Birdwatching Adventure for January 7, 2012

Purple Gallinule by Lee at Lake Parker 1-7-12

Purple Gallinule by Lee at Lake Parker 1-7-12

In the last 10 days, Dan and I have finally been able to go birdwatching. We have had three birding trips right here in Polk County.

Twice we went up to Lake Parker Park in Lakeland. We went on the 7th and again on the 14th of January. The 7th was our 1st adventure of 2012. Here is a list of what I turned in to which is a listing service that was launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society to track birds. Here is the list for the January 7, 2012:

Comments: Along shore on way to park and in park
26 species (+1 other taxa)
Mallard (Domestic type) 8
Ring-necked Duck 3
Pied-billed Grebe 4
Double-crested Cormorant – Immature 4
Anhinga 5
Great Blue Heron 2
Great Egret 2
Snowy Egret 3
Cattle Egret 1
White Ibis 10
Glossy Ibis 4
Roseate Spoonbill 1
Turkey Vulture 1
Osprey 4
Red-shouldered Hawk 1
Purple Gallinule 3
Common Gallinule 5
American Coot 7
Ring-billed Gull 20
Caspian Tern 1
Belted Kingfisher 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 5
Palm Warbler 1
Pine Warbler 3
Yellow-rumped Warbler 2
Boat-tailed Grackle 20
American Coot showing feet by Lee LPkr

American Coot showing feet by Lee LPkr

American Coots have an amazing foot structure. It’s not what you would expect but has lobed toes rather than webbed feet. Photos of foot on Google Search

Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number. (Job 9:10 KJV)

I also turned in the birds I saw coming and going to the park, which is 10 miles from our house:
9 species
Black Vulture 5
Turkey Vulture 10
Sandhill Crane 3
Rock Pigeon 4
Eurasian Collared-Dove 10
Mourning Dove 1
Fish Crow 50
Boat-tailed Grackle 5
House Finch 2
Palm Warbler cropped by Lee LPP

Palm Warbler (Mistaken Pipit) by Lee LPP

All in all, it was a great birding day. The highlight was getting a new bird for my life list of birds seen. (Update This Pipit turned out to be a Palm Warbler, NOT a life bird: We spotted an American Pipit along the shore before we arrived at the park.) We stopped because Dan had spotted a Roseate Spoonbill. The county had a fair sized alligator pinned up right there also.

Last year I saw 2 “life birds” but it took all year to find them. I am writing this on the 17th and I already have 2  to tell you about, but I will save those for the next articles.

7 thoughts on “Birdwatching Adventure for January 7, 2012

  1. I use Ebird as well. That site is my first experience with any type of counting. I enjoy it, but I do not use it at often since we are doing Project Feeder Watch right now. That’s where I turn in our numbers for birds at our feeders.
    Since you mention submitting the birds to and from, how do you enter those? Travelling, incidental? Sometimes we leave home intending on birding somewhere, but yet keep an eye on the roads getting there. I do not always know an exact location where the bird was spotted. I have been trying to do better by watching for signs and landmarks, especially while there is the chance of Snowy Owls.


    • Since Dan does most of the driving, I usually am keeping an eye out for the birds.I keep 3×5 memo pads in the car and start a list of birds on the way, then at the place, and then on the way home. I usually count the to and from part under Incidental and make a note in the comments. I also draw a line across my page when we go into another county and start naming them again. I also write the start time and temperature, since our car has a thermometer. I write the time and temp when I cross the county line. We go to Lowry Park Zoo, which is one county over. So I have a Polk and a Hillsborough county list that is growing. Plus now I have even been counting the wild birds hanging around the Zoo mooching off their feed.


    • The Florida Birding Trail is made up lots of birding hot spots around the state. We have several areas near here that are fantastic. Lake Parker is not on the trail. My favorite place here is Circle B Bar Reserve. We were just there Monday and saw 37 species in just a short time and distance.


    • You must be heading down for the birding festival. I just had to make a correction. That was not an American Pipit I just found out. Oh well, I still have 2 more life birds to write about. Good birding when you get here.


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