Four, 4x4 trucks, filled with excited members ventured onto Platt Branch led by Steve Shattler of FWC. The day was chilly with way too much wind for a successful birding day but in spite of the circumstances we managed to see 32 species. Notable among the sightings were Brown-headed nuthatches, Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, and an amazing flyover by a Crested Caracara.
Steve Shattler is doing such an amazing job with the property. He has been able to put in quite a bit of shell-rock for added vehicle access. In addition he knows every bit of what goes on there and in the adjacent land. His knowledge of the history of Platt Branch interests everyone. Steve told us of home sites long gone and possible archaelogical treasures from the pioneer settlers who worked the turpentine trade. We had all packed a lunch but decided that a trip to a local restaurant would be more comfortable then eating in the cold and wind. So, off we went to Jaxsons on Lake June. Maybe you will join us on one of our trips.
Species List provided by Dale Knapp
Black Vulture...Osprey...Kestrel...Red-shouldered Hawk...Scrub Jay...Mourning Dove...Brown-headed Nuthatch...Red-cockaded Woodpecker...Red-bellied Woodpecker...Pine Warbler...Crested Caracara...Blue-headed Vireo...Wood Stork...Black & White Warbler...Eastern Phoebe...Rufous-sided Towhee...Great Crested Flycatcher...Northern Flicker...Ground Dove...Hairy Woodpecker...Great Blue Heron...Tree Swallow...Cattle Egret...Great Egret...Boat-tailed Grackle...Ring-billed Gull...Mockingbird...Cedar Waxwing...Eurasian Collared Dove...American Crow...House Sparrow...Turkey Vulture
Ring-billed Gull - Osprey - Boat-tailed Grackle - Double-crested Cormorant - Kestrel - Cattle Egret - American Crow - Anhinga - Great Blue Heron - Great Egret - Wood Stork - Crested Caracara - Red-shouldered Hawk - Black Vulture - Mourning Dove - White Ibis - Snowy Egret - Blue Jay - Kingfisher - Red-bellied Woodpecker - Northern Mockingbird - Sandhill Crane - Starling - House Sparrow - Rock Dove - Eurasian Collared Dove - Turkey Vulture - Little Blue Heron - Wild Turkey - Pied-billed Grebe - Meadowlark - Killdeer - Limpkin - Loggerhead Shrike - Tree Swallow - Cedar Waxwing - Robin - Common Grackle - Brown-headed Cowbird - Cardinal - Catbird - Painted Bunting - Indigo Bunting - yellow-rumped Warbler - Great Horned Owl - Pileated Woodpecker - Pine Warbler - Brown-headed Nuthatch - Flicker - Downy Woodpecker - Great-crested Flycatcher - Ground Dove - Eastern Phoebe - Summer Tanager - American Redstart - Purple Gallinule - Yellow-throated WArbler - Blue Gray Gnatcatcher - White-eyed Vireo - Red-winged Blackbird - Carolina Wren - Green Heron - Black-crowned Night Heron - Roseate Spoonbill - Glossy Ibis - Common Gallinule - Tri-colored Heron - Fish Crow - Bald Eagle - Scrub Jay.
This amazing trip started at 7:00 in Lake Placid Florida with 17 very excite people. Some had never been to Corkscrew while others are repeat visitors. Our trip driving down was productive, because we spotted 35 species of birds before we pulled into the parking lot. When we pulled into the parking lot we were greeted by a tree full of Cedar Waxwings. it just got better from there because Sally Stein always shows our group something special. Last year we took a swamp-buggy trip (and boardwalk) with amazing results. This year we were taken to a southern entrance and walked along a trail through habitat not seen by the general public until we reached the boardwalk. The day was hot an humid. I'm not sure if that was a factor but we sure saw the birds. Notable sightings included a Summer Tanager, an American Redstart, as mentioned the Cedar Waxwings and favorite of mine thee Great Horned Owl perched near the nest he and its mate took from the Bale Eagles who built it.
We only sited 46 Species as Margaret England led us about. The day was windy but we did see some good birds. Most notable was a painted bunting among the shrub in Margaret's back yard.
There was a Great Egret spotted along with the usual Central Florida birds. Thank you Dale for keeping the list.
