Yesterday I was blessed to share the Louisiana Waterthrush with a great group of friends. When everyone departed Cheryl headed North and stopped at Grassy Waters Preserve in Palm Beach Gardens. She took this incredible picture of a Cedar Waxwing so I decided since they are fairly hard to find in South Florida that I would head that way this morning.
I’ve been to Grassy Waters Preserve quite a few times and while it is one of the prettier places to walk around, it usually doesn’t have loads of birds. The park consists of two sides. One side opens at 8am, the other at 7. I was up there early enough to bike one of the trails and I had only seen a dozen species of birds by the time I finished the 5 miles or so.
Just as I was about to return to the car I ran across a nice feeding flock of Warblers. There were Pine, Prairie, Yellow-rumps and Palms. I was searching through this group when I heard a “chink” call that sounded like a Waterthrush. I was thinking cool, I’ll get the Northern Waterthrush today and have them both knocked out early in the year. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it was another Louisiana. When I did my Ebird list last night the Louisiana doesn’t even come up. You have to hit the rare bird button and then confirm your sighting. How can you be disappointed in such a great bird as this? LOL
I guess I should explain the title. I’ve been in Florida for nearly 20 years and can not remember ever seeing so many Robins at one time. There were waves and waves of them seemingly falling from the sky. They were feasting on the berries from the Dahoon Holly quite oblivious to me snapping away. I don’t know what the significance of this is and can only guess/hope that they are running from some really cold air that’s headed South.
I did get my Cedar Waxwing today (Palm Beach County Big Year Bird # 113). There were a couple of big flocks of these guys, but probably only 50-100 total. They were also feeding on the Holly but were a little more skittish than the Robins.
I met a new friend today. This little Eastern Fox Squirrel didn’t mind me at all. I talked to him for a while as he ate acorns and whatever else he could find. Growing up in Ohio we had tons of Squirrels in our neighborhood. We had a Buckeye Tree in the front yard and in the Fall the Eastern Gray and Black Squirrels would make it rain shell casings as they filled up for the Winter. Such a cute litle guy!
For a gloomy gray day it turned out all right. A new bird for the count and a new friend!