Tuesday, October 23Northwest Lake Okeechobee  “Dr. Martin Stapleton Memorial Birding Trail.” 

Our opening field trip was a blast.  The weather was beautiful and so were the birds.  We started our count on the east side of Lake Istokpoga as we caravanned on the rural drive down to Lake Okeechobee.  Once at the Big O. we noted how it had changed in one short year.  Our last year's hurricane changed the shoreline considerably.  Where we once were able to drive along the shore we were now restricted to the road.  The Jaycee Pier was productive with purple swamp hen and tri-colored heron stealing the show.  For me it was the belted kingfisher.  Then it was on to Okeetanti where we spotted a bald eagle pearched high on a light pole overlooking the Kissimmee River.  Then as if it was told to put on a show for us it flew just over our heads...such joy.   We continued on to Harney Pond for lunch and more species.  The swallows are back.  Thanks to all and looking forward to our next trip.

Thank you Steve Blair for the species list and Jimmy Brogdon for the photos.

Tuesday, October 23— Northwest Lake Okeechobee, Okee-Tanti, Harney Pond Species list  
COMMON NAME
Anhinga
Bald Eagle
Belted Kingfisher
Black Vulture
Blue Gray Gnatcatcher
Boat tailed Grackle
Crested Caracara
Cattle Egret
Common Crow
Common Moorhen
Double-crested Cormorant
Eurasian Collared Dove
Fish Crow
Great Blue Heron
Great White Egret
Laughing Gull
Limpkin
Eastern Meadow Lark
Mocking Bird
Mourning Dove
Osprey
Palm Warbler
Pileated Woodpecker
Purple Swamp Hen
Red Cardinal
Red Shoulder Hawk
Red Winged Black Bird
Rock Dove
Sandhill Crane
Snail Kite
Starling
Tricolor Heron
Turkey Vulture
White Ibis
Wild Turkey
Wood Stork


Tuesday, October 30Hickory Hammock WMA—This was our second time going out to see owls.   Two years ago was our first trip and we saw many owls.  Last year the trail was not passable as a result from Hurricane Irma and the trip was canceled.  Well, sorry to say we did not see any owls on this trip.  There were several alligator hunters out and about in their airboats on the river which may or may not have contributed to the owls absence.  Truth be told, our species list is short.  Next year we shall plan this trip at a different time.  This is not to say we did not have a good time.  Welcome Steve Turner we hope you go on other trips with us.
Species list:
COMMON NAME
American Crow
Belted Kingfisher
Blk Vulture
Crested Caracara
Great Blue Heron
Limpkin
Little Blue Heron
Mourning Dove
Palm Warbler
Red Bellied Woodpecker
Red Cardinal
Tree Sparrow
Black Belly Whistling Duck
Verio


Thursday, November 15Myakka River State Park.

Steve Blair, once again thank you for the species list.  I understand it was quite a nice trip.  Jim Upchurch thank you too for your amazing photos.

                                                                         

Photos and Accounts Fall of 2018 -

Tuesday, December 4, 2018 Scrub Pens Road, STA Spring Lake, Istokpoga Park

The day started out with a rain cloud passing over.  Once everyone was assembled at Dr. Gray's office the fun began.  Dr. Paul Gray of Florida Audubon treated us to a story about how the Chandler family were wardens of the Okeechobee Sanctuary and a line of Chandlers led to him being the holder of the torch. Then it was on to Scrub Pens Road.  The water had dried considerably but we were still amazed at how many species we were able to record.  The Storm Water Treatment loop at Spring Lake helped add to our number of species.  Unfortunately we spotted a Purple Swamp Hen which is a beautiful bird but it doesn't belong here.  At Istokpoga park we added to our list which ended up at 52 species.  Thank you Dale Knapp for keeping our species record.  Thanks also goes to our photographers who submit such beautiful photos.  I wish I could publish them all but we are limited on space.

Sandhill Crane

KestrelEastern MeadowlarkBoat-tailed GrackleKilldeer
Mottled DuckPalm WarblerSavanna SparrowCattle EgretGreat Blue Heron
Greater YellowlegsAnhingaRed-shouldered HawkEurasian Collared DoveCardinal
Mourning DoveE. PhoebeMockingbirdBlack-crowned HeronGround Dove
Blue JayTurkey VultureCommon GrackleRed-winged BlackbirdRed-bellied Woodpecker
Great EgretLittle Blue HeronWhite IbisCatbirdGlossy Ibis
American CrowWood StorkTri-color HeronKingfisherCommon Moorhen
Pied Billed GrebeD. Crested ComorantPurple Swamp HenBald EagleTurkey
CaracaraBlack VulturePileated WoodpeckerOspreyLimpkin
Ring Billed GullTree SwallowWhite-eyed VireoBlue-gray Gnatcatcher Ovenbird
Barred OwlEastern Bluebird














Species List Dec. 4, 2018

 See our Calendar page and trips page for upcoming events.  

Christmas Party - Cowpokes Watering Hole December 7, 2018

It was a grand gathering of members at our annual Christmas Party.  Grand in the fact that we all had a marvelous time.  This year due to the flu and other unavoidable circumstances our group was much smaller.  It didn't matter though because everyone was in good spirits and jovial moods.  We greeted Julie T. a new resident to Sebring and a transplanted Colorado citizen.  Each of us took time to introduce ourselves which allowed us to catch up on what everyone was up-to...I mean what everyone was currently doing with their time.  When it got around to Julie she informed us that she came to be closer to her parents and was looking for an active group to latch on to.  That's us we all informed.  

As the night moved forward there were three Christmas games offered up.  One was interesting in that you had to identify a song by a group of emoji figures.  Example:  an old woman...a runner...and a deer.  This of course is the world famous song "Grandma got Run over by a Reindeer".  The other games were trivia based on Christmas Movies, and unscramble Christmas words or phrases.  

The cake which was purchased from Walmart had our signature Scrub Jays on it and boy was it delish...


Saturday, November 24Lake June-In-Winter Scrub State Park.

A small but very excited group of birders set out to see scrub at its best in Lake June in Winter Scrub State Park.  This park is managed by Highlands Hammock State Park and is kept in excellent shape.  Because of the soft sand through the scrub many people avoid this area but if you want to see redheaded woodpeckers, bald eagles, and scrub jays this is the park to go to.  In addition the group stopped on Lake June In Winter at one of the public areas.  Enjoy the photos and thank you James Brogdon for these amazing shots.

Crested Caracara

American Crow                          Anhinga                                      Bald Eagle                                  Belted Kingfisher                      Black Bellied Whistling Duck   Black Neck Stilt                          Black Vulture                             Blue Wing Teal                Boattailed Grackle                    Caspian Tern                             Cattle Egret                                Crested Caracara                      Double Crested Cormorant    Glossy Ibis                                  Great Blue Heron                      Great Egret                                 Great Yellow Legs                     Green Wing Teal                       Least Sandpiper                     Lesser Yellow Legs                    Limpkin                                       Little Blue Heron                       Osprey                                        Palm Warbler                             Red Shouder Hawk                   Roseatte Spoonbill                   Sandhill Crane                           Snowy Egret                               Tricolor Heron                           Turkey Vulture                           White Ibis                                   Wild Turkey                                Wood Stork