2013 June Challenge

The June Challenge was an idea formulated by Alachua’s Countys Becky Enneis back in 2004.  The goal of the challenge was to get birders out and about in their home counties during what is arguably the worst month of the year for birding. It’s hot, it’s humid, it’s buggy, it rains all the time, all of the Winters birds have gone North, and all of the Spring migrants have already passed through. 

Northern Cardinal ... The first bird I saw/photographed for the June Challenge!

Northern Cardinal … The first bird I saw/photographed for the June Challenge!

So what is left to see!!  There are the Summer breeding birds, the year round stuff and most importantly any lost or misguided birds.  Historically little was known of what was here in the Summer so the accumulation of birding reports has really helped the scientists fill in some ornithological gaps.  The Challenge has also turned into a friendly competition between both individuals in their respective counties and also between counties themselves.  Teams are formed and an accumulated list is reported and the top producing county has bragging rights for a year!

Little Blue Heron ... This youngster was catching some morning sun.

Little Blue Heron … This youngster was catching some morning sun.

 I have participated in the June Challenge the last 3 years and have had totals of 68, 93 and 98 species photographed.  Those who have followed my blog know I generally do not count a species unless I have recorded a picture of it and one of the rules in the June Challenge is that you do have to actually see the bird to count it.  The American Birding Association allows birders to count a bird if they’ve heard it and this has always been a touchy subject to me.  I’ve heard too many Mockingbirds and Blue Jays that sounded like other birds and I believe this rule makes for a better competition.

Limpkin ... He was preening to make himself look good for the challenge!

Limpkin … He was preening to make himself look good for the challenge!

I started the challenge on my home turf at Green Cay Wetlands.  On work days I don’t generally travel to far and I was confident I would get off to a good start at this fabulous location.  I was able to get decent photographs of 26 species this morning which I think was a fine start to the month.  Here are a few more shots from this morning.

Downy Woodpeckers ... Poppa feeding one of his kids!

Downy Woodpeckers … Poppa feeding one of his kids!

Anhinga

Anhinga

 

Roseate Spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbill

European Starling ... Hey !!  You have to record even the common species to have a big list!

European Starling … Hey !! You have to record even the common species to have a big list!

Thank you so much for following my adventures!

I am currently writing an extensive trip report from when I went to Northern California in the Fall of 2011. This was before I started this blog and I will start posting it after I’ve completed at least a week or so of it.  Lots of cool California birds and some awesome scenery as well!

 
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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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2 Responses to 2013 June Challenge

  1. Deb Platt says:

    Your European starling looked like he had just stuck his bill in an electrical outlet! O.O

    Loved all your photos. I remember you going to Magee Marsh last year. This year for the first time I timidly ventured up there for one afternoon of the Greatest Week of American Birding. I had a great time, and I can definitely see the appeal.

  2. Fantastic captures Tom! Love the anhinga and little blue heron, both so striking!

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