Getting Back Out There!

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.

Female Painted Bunting with seed.