Thursday, December 24, 2015

Markham Park in Broward Co.

Tis the season .... lalalalala....
and folks, wishes do come tru to those who believe!
For the past 3 weeks I had been reading about reports of two beautiful birds making repeated appearances on the east coast and I was delighted to get a chance to set my eyes on them, so with a little detour on our way to visit family, we made a stop at: Markham Park.
As soon as we pulled up in the parking lot I could see birders heading away from the reported area toward their cars and I thought to myself....this can't be good.....I asked about the Western Spindalis and was told that he flew into the dog park. The Spot-breasted Orioles were still hanging around and I spent some time admiring them.
Wow - what a bright burst! This was my first time seeing this bird, what a beauty!

After a bit the Orioles left so I ventured into the Nature trail where I spotted several Blue-gray Gnatcatchers.

A few Prairies were around too - seeking cover from the wind.....soon I was itching to return to the flowering tree where I hoped the Spindalis and Orioles had returned.

A group of them were back feasting on bugs nestled within those blooms - quite entertaining to watch those little acrobats.

I can see why they are called Spot-breasted Oriole even though my brain keeps calling them Black-spotted!!

My husband Tony was spending his time reading the New York Times near the entrance of the Nature Trail - I visited with him and shared my updates - he then shared my day's horoscope with me and it was so apropos that I'm putting it here: "Once upon a time you gave up too quickly, only to find out that if you had hung on for a short while longer you would have succeeded. Now you have the determination to see it through." So, this was exactly what I needed to hear and off I went to wait for the Spindalis.

Someone shouted: There! In the Cypress tree.

Really?? Where??

There! Meet the Western Spindalis.

What a beauty! Would you drive 250 miles for this bird?

I will remember this day - this is really special - I smiled so much that my face was hurting and a headache was brewing - but it was so worth it.

The Spindalis left after a bit and I revisited the Butterfly Garden.

A lady Painted Bunting

Blooms, butterfly and Aphids - a ladybug is needed.

And a bird of question - after searching in my books and asking my birding friends - this bird turned out to be a Ruby-crowned Kinglet.

The wild wild world of birds always brings a little mystery to the mix - all we need are clues which leads us to the answers.....

This bird gave me enough clues - a Northern Parula.

After birding for a few hours - we explored this large park and found a lovely shady spot to have lunch by the water side. If you even find yourself in that area I would highly recommend a visit....this park has it all: dog park, nature trail, playground, tennis, racquetball, marina, bike trail, picnic shelterssss, target range, model airplane field, campground and plenty of restrooms. Free entrance during the week and I think it's 1.50/car during the weekend. I had a good time watching birds and tallied up 39 species, my E-bird List for that beautiful day.


  1. Great photos of the Western Spindalis! So glad you got to see it France!

    1. Diane, it was just dreamy. I thank my lucky star that it was still present when the holidays came rolling in and the fact that I was heading toward that coast. It was so worth the stop - I will remember this bird for sure.