Ring-billed Gull - Osprey - Boat-tailed Grackle - Mockingbird - Mourning Dove - Tree Swallow - Caracara - Red-shouldered Hawk - Black Vulture - Meadowlark - Great Egret - Double-crested Cormorant- Great Blue Heron - Cattle Egret - Anhinga - Wood Stork - Turkey Vulture - Green Heron - Black-crowned Night Heron - American Crow - Sandhill Crane - Catbird - Red-bellied Woodpecker - Kestrel - Fish Crow - Eastern Phoebe - Cardinal - Blue Jay - White Ibis - Robin - Limpkin - Brown Pelican - Blue-headed Vireo - Palm Warbler - Great Crested Flycatcher - Yellow-rump Warbler - Blue-gray gnatcatcher - Pileated Woodpecker - Kingfisher - Tri-color Heron - Red-winged Blackbird - Painted Bunting - White-wing Dove - Pied-billed Grebe - Glossy Ibis - Little Blue Heron
Bird of the Day was a Peregrine Falcon
Mottled Duck - Northern Bobwhite - Osceola Wild Turkey - Common Ground Dove -
Mourning Dove - Common Gallinule - Limpkin - Sandhill Crane - Killdeer - Ring-billed Gull
Forster's Tern Wood Stork Anhinga Double-crested Cormorant Great Blue Heron
Great Egret Little Blue Heron Tricolored Heron Osprey Black-crowned Night-Heron White Ibis Black Vulture Turkey Vulture Cattle Egret Northern Harrier Bald Eagle
Red-shouldered Hawk Burrowing Owl Barred Owl Belted Kingfisher Eastern Phoebe
Red-bellied Woodpecker Downy Woodpecker Pileated Woodpecker Crested Caracara
American Kestrel Merlin White-eyed Vireo Blue-headed Vireo Blue Jay Catbird Tufted Titmouse Tree Swallow Blue-gray Gnatcatcher House Wren American Crow
Marsh Wren Carolina Wren Northern Mockingbird Eastern Bluebird Swamp Sparrow
Eastern Towhee Eastern Meadowlark Red-winged Blackbird Boat-tailed Grackle
Black-and-white Warbler Common Yellowthroat Palm Warbler Pine Warbler Cardinal
Yellow-throated Warbler Yellow-rumped Warbler Loggerhead Shrike Robin
A very large group of mostly birders set out to explore the Airforce Range. Some of the visitors like Larry are what full-time residents such as myself call affectionately call "Snow-birds". Larry is an excellent birder and we hope he visits again next year. One gentleman on the trip for the first time with us was Paul Ebersbach. Paul is no stranger to the Airforce Range and shared his extensive knowledge with us. A shout out to Marian Jordan for keeping her ebird list and sharing it with us. Will we see you on our next trip? Check out our trips list and plan to join us.
21 of us carpooled to Circle B Bar. The closer we got to our destination the thicker the fog became. No wind to mention hinted at the possibility that it would be a high count for species. This prediction came to be. Our first spot took place just inside the entrance. Two beautiful and very large Great Horned Owls were perched in a tree but the fog prevented us from getting a good photo. We decided on the way out after the fog lifted would be a better opportunity to get a photo but they were gone by then. Once we arrived our group divided itself. Some took the tram, some walked, and some did both. What an amazing place. This is truly one of our favorite trip sites. If you have not been you should make it a point to go. This trip brought new sightings including two rarely seen birds. Tom and Janet Delaney added the Olive-sided Flycatcher, and Willow Flycatcher. Then there was a bobcat wandering the trail.
Holy cow...61 (+) Species... Not a record for us but an amazing count.
