Birdwatching at the Family Reunion

Palm Warbler

Palm Warbler

Last weekend, we had a family reunion at my brother’s place. He lives near Bushnell and Webster, FL on 5 acres of land. Since it is so wooded with Oak trees and others, I kept my camera at the ready.

We heard lots of birds, saw some and photographed even fewer. We still had a great time.

My nephew from south Florida was there with his family, so I asked four of my great-nieces and great-nephew to join me on a birdwatching adventure.  Figured I might as well start training another generation of birdwatchers. We headed off and my almost 5 yr old “chatterbox” nephew produced the first lesson. We encouraged him to “talk less” and “listen.”

Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6 NKJV)

We heard several, but never saw any. (Northern Cardinal, Tufted Titmouse and a Blue Jay) When we got to the end of the property, turned right and followed the fence line. Not very far we came upon a tree with a rope hanging down with knots on it. At that point, all birdwatching and birdwatching lessons stopped.

The rope with the "Chatterbox" aboard.

The rope with the “Chatterbox” aboard.

Later, I gathered some more and off we went again. This time my great-niece and nephew from Tampa were with me. We heard those same birds, plus a Palm Warbler, and saw them very briefly. Another lesson was taught about having “soft eyes” as you look at trees. Don’t stare, just sort of look lightly and watch for movement. Fine, we turned the corner at the fence and ran into the “rope” again. That birdwatching adventure ended and another “rope adventure” began.

Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! (Psalms 107:8 NKJV)

At the rope again.

