Martin     Laughing Gull     Cardinal     Cormorant     Northern Harrier     Mottled Duck     Brown Pelican

Common Moorhen     Fish Crow     Black-Neck Stilt     Glossy Ibis     Dowitcher     Caspian Tern     Forster's Tern

Snowy Egret     Tri-colored Heron     Purple Swamp Hen     White Pelican     Mockingbird     Palm Warbler

Blue Jay     Rough-Winged Swallow     Wild Tukey     Bald Eagle     Starling    Sandhill Crane     SMOOTH BILLED ANI​.  

Thursday, February 14 - Circle B Bar Reserve - A perfect Valentine's Day trip.  The weather was phenomenal and so too was the birding.  A total of 63 species.  Once again, Thank you Dale Knapp for keeping the list.  Twenty-five people from our group either walked or took the tram tour.  Hats off to Helen Obenchain, 88 years young walking the Alligator Alley trail all the way.  There were so many good photos taken that they can't all be posted.  It is my recommendation that you go directly to Circle B Bar Reserve and witness for yourself the many wonders it presents.  

​​Photos and Accounts 2019

Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - Blaire Audubon Corkscrew Sanctuary 

An absolutely beautiful day with 17 eager members heading to the sanctuary spotting 20 (+) species while driving.  Once there we were greeted by Sally and Beth who divide the group up for our trips.  One group headed for the boardwalk while the other climbed aboard the swamp buggy.  At lunch we all came back together to compare notes.  One group boasted that there were four adorable raccoons on the boardwalk and the other talked about deer in the path of the swamp buggy.  Others quietly talked about the birds and how they loved coming to Corkscrew each year.  A total of 55 species were observed with the most notable being a yellow-crowned night heron.  Maybe you should join us for one of our field trips.

Species List for Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive.  Once again thank you Dale Knapp for keeping the list.

White Ibis,     Mockingbird,     Ring Billed Gull,     Fish Crow,     House Sparrow,     Boat Tailed Grackle,     

Swallow Tailed Kite,     Anhinga,     Limpkin,     Little Blue Heron,     Red Winged Blackbird,     Tri-colored Heron,

Mallard,      Mourning Dove,     Starling,         Osprey,     Blue Jay,      Red Belly Woodpecker,     Bald Eagle,

Wood Stork,     Great Blue Heron,     Black Vulture,     Meadowlark,     Glossy Ibis,     Great Egret,     Cattle Egret,

Sandhill Crane,     Red-shoulder Hawk,     Rock Dove,     Cardinal,     American Coot,     Turkey Vulture,

Tree Swallow,     Blue-wing Teal,     Mottled Duck,     Common Moorhen,      Yellow Rump Warbler,     Palm Warbler,

Krider's Red-Tail Hawk,     Pied Billed Grebe,     Northern Harrier,     Cormorant,     Purple Gallinule,     Snowy Egret,

Rufous Sided Towhee,     Carolina Wren,     Common Yellowthroat,     Yellow Warbler,     Painted Bunting,

Kingfisher,     Green Heron,    Ring necked Ducks,     Common Grackle,     Eastern Bluebird,     American Crow,

Red-tailed Hawk,     Pileated Woodpecker,     Tufted Titmouse,     Kestrel,     *Northern Parula,  *Catbird, 

Friday, March 22Buck Island Ranch Buggy Tour - The morning started out rather chilly.  Seventeen eager Audubon adventurers struck out for the Swamp Buggy tour of Buck Island Ranch.  Thank you Dustin for the educational information as to how this working ranch functions.  Not only is it a working ranch but it is also a scientific study through Archbold Biological Station and a collection of data that will help develop best practices among other needed recommendations concerning water in the Upper Everglades.  A piece of good news is that Archbold no longer leases the property they now own it.  As we traversed the property many species of birds were noted.  Thank you Tom and Janet for our species list.  If you get the chance it is a wonderful trip for minimum group of eight to take at a nominal cost.  Contact Archbold Biological Station for details.

