Monday, December 6, 2010

December Bird Survey for Daggerwing

Maureen and I were all ready to lead a bird walk at Daggerwing Nature Center this weekend, but, unfortunately, nobody was willing to brave the cold (for south Florida) morning to join us. We tried not to take it personally and soldiered onwards to conduct our monthly bird survey of the nature center. 

Right at the start of the boardwalk was our first county Baltimore Oriole, perched near the top of a myrtle, while the Myrtle Warblers flitted about in every direction. The oriole flew after only a few seconds, and headed right out of the park, in the opposite direction from where we were going. 

We only had the occasional Palm Warbler, but plenty of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers buzzed at us as we passed by. There was also a male Common Yellowthroat down in the reeds off the boardwalk, and a Yellow-throated Warbler hiding in a cabbage palm. A single Pine Warbler surveyed the marsh area from a snag. 

We saw a number of raptors, including American Kestrel and several Osprey, and a Red-shouldered Hawk flew overhead a couple of times. We also had a Merlin perched on a snag at the edge of the wetland, but we didn't get the same show that we got last time we saw one

There was a good variety of butterflies, including Zebra Longwing, Red Admiral, White Peacock, and Viceroy. It's been a while since we've seen any Ruddy Daggerwings, so it's likely that we've seen the last of them for the year. 

There were also a surprising number of Venusta Orchard Spiders (Leucauge venusta) at about railing-level with the boardwalk. 

On our way out to survey the front of the nature center, we found an active Downy Woodpecker, doing his acrobatics just a few feet off the ground. Here he is showing off the barring on his outer tail feathers.

Overall, we would have preferred if a group had turned out to stroll the boardwalk with us, but it turned out to be a lovely morning, regardless!


  1. In that top photo, did that Baltimore Oriole just graduate from Johns Hopkins? looks like its wearing a mortarboard to me! Lol.

  2. Great pics, Maureen! The spiders are creepy and that tree is really cool. (What kind?) And what's this about seasons in South Florida? ;)