Birding Trip, Feb 15, ’08

My local Audubon Society chapter is sponsoring a five-day Birds of the Treasure Coast course. Hosted by our Executive Director, Greg Braun, the purpose of the course is “to present experienced birders with new opportunities to learn more about the birds that are present in Martin County and Florida’s Treasure Coast.” Today was the first session. In addition to studying birds through binoculars I took quite a few photos. A few appear below, but there are almost 40 more, larger, photos on my gallery.

We started the day birding around Indian Riverside Park, which doesn’t seem to have a Website. It’s a public park on — you guessed it — the Indian River, in Jensen Beach, Florida, about 8 miles from home. It’s mostly landscaped for aesthetics, but there is a large pond, and the river attracts anhingas, cormorants and ospreys. We identified 23 bird species in and around the park. Here’s a Green Heron hiding in the rushes waiting for its breakfast to swim past.

Green Heron, Indian Riverside Park

After a session on bird identification, we drove about 60 miles (96 km) south to Delray, Florida, to the Wakodahatchee Wetlands. Thanks to a generous Prius owner, I didn’t have to drive. Wakodahatchee is a created wetlands, on ground once part of the Everglades. We identified 26 bird species there, some of which we’d seen in the morning at Indian Riverside Park. But there were several others, including a few I hadn’t seen before, like the Roseate Spoonbill, and nestling anhingas and Great Blue Herons. I have photos of them on the gallery.

A Great Blue Heron doing a balancing act on a nesting platform:

Great Blue Heron, Wakodahatchee Wetlands

A male Blue Winged Teal:

Blue Winged Teal, Wakodahatchee Wetlands

A lively discussion ensued while we tried to identify a female Blue Winged Teal (see the gallery), which is similar in appearance to the Mottled Duck, which we also saw. I have photos of both for comparison.

Finally, here’s a Little Blue Heron chasing fish:

Little Blue Heron, Wakodahatchee Wetlands

From Wetlands this week, we’re going to an Uplands habitat next week, where we hope to see Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers.

Tags: ,

Comments are closed.