Friday, October 21, 2011

Unique Birders

Today the On Top Of the World (OTOW) Unique Birders had their first field trip of the season. A dozen birders met at the nearby Shalom Park at 8:30 this morning. The weather was cool, but the sun was shinning and the skies were bright blue. Anne Merrick lead the trip down and around the various garden paths that criss-cross the well-manicured grounds.

It was difficult getting our resident birding expert Norm Lentz (far right) to put down his binoculars long enough to take this group shot.

This is the underside of a Yellow-throated Warbler. It's a lousy picture - but it sure shows how this small bird got his colorful name!

Action shot! We watched this Eastern Phoebe for quite a while while he scooted around looking for insects on a dead limb. According to Donald and Lillian Stokes' Field Guide to Birds, "25% or more of phoebe nests are parasitized by cowbirds."

Another shot of the Eastern Phoebe sitting high and mighty.

I believe this is a Palm Warbler. Norm adds "This [Palm Warbler] is a good, crisp representation of the Western (Brown) variant in non-breeding plumage. The Eastern variant is yellow in all plumages. Both are common in Florida during the winter (non-breeding) season."

He was shopping in the moss and it looks like he has some stuck on his beak.

This looks like a Northern Parula - but that wasn't on our list, so it probably isn't. * Norm confirms my identification and Northern Parula Warbler has been added to our list.

I love the adorable Tuffted Titmice.

It was difficult getting a good shot of this Red-bellied Woodpecker with the sun in the background.

The State Bird of Florida, the Northern Mockingbird. We saw quite a few on our walk. This one was enjoying the beautiful bright purple berries on the Beautyberry bush.

I thought I was going to have to crawl under the bushes to get a decent shot of this Brown Thrasher. He was hunting in the leaves for a meal of insects, lizards, snakes, or berries.

The Eastern Bluebirds are not as blue this time of the year as they are in the Spring - but they are still beautiful. We have lots of them in our backyard.

After our walk we went to the Oasis Restaurant for brunch, and compiled our list of the 25 birds seen on our walk. Nice outing! Thanks everyone!

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