I never in a million years thought that I could/would photograph 200 species of birds in my home county this year and I still have 4 months plus to go. I was able to add 3 new birds this weekend and that takes me up to 201.
Friday I met up with my good friend and birding buddy Linda bright and early. She had never been out to the sod fields, except in big groups, so I gave her a whirlwind viewing of all the areas out in Western Palm Beach County that I usually hit.
We started on Gladeview Road and saw a few Shorebirds and Terns but most were pretty far out and I knew we would have better looks on Brown’s Farm Road. How I was wrong!! The fields that were so productive last week were dry. The few puddles that remained held a few birds and we did get a couple of pictures before heading up the road to look for a field with some water in it.
We found another field not to far down the road and walked down to see another group od Dowitchers, Stilt Sandpipers and Yellowlegs. There were a few peeps also but not in the quantity of last weekend. We then went to the Barn Owl roost where we flushed 5-6 Owls. They are such beautiful creatures and I was fortunate for this one to stop and look back at us.
There are many Swallows migrating through our area right now and Linda and I stopped to take pictures of a group on the power lines. This was truly a lucky shot as I caught 3 species sitting close together. The Cave Swallow on the right has a light-colored throat which is different from the Cliff Swallows dark throat. The Cave Swallow was a new bird for the year!
We then went to the sod fields at Six Mile bend. Way out in the fields I could see a couple of Upland Sandpipers. They were to far to even try to get a picture of so we went up the road and it just happened that they had another gate open and we managed to get in, get some pictures and skeedaddle out before anyone noticed. This is one of the harder birds to get in the county and was a lifer for Linda!
Last night I had read a report of some Wilson’s Phalarope at a field I hadn’t visited yet so bright and early this morning I trekked back out to the ag fields. The flooded field was OK, but there was no sign of the Phalaropes. I did notice lots and lots of Swallows flying arround and I was hoping to get the last one I needed before leaving.
I rode around a little further up the road I was on just exploring a new area. When I finally exited this road I came across group after group of Swallows resting on the lines. The third or forth group I came to finally had my target bird. Bank Swallow was the last of that family that I needed for the year.
This is a really cool time of the year. You can see 20 plus shorebird species and 5-6 species of Swallows all on one day. It allows for really good study of the species and since we only get this opportunity once a year I enjoy each trip out.
Thank you so much for the visit and if you are interested in seeing pictures of all 201 species I’ve photographed this year in Palm Beach County you can click right here.