Monday, February 15, 2016

A Caloosa Caravan to Bartow

This is the time of the year that the Caloosa Bird Club meet up at Bartow for Sunday night and bird the Circle B Bar Preserve in Lakeland on Monday. This time around a few of us met up early Sunday and birded along the way. First stop: The Celery Fields
Oh boy! It's been a while since I had the opportunity to see a Meadowlark up front and personal and what a beauty it is!

I love their song too.

The Purple Martins have arrived - a male is seen here perched on one of the houses.

A male Mallard was a nice surprise too.

More Purple Martins are coming in.

After a bit we headed to Sarasota, near the airport where many Redheads had been reported.

They were in great numbers - mixed in with Lesser Scaup, Grebes and Mergansers.

 After this quick stop we headed to Emerson Point Preserve
 We marveled at the amount of Mergansers and Loons seen in the distance.
 And the Skyline Bridge.
 Then we were off to the Lost River Trail
 It was nice to find White Pelicans in large numbers...
 working together as a team while gathering up the fish for a meal.
 Around the corner we took a walk up the hill..
and took in the view across the bay

Now - to our last stop - at a friend's house in the center of town - a lovely private home with a beautiful front yard meant literally for the birds.

 We saw several Goldfinches feasting on seeds.
 A Rufous Hummingbird has been a regular visitor - it showed up but kept hiding/feeding behind this feeder - the best capture I got was the tip of his tail.
 A very bright Pine Warbler came in for seeds too.
 I got luckier with this Ruby-throated Hummingbird when he granted me a few seconds of stillness....
 before resuming his feeding frenzy....a busy bird for sure.
 More Goldfinches.
 A few Bluebirds.
 At last we had to tear ourselves away from this little haven - and back on the road we go.
Near Bartow - while driving at 60 mph - I noticed what appeared to be a Great Horned owl on this post which I radioed in to the rest of the caravan, the trip leader opted to make a U-turn to go back and see...well....egg on my face when we drove up to it to realize that it was two plastic owls up there. We all had a good laugh about it and I bet that story will stick with me for a long time.


  1. Looks like you had two full days of fun. Amazing how you were able to get photos of the humming bird. They are so quick. I love the colors of the meadowlark. Looks like a little soldier standing up so tall and straight. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Meadowlark is definitely one of my favorite and hummingbirds are super bonus.