Over the 200 Mark!

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.

Barn Owl … The Cypress roost looked really bad, like it had been burned by chemicals.

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.

From left to right … Cliff Swallow, Barn Swallow and Cave Swallow. Cave Swallow is the 199th species of bird I’ve photographed in Palm Beach County this year!

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!

Upland Sandpiper … This was the 200th species that I’ve photographed this year in Palm Beach County Florida!

Upland Sandpiper … Such a great species he deserves a few more pics!

Upland Sandpiper … Trying to intimidate us!

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.

Bank Swallows … The 201st species photographed this year!

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.


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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8 Responses to Over the 200 Mark!

  1. nonoymanga says:

    Good back story, nice wild life photography!!! Cheers Nonoy Manga

  2. newbiebird says:

    So exciting, congrats! Maybe you can make it to 300!?!?

  3. Terri says:

    WOW honey – That barn owl is amazing – I am very happy for you that you have been very successful with your shorebirds – I know how much it means to you – love you!

  4. A Big Year, indeed! So glad for your success and the fun you must be having.

  5. mike585 says:

    Excellent owl capture, Tom. 🙂

  6. Great shot of the Owl. Congrats on hitting the 200 mark!

  7. Deb Platt says:

    Congrats on your milestone during this big year. 🙂 I especially loved seeing the barn owl turn and look at you, and the three species of swallow perching together.

  8. Congrats Tom on 201 already! WOW! Great series of shots, love your second photo of the upland sandpiper, so cute!

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