Sue Tavaglione and JoAnna Clayton surveyed the entire Sawgrass Lake Park property today, including an area in which there is restricted access and wouldn't you know it - they found a Western Kingbird. Sue's photo is at left.
Yours truly has had a special yard bird the past two evenings - an Eastern Whip-poor-will. Who would have ever thought one would be flying around in a typical, Leave It To Beaver-type residential neighborhood? Not me. But it showed up two evenings in a row. So, now I must wonder if it will over-winter.
Friday, Nov 21st - Whether you get out to a county park - like Dale Goebel and Mike & Cheri Judd did today - or stick around the house and just look up - like JoAnna Clayton did this morning - there's birds to be seen and discoveries to be made. Palm Warbler photo by D.Goebel and Short-tailed Hawks photo by J.Clayton. Both taken today.
Saturday, Nov 22nd - When meeting up with John & Ivy Gibbons at the Fort De Soto Park boat ramp today we came across a 1st-winter Great Cormorant, pictured below. A boat docking at the ramp scared off the cormorant and all the terns and gulls nearby. The cormorant flew east and under the Bunces Pass Bridge (which is the first bridge after the Tierra Verde duck ponds). When I left the park a bit later I found it perched on a channel marker just east of said bridge. The marker is the first one you see off to the left just as you start to cross the Bunces Pass Bridge from the north. It was seen again, still on that channel marker, at 3:45 by Troy & Nicole Ploger. Unfortunately, the bird has a hook stuck in its face, right in front of its right eye. Note the white chin, lack of yellow in the lores and the white belly.
It was also a day for finding cool sparrows. Tim Kalbach had a Saltmarsh Sparrow at Honeymoon Island State Park, Dale Goebel photographed a Grasshopper Sparrow at Possum Branch Preserve (see bottom right photo), and yours truly photographed a White-crowned Sparrow at Fort De Soto Park.
Other noteworthy birds around the county today included an American Pipit Kalbach heard and saw flying overhead at Honeymoon island and a white-morph Snow Goose Pete & Eric Plage saw 9and photographed! in flight at the north end of Fort De Soto Park and over TampaBay Watch on Tierra Verde.