Bill and I spent a day birding around Sarasota with the Caloose Bird Club. We started at Ackerman Park before moving on to the Celery Fields Regional Stormwater Facility and several small lakes in the area and finished up at the Myakka River State Park. The official club count of different species sighted that day was over 70. I identified over 50 different species including several birds I had never seen before. Most, I would have never spotted, let alone identified, if I had not been with so many friendly and knowledgeable birders.
This is a large flock of Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks that are native to Texas and rarely seen on the east coast.
I'm sure I've seen a Savannah Sparrow before but had no clue what it was.
I was very excited to be the first one in the club to spot this Sora, a type of rail. I had to have help with identification as I had never seen a rail before. Soras are small chickenlike birds that feed along the edges of water - hiding in the weeds looking for aquatic insects and seeds.
The club had lunch at Myakka River State Park, where I saw this beautiful Limpkin hunting for snails. S/He took this one back to the two babies hiding in the tall grass. I'm sure the snail was as much a treat for them as just seeing them was for me.