Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

This morning I found an hour to walk through the nature trails at Bill Sadowski Park in Palmetto Bay, Florida. It was a relaxing stroll, and my freshly-applied insect repellent seemed to have the mosquitoes baffled. I was greeted at the trail entrance be three Indian Peafowl. I observed an exciting squirrel fight up in the tree tops. I watched a lazy raccoon sleeping in the branches of a banyan tree. The trees were alive with bird calls of many different different types, most of which I never saw. I did see Northern Mockingbirds, Blue Jays, Northern Cardinals, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and some Northern Parulas, the latter two being firsts for my Year List and Life List. I managed to capture a couple photos of a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher that seemed worthy of posting.

He didn’t stay put for long.  I was lucky to get these shots.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea)


What You Talking About Willet?

This year our summer vacation was to Jacksonville and St. Augustine in an area the locals refer to as Florida’s First Coast.  The main reason we were there was to visit the historical sites, but I hoped to get some bird watching in as well.  It turns out that there is so much interesting history in that area that we will have to plan a second trip if we want to see the rest. We squeezed as much in as we could during the three days we were there, and that meant there was no time for me to wander off in pursuit of my feathery finds.  One morning we did make it to the beach and we were fortunate to share it with a couple of shore birds, who like us were crazy enough to brave the 100 degree heat.  I saw my first Willet, which confidently strutted back and forth along the water’s edge.  Later a single Ruddy Turnstone arrived to poke around the tide pools.  Enjoy the photos.

Willet (Tringa semipalmata)

Foraging in the shallows.

Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) Adult, Breeding Plumage

These guys are a little bit camera shy.