Wow … Unexpected gifts!

I visited J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area today in search of some June Challenge birds and was super blessed to get the rarest of the Woodpeckers that lives in Palm Beach County.

Swallowtail Kite … There were many of these at Corbett today, in fact there were almost always one in view, really nice!!!

Today was full of surprises including Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Pine Warbler and Bobwhite.  But, the real story is one of pure blessing.  Corbett is a birding destination where you bird mostly from the car, which is fantastic in summer.  I do a lot of listening when I’m driving and that was how I located the Gnatcatcher which led me to the Pine Warbler that led me to the Bobwhite.  I was really intent on listening after this early trifecta and pulled over when I thought I heard a Bachman’s Sparrow.  It turned out to be a group of Eastern Towhees but as I was standing there a Red-cockaded Woodpecker flew in.  I really didn’t see him fly in but he was nice enough to call and alert me to his presence.  This is such a great bird and I didn’t even have to work for it!

Red-cockaded Woodpecker … Palm Beach County Photographic Big Year bird #191 … A little history about this great bird is below.

The federally endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker has been re-introduced at Corbett and is doing well.  One of the reasons the Red-cockaded Woodpecker is endangered is that it nests only in old growth live pines and much of its habitat has been destroyed by logging. Red-cockaded Woodpeckers excavate a number of cavities within their territory. It may take two years or more to completely dig out one cavity and then the  live pine tree “bleeds” pitch around the nest hole. This heavy flow of gum helps to keep tree-climbing snakes away from their nests and their babies safe.

Northern Bobwhite

I love Northern Bobwhite Quail.  They have a very cool song that tells you their name and are really good-looking birds.

Common Nighthawk … I’ll see lots of these at the sod fields in a month or so during shorebird migration.

Early in the day there were a number of Common Nighthawks flying around.  I didn’t have any come real close to me but this picture is better than the ID shot from earlier in the month.

For anyone interested in seeing pictures (all in one spot) of either the June Challenge birds or of all 191 species of birds that I’ve photographed in Palm Beach County Florida this year you can click here for the June birds or here for the year birds!

Thank You for visiting!


About sheriffsmith

I have worked for the Broward County Sheriff's Office the last 13 years and spend most of my free time birdwatching / naturewatching and photographing the birds and nature that I encounter. I believe God has blessed us with a world that is so absolutely fascinating and wonderful and I'm doing my best to discover and show others all that he has provided us with in nature.
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4 Responses to Wow … Unexpected gifts!

  1. kathe814 says:

    Reblogged this on InHisName and commented:
    So beautiful….God shows up in nature in the most beautiful ways, and always surprises us!

  2. Congrats Tom on #191 for the year, amazing! And then it being an endangered species, that makes #191 more special!! A great day of surprises, what a joy for you! Nothing like having ‘one of those days’! 🙂

  3. Deb Platt says:

    I was interested to learn how the Red-cockaded Woodpeckers use pitch to keep snakes from their nests. I suppose they are relying instinct, but still that’s pretty amazing.

    Glad to hear that your bird watching challenge is going so well this year.:)

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