On This Date - 12 Mar (2005) - an early Red-eyed Vireo was at Dunedin Hammock.
As beautiful as Saturday turned out to be Sunday was even better. Bluebird skies, and cool temperatures were the norm and plenty of birders in Pinellas went out to see the sights.
On this page are the highlights from Sunday. Reports came in from both ends of the county and featured birds of prey, a rare wintering warbler, a surprise sparrow, a woodpecker that seems glued to a tree and a seagull that is enjoying the beaches of Tampa Bay.
At left, a Swallow-tailed Kite holds onto a green tree frog to, no doubt, bring to its mate in hopes of impressing her. We can't see why it wouldn't. The photo was taken by Sue Tavaglione at Sawgrass Lake Park , where a pair of dark-morph Short-tailed Hawks have also been seen regularly the past couple of weeks.
Check out some of the others, below.
Way back in early December Dan Irizarry found a first-winter Franklin's Gull along the beach by the Gulf Pier at Fort De Soto Park. Franklin's Gulls are almost annual at the park during the fall season so the sighting wasn't that crazy, just the December date was. Well, this gull changed its coat, spent the winter and is now being seen into the spring season. Dick Cissel found it today (right) first feeding with all the Laughing Gulls south of the pier and then later in the morning by itself at the base of the pier (see photo, below right).
On the last day of the winter season, Feb 28th, Tom & Lindsay Bell saw a woodpecker-like bird fly across the Pinellas Bayway in front of them and land on the side of a tall palm. They turned around and went back to check it out. A juvenile-soon-to-be-adult Red-headed Woodpecker has been hanging onto that same tree ever since. The photo below was taken by Laura Packard today.
Its been an incredible winter for Black Scoters. Many thousands have been seen all around the state and Pinellas County has had its share. As far as what could be found there were only a couple of Pinellas reports of this species in Pinellas County history during the spring season (Mar-May) and none from Fort De Soto Park. Eric Plage reported one on March 1st to erase the Fort De Soto jinx and on some days, like today, up to four have been seen there. The four below (a male at each end and two females in the middle) were photographed from a good distance early this morning by Cissel south and east of the Gulf Pier.
Cynthia Paonessa has been living right. Back on Dec 28th Cynthia discovered a male Wilson's Warbler in her yard. Two months or so later it still finds her yard to its liking. She's sent us numerous photos of it since day one and below left is her shot from Sunday.
One of the things about March is that so many of our wintering birds leave us altogether or mostly so. However, a few Sedge Wren always seem to stick around and May reports/records are not unexpected. Tom Mast found one foraging around the edge of one of the ponds at Possum Branch Preserve on Sunday morning, below right.
Most anyone in American can recognize an adult Bald Eagle, but not so much when it comes to juveniles. Over the next couple of months you should see newly fledged Bald Eagles all around the county with so many nests reported this winter in Pinellas. Dick Snell photo'd the juvenile, below, at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve on Sunday morning,