Ring billed Gull, Mourning Dove, Sandhill Crane, Great Egret, American Crow, Boat-tailed Grackle, Red-shouldered Hawk, Loggerhead Shrike, Kingfisher, Anhinga, Cattle Egret, Starling, Black Vulture, Osprey, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Great Blue Heron, Wood Stork, Mockingbird, Little Blue Heron, Great Horned Owl, Barred Owl, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Tufted Titmouse, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, Catbird, Black and White Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, House Wren, Glossy Ibis, Swamp Soarrow, Common Yellowthroat, D/Crested Cormorant, Common Gallinule, Eastern Phoebe, Savannah Sparrow, Painted Bunting, Purple Gallinule, Downy Woodpecker, Palm Warbler, Tri-colored Heron, Tree Swallow, Green Heron, American Coot, Fish Crow, Snowy Egret, Turkey Vulture, Limpkin, White Pelican, Brown, Pelican, Pied-billed Grebe, Blue-headed Vireo, Mottled Duck, Bald Eagle, White Ibis, Pileated Woodpecker, Ruby -throated Hummingbird, White-eyed Vireo, Yellow throated Warbler, *Unidentifiable Tern,
Wow, was it a windy day. Brave birders took on 25 mph winds that kept the bird count down but everyone had a good day. On the way in we were told about the Female Vermilion Flycatcher pictured. Its location was by the old water tower in and around an interior fence. We stopped to search for it and soon Larry spotted it. The scopes and cameras were now in full use. Once we reached the Station Offices we divided into groups. Some went on the swamp buggy with Park Service Specialist Derek LaFlamme and others were escorted by Dr. Paul Gray of Audubon Florida along with biologist Catie Welch on a walking tour. Some interesting facts about the Prairie were told as we ambled along through the Hammock to emerge on the open prairie. One can only imagine what the original settlers thought of this magnificent place. We very much enjoyed lunch under the oaks but to me the special place was in the rocking chairs recounting our day.
Logger Head Shrike - Palm Warbler
Eastern Meadowlark - Savannah Sparrow
Cattle Egret - Crested Caracara
N. Mockingbird - Cardinal
Red Bellied Woodpecker - Yellow-rumped Warbler
Red-shouldered Hawk - Ground Dove
Vermilion Flycatcher - Anhinga
Black Vulture - Tri-colored Heron
Great Blue Heron - Snowy Egret
Tree Swallow - Kingfisher
Turkey Vulture - Little Blue Heron
American Crow - Green Heron
Great Egret - Yellow-billed cuckoo
Eastern Phoebe - Sandhill Crane
Blue/Gray Gnatcatcher - Kestrel
Mourning Dove - Catbird
Great Crested Flycatcher
Our Christmas Party this year was once again held at Cowpokes Watering Hole in Sebring.
A big shout-out to Margaret Gleave for taking all the wonderful donations our members brought for our furry friends.
Everyone was in a festive holiday mood. It was so nice to converse with everyone. A few members will be off to visit family soon, so safe travels.
This year we honored Carol Smart for all the years she was the editor and publisher of our Sightings newsletter. Jim Upchurch gave her one of his amazing photos and our President Dale Gills presented her with a commemorative crystal award.
Red Shoulder Hawk, Pileated Woodpecker, Blue Jay, N. Mockingbiard, Mourning Dove, Am. Crow, Eastern Phoebe, Cattle Egret, Eastern Meadowlark, White Ibis, Savannah Sparrow, Mottled Duck, Robin, Catbird, Palm Warbler, Killdear, Loggerhead Shrike, Tree Swallow, Boat Tailed Grackle, Common Grackle, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Greater Yellowlegs, Northern Bobwhite
Limpkin, Belted Kingfisher, Blue/Gray Gnatcatcher, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Great-crested Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Ring-billed Gull, Osprey, Snail Kite, Little Blue Heron, Pine Warbler, Carolina Wren
Common Moorhen, American Coot, Pied-billed Grebe, Cardinal, Ring-necked Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Fish Crow
A lovely day with quite the usual species, The birds of the day included a skimmer and a solo plover.
Two swamp buggies full of HCAS birders enjoyed a beautiful day on the ranch. Coming in we were greeted with 40 plus roseate spoonbills.
ATTENTION ALL HIGHLANDS COUNTY AUDUBON MEMBERS We hope all have come though the pandemic period safe and well!
WE ARE RE-ACTIVATING!! Our 'Kick-off' event will be Holmes Ave. Clean-up! Sat May 22nd 7 AM. Meet at the Faith Baptist Church (600 Holmes Ave). Dave Forman will host a post event relaxation at his place following the cleanup. Please bring gloves if you have them. Bags and pick-up tools will be provided.
Regular meetings and field trips will begin in September of this year. Our First meeting will be on 9/21/21. More information on field trips and speakers will be provide later this summer!
Looking forward to seeing you Soon!! - HCAS Board of Directors
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