Species List Buck Island Ranch March 22, 2019 

Mourning Dove,     white winged dove,     common grackle,     ring billed gull,     kestrel,     meadowlark,     red winged black bird,     osprey,     great blue heron,     cattle egret,     crow,     crested caracara,     red shouldered hawk,     limpkin,     sandhill crane,     anhinga,     great egret,     tree swallow,     little blue heron,     common morehen,     crested fly catcher,     red bellied woodpecker,     merlin,     snail kite,     black vulture,     wood stork,     mocking bird, swallow tailed kite,     glossy ibis,     Carolina wren,     northern cardinal,     barred owl,     black and white warbler,     palm warbler,     white ibis,     house sparrow

Photos of the Buck Island Ranch trip to follow.  When I get them I'll post them.  

Tuesday, March 27, 2019 - Six Mile Cypress and Hickey Creek Mitigation Park 

Eight of us headed out for Six Mile Cypress boardwalk in Lee County.  Our experience this year was less than we hoped for.  The boardwalk had a section closed and there was high water in the area thus our sightings at this park were down from previous years.  As a group we decided to travel back toward home and stop at Hickey Creek Mitigation Park for lunch.  Well, lunch ended and a serious hike searching for additional birds ensued.  Although there were not many species added here the experience reminded us that summer is almost here.  Temps were in the mid eighties and the airconditioned ride home was welcomed by all.

Species List - Six Mile Cypress and Hickey Creek - Thank you Dale Knapp for this list.

ring-billed gull,     fish crow,     (great) common egret,     double crested cormorant,     osprey     blue jay,     crested caracara,     boat tailed grackle,     scrub jay,     Eurasian collar dove     loggerhead shrike,     anhinga,     black neck stilt,     kestrel,     mourning dove,     cattle egret,     American crow,     black crowned night heron,     red shoulder hawk,     mockingbird,     black vulture,     starling,     great blue heron,     snowy egret,     wood stork,     white winged dove,     white ibis,      red belly woodpecker,     northern cardinal,     red winged blackbird,     wood duck,     little blue heron,     limpkin,     common yellow throat,     black, and white warbler,     tufted titmouse,     bald eagle,     swallow tailed kite,     green heron,     Carolina wren,     palm warbler,     downy woodpecker,     mottled duck,     meadow lark,  catbird,     pileated woodpecker,     turkey vulture,     northern parula,     great crested flycatcher,     sandhill crane,        common grackle,     common moorhen,     kingfisher,     tree swallow.  ​54 species  

 Fort DeSoto Birdathon - Wednesday, April 3, 2019 

Eight dedicated birders left Highlands County at 6:00 in the morning to travel west to Ft. DeSoto Park.  The reason for the early departure was to arrive near the time the birds would become active.  Our trip originally scheduled for Tuesday was rescheduled due to inclement weather.  Although the trip had some memorable sightings including a "lifer" for some of us it was not as good as the previous year.  Last year 79 species this year 62.  There were ten new this year however, missing were 27 from the year before when both list were compared.  Thank you Dale Knapp for the details.  Many birders attend the park this time of the year and the local experts said that the main migratory bird arrival would be in another week or maybe even two.  For this reason it may be best to plan next year's trip to tale place the second week of April.  The yellow throated vireo with its bright yellow spectacles was my lifer.  

Thank you to all who contributed photos of our trip to Corkscrew.  One of the stops on the buggy trip was where a mother alligator was guarding her young.  It was interesting to watch her herd them and place her body between our buggy and her young.  

ospreyboat-tailed grackleturkey vulturemourning doveAmerican crow
white ibisscrub jaykestrelmockingbirdred shouldered hawk
white wing dovesandhill cranepileated woodpeckerlimpkinbelted kingfisher
cardinalgreat egretCarolina wrenwhit-eyed vireoyellow rump warbler
anhingablack vulturegreat blue heroneastern phoebetree swallow
cattle egretmeadowlarklittle blue heronmottled duckgreater yellowlegs
tri-colored heronglossy ibispalm warblerred-winged blackbird snowy egret
double crested cormorantcommon moorhenAmerican bitternmarsh wrencommon yellow-throat 
swamp sparrowbald eaglewood storkdowny wood peckerbarred owl
blue gray gnat catcherpine warblerred bellied woodpeckerwild turkeyeastern bluebird
eastern towhee ground doveyellow bellied sap suckerrobinshrike
blue jaywood duckblack and white warblerkilldeergufted titmouse
northern waterthrushcrested caracararing billed gull


