On the 5th of January Carl Edwards, Linda Fell and I drove down to the Deering Estates in Miami hoping to see the Key West Quail Dove that was being reported for a week or so there. We arrived at 7 and had to wait in the parking lot until 7:30 while everyone else showed up as we had to walk in as a group. The bird had already been staked out by two other birders and just as we entered the area where it was, we heard the one thing birders never, ever want to hear … “You should have been here 5 minutes ago!” From what we were told a Pileated Woodpecker had come in and scared it off only minutes before we got there. We watched and looked and waited for 4 hours with no sightings by anyone in our group of 30 or so … a little disappointing but it was still a nice outing with some good friends.
(Clicking on any picture makes it bigger and sharper)
The next day the 6th I spent the morning riding around Wellington Wetlands and Peaceful Waters Preserve in Wellington. Both places were very birdie and as you can see from the pic above beautifully sunny!
One nice thing about Peaceful Waters is the holding ponds on the North end of the property. It is a little tough to get good looks at them due to all the plantings but there are usually some shorebirds depending on the water levels. I had this really nice Greater Yellowlegs that I snuck up on … also because of the extensive plantings!!
On the 7th I got up early and headed up to Riverbend in Jupiter. My goal was to photograph Wild Turkey’s and Pileated Woodpeckers along with whatever else was available. I saw 52 species but was quite shocked and a little disappointed that there were no Turkeys around. This has been an almost 100% sure spot for that species, often with a dozen or more present but they seemed to have moved on or into a part of the park that is not open to the public.
In the afternoon I went to Green Cay for an hour with my beautiful wife Terri and put together a nice little list of 39 species including this Belted Kingfisher and Ovenbird.
Thanks for stopping by and God Bless. I still have a weeks worth of photos before my big trip so I’ll post a few more local shots before my big North Florida adventure.