Friday, April 24, 2015

Corkscrew passerines

We took the kids on a walk at the Corkscrew Audubon boardwalk through the largest remaining stand of mature cypress.  It was during the dry season and after guaranteeing the kids they'd see alligators I was starting to sweat it a little.  Finally at the end of the 1.5 mile loop we came to an area with water that had a few gators.

The feeders at the visitor center drew my eye as we walked in; a female Painted Bunting was sitting on one.  After our hike we waited 15-20 minutes for a male.  It was the first one I've seen over 20 years.

A female popped up a few minutes later.

Even at midday there were other passerines about.  An Ovenbird of all things was walking around under the feeders.

I was happy to see a Common Ground-dove.  A lot of people say they're the size of a sparrow.  It looked bigger though.  I'd forgotten how strong the violet flecks in the wings are.

Finally a Mourning Dove doing, well, I'm not sure what.
It seemed unlikely to be sunbathing given 80 degree temps.  It didn't really seem to be dust-bathing.  I've heard of birds anting, that is to allow ants to crawl on them and presumably pick off parasites.  If it was doing that I didn't see the ants.

And oh yeah, the gator...

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