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.