It’s the 3rd day of the 19th annual Great Backyard Bird Count and I went back to Plantation Preserve Linear Trail to look for birds. I walked the 1.3 mile trail and did not see anything interesting. I spoke with someone at the end of the trail and he said he saw Red-shouldered Hawk and Belted Kingfisher a few days ago. As I was walking back to the car I saw a medium-sized bird flying nearby. I went looking for it and found what appeared to be a Red-shouldered Hawk. A short time later I spotted a Belted Kingfisher. Closer to the start of the trail I saw an Osprey with a fish in its talons.
The Hawk and Kingfisher was a good distance away so the images are small and not detailed. However the image of the Osprey was tack sharp.
According to Audubon.org “The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is a free, fun, and easy event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of bird populations. Participants are asked to count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the four-day event and report their sightings online at birdcount.org.”
The 19th annual GBBC starts today Friday, February 12, and runs through Monday, February 15, 2016. I decided to stop by Plantation Preserve Linear Trail because there is a good chance I would see at least 5 different birds. My bird count lasted more that 15 minutes and when it was done I had over 50 bird images. Here are a few of the better images from today.
Markham Park is in West Broward in the City of Sunrise, Florida. It is one of the larger parks in Broward County and is more known for activities rather than nature or wildlife.
The park has facilities for volleyball, disc golf and camping. It has a designated area for model plane flying and Remote Car racing. There are moderate to difficult mountain bike trails, a dog park and a gun range. There are boat ramps on the south side of the park near the canal. If you want big open space to run around, jog and cycle this is the park for you. You can enter Markham Park via State Road 84 or Weston Road.
I stop by the park for lunch a few times and just sit and watch the model planes. On one of my recent visits I heard the sounds of birds so I grabbed my camera for a few shots. During about 20 minutes of shooting I saw warblers, Blue Jays and a Blue-headed Vireo. I also saw a Great Egret a short distance away. Here are the better images from today (Feb 9th):
There is a citrus tree in my backyard that gets frequent visits from Blue Jays and Mockingbirds and infrequent visits from warblers. Often when I spot them through the back window, grab my camera and get outside, it is too late or my presence chase them away. Today (Saturday Feb 6th) I was fortunate to get photos of a Palm Warbler and a Prairie Warbler before they flew away.
I usually see Loggerhead Shrikes on fences (at airports, parks) or sign posts. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology the Loggerhead Shrike “hunts from utility poles, fence posts and other conspicuous perches, preying on insects, birds, lizards, and small mammals.”
I saw this Shrike on a sign post at Vista View park before it flew off and settled in a tree nearby.