Saturday, February 23, 2019 - Highlands Hammock State Park

A nearly perfect day to be outdoors.  As always Florida's State Parks came through.  This park of course is special to Highlands Audubon because one of our projects is to build a viewing structure near the scrub for visitors to admire our Florida scrub jays that call this their home.  Thank you to everyone who attended for being loyal birders.  A special thanks to Jimmy Brogdan for his photos and his knowledge of where to find some of our nearly 40 species spotted.  A few other species were observed i.e., two otters, two snakes, flowers, plants, and a ton of human visitors.  

Not all wildlife flew - Raccoon

Ring Billed GullMocking BirdBoat-tailed GrackleCommon GrackleMourning Dove
OspreyScrub JayAmerican CrowSandhill CraneNorthern Harrier
Black VultureAnhingaD/B CormorantLimpkinGreat Blue Heron
MeadowlarkWord StorkCaracaraGreat EgretBlack Crowned Night Heron
ShrikeKestrelRed-shouldered HawkBlue JayRed-bellied Wood Pecker
Tree SwallowTurkey VultureBelted KingfisherBlue/Gray Gnat CatcherPalm Warbler
Great Crested FlycatcherPileated WoodpeckerCardinalCatbirdYellow Throat Warbler
Pine WarblerWhite IbisYellow-rump WarblerRuby Throated Humming BirdStarling
Painted BuntingIndigo BuntingAmerican CootCommon MoorhenLittle Blue Heron
Snowy EgretAnhingaCattle EgretRed-Tailed HawkRock Dove
Pied-billed GreveTricolored HeronWhite winged doveKilldeerMuscovy Duck*

Thursday January 17, 2019 - LaBelle Walk Around

Ten very excited members headed toward LaBelle in Hendry County.  On the way we captured 20+ species.  The weather was chilly at first but quickly warmed into one of Florida's most beautiful winter days.  Starting in Bob Mason Park on the north side of the Caloosahatchee River and migrating to River Bend Park we thoroughly enjoyed all the birds including these silly Muscovy ducks that were spotted of all places in a tree???  What is up with that?  We normally do not include Muscovy ducks in out species count which ended up being 55.  Once we crossed the river Margaret England of Hendry/Glades Audubon met us and was gracious enough to take us to her amazing bird feeder back yard which backs up to an oxbow and the LaBelle Nature Park.  Margaret treated us to her buntings both painted and indigo.  Then it was off again to a lake where our trip ended.  Lunch at Foyer's restaurant then the drive home.  Won't you please plan on joining us on a trip.  

Cinnamon Teal

Species List for Royce Unit - Courtesy of Dale Knapp

Kestrel,     Mockingbird,     Eastern Meadowlark,     Osprey,     Red-winged Blackbird,     Little Blue Heron,     Mottled Duck,     Sandhill Crane,     Boat-tailed Grackle,     Common Yellowthroat,     Cardinal,     American Crow,     Mourning Dove,     Geat Crested Flycatcher,     Wood Duck,     Red-bellied Woodpecker,     Ground Dove,     Gray Catbird,     White-eyed Vireo,​     Great White Heron,     Wild Turkey,     Red-shouldered Hawk,     Great Blue Heron,     Turkey Vulture,     Blue Jay,     Northern Parula Warbler,     Pileated Woodpecker,     Swallow-tailed Kite,     White Ibis,     Western Kingbird,     Black Vulture,     Pine Warbler,     Blue/Gray Gnatcatcher,     Bobwhite Quail,     Bald Eagle,     Anhinga,     Black and White Warbler,     Tufted Titmouse,     Ruby-throated Humminbird,     Yellow-throated Warbler,     Eastern Bluebird,     Great Horned Owl,     N. Rough-winged Swallow,     Common Grackle,     Starling,     Cattle Egret.

Species List