Saddle Creek Birdwatching – 09/05/09

Saddle Creek Park - Polk County, FL

Saddle Creek Park - Polk County, FL

Today Dan and I headed out to join the group at Saddle Creek, who do a walk each Saturday from Mid-August to October. By the time I figured out that my legs would cooperate and decided to go, the group had already gone down the trail. So we just birded on our own. In just the hour we stayed there, we were able to see or hear at least 26 species, plus the few unknowns.
When we first entered the park, we were greeted by over 40 Wood Storks (see photos). They were standing around, flying around and sitting in trees, so an accurate count was difficult. On the way to the trails we spotted, Great Blue Herons, Anhingas, Pied-billed Grebe, Great Egret, Common and Boat-tailed Grackles, Northern Mockingbird, Eurasian-collared Doves and Mourning Doves and a Muscovy Duck.

Wood Storks at entrance

Wood Storks at entrance

Back at the parking area for the trails, we heard wood being banged on and sure enough a Pileated Woodpecker was right in the tree above our heads. Later we also heard a Downy and a Red-bellied Woodpecker. Along the open area by the pond were several female Common Yellowthroats, Great Blue Heron, Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron and in the pond were several Common Moorhens being kept company by two large alligators.

Wood Stork Tree

Wood Stork Tree

While we were watching them, 3 Sandhill Cranes flew over and then some Fish Crows flew by. As we walked along the bushes at the edge of the lake we spotted a Blue Jay, Northern Cardinal, Blue-Grey Gnatcatcher, Belted Kingfisher and heard a Carolina Wren.
All in all, it was a nice birding morning. It was 75° when we started with about 85% humidity. Other than the humidity, it was a great day to enjoy God’s Creation.

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