April is usually a very good month for birding in South Florida as migration is in full swing, many of our Winter friends are still around a some of the Summer residents start showing up. According to Ebird I saw just under 150 species during April and even though a few of those were seen at Fort De Soto on the 16th I still had over 130 for Palm Beach County.
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Migration varies every year. What is good for birders is not necessarily good for the birds. If we have a lot of weather fronts the birds get knocked down and we have some nice fallouts. Unfortunately it also tires the birds out and delays their trip to their breeding grounds. This year I think the birds won hands down. In the entire month of April we had only two fronts come through and I personally never had a day (other than Fort De Soto) where I had super large numbers of Warblers. We had a few “nice”days but nothing earth shattering.
I still managed a couple of nice Warbler shots. I was very fortunate and ran into a small feeding flock near the Spanish River Library that was feeding low enough for some closeups. The above Cape May Warbler is about as good as I can get from my current camera and lens. It kind of sets the standard for how I would like to capture every species!
Like I said we still had a few left over Winter species and this female Ruddy Duck actually got close enough for a better shot.
Least Terns are Summer visitors and will nest here. One of their courtship rituals is for the males to bring fish for the females to show their prowess for capturing food. They are quite animated in their rituals and it is always fun to watch nature in action!
Closer to home I managed to pick up this nice Mallard Duck. These guy are quite scarce in my neck of the woods but he flew in to feed and was gone an hour later. It is such a common Duck up North but quite a treat for me to have one land right behind my house!
Yesterday, the 30th I decided to bike down South to Daggerwing Nature Center and South County Park in Boca Raton. I hadn’t been here this year on my Bigby. It was a gorgeous South Florida day, other than very warm and even though I didn’t see and migrants I was able to witness and capture a fierce aerial battle between a Cooper’s Hawk and a Red-tailed Hawk. Actually it wasn’t so much a battle as the Red-tailed was trying to get away with its breakfast and the Cooper’s was diving on him and I guess hopefully harassing him enough that he would drop the prize in his talons.
April was a very good month and my Bigby total is up to 173. I have managed to capture 99% of these and hopefully will get pictures of the few I’ve missed later in the year. I biked close to 350 miles this past month and only birded once while driving up to Fort De Soto. We still have a chance for a few migrants in early May but then we start to get in to the slow part of our birding year. Until the shorebirds start South at the end of June the birding can be rather uninspiring but I plan on getting out as much as possible just to enjoy our local residents!
Thank you all so much for following and as always God Bless!