June Challenge … Week One Highlights

Gray Kingbird ... While I had already photographed one of these on a wire this one was so much better and on top of that a new bird for Loxahatchee NWR!

Gray Kingbird … While I had already photographed one of these it was on a wire … this one was so much better and on top of that a new bird for Loxahatchee NWR!

The first week of the June Challenge is now over and I feel pretty happy with the species I was able to photograph considering the limited number of hours I birded.  This past week both my beautiful wife and her mom had birthdays and one of the days was a wash out do to an all day rain.  I did bird a 1/2 day both Tues and Wed but only a couple of hours on my work days.  I managed to photograph 67 species which put me 2/3rds of the way to my goal of 100.

Snail Kite ... This was the only male of the 7 seen and was the last one to leave the roost.

Snail Kite … This was the only male of the 7 seen and was the last one to leave the roost.

I visited Loxahatchee NWR this morning in hope of getting a couple of species that are hard to find in my local area including Snail Kite and Carolina Wren.  I was pleasantly surprised to see 3 Kites perched up near the boat ramp as I pulled into the parking lot.  In total there were seven Kites hidden in one tree!

Egyptian Geese

Egyptian Geese

Yesterday, for Terri’s Birthday we went out for breakfast and when we got back home we took a bike ride around the development.  There wasn’t much about but we did run into this nice family of Egyptian Geese.  This is currently not a “countable” ABA species but will be in the next couple of years as they are breeding all over South Florida and have been for many years.

House Finch

House Finch

One other nice surprise this week was finding a flock of House Finches at Spanish River Park.  I have seen them a couple of times before but it is not one of the regulars I expect and I thought I would have to put some effort into finding one.

Burrowing Owl ... One of the same ones I took a couple of weeks ago.  I saw at least 3 other Owls in different places that morning around Campus.

Burrowing Owl … One of the same ones I took a couple of weeks ago. I saw at least 3 other Owls in different places that morning around Campus.

FAU college is probably the most reliable spot in Florida for finding Burrowing Owls.  There are many, many active nests and I’ve never failed to find one when I’ve looked.

Greater Yellowlegs

Greater Yellowlegs

Getting to 100 species requires a good deal of effort but also lots of luck.  I was lucky at Wellington Wetlands to run across three Greater Yellowlegs and even luckier to have them stay for a picture of two.  This is a very flighty species so I was happy to tick it during the first week.

Morning Dove

Morning Dove

Eurasian Collared Dove

Eurasian Collared Dove

Many of our common species don’t get photographed often and I think that is a shame as a nice picture of a Dove or a Starling is just as good as that of a Bald Eagle … at least in my humble opinion!

The first 2/3rds wasn’t too difficult and I hope to knock off another nice chunk this week.  Thank you all so much for visiting and God Bless!!

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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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