February was a busy month. With a lot going on at my job and at home I didn’t have time to get out into nature, but this weekend I finally had a chance. I was rewarded with two new species for my life list and three for my year list. I watched my first Snail Kite skimming over the river of sawgrass in the Chekika area of the Everglades. Later I saw my first Painted Bunting at Castellow Hammock Park in South Miami-Dade County. She was a beautiful yellow-green. I also watched some White-winged doves cautiously enjoying a meal at one of the bird feeders at Castellow. These were a first for 2011. All in all it was a rather light birding day. I noticed that Lake Chekika was a lot dryer than it was during my previous visits, and am wondering if the South Florida birding season is beginning to wind down. Nevertheless I saw some new birds and was able to get some shots of species I hadn’t been able to photograph in the past.
European Starling peeking out from the birdhouse he has claimed for himself.
White-winged Dove perched on a bird feeder eying me cautiously. Notice the bright blue eye-ring.
Belted Kingfisher – one of my favorites. I finally got one to sit still enough for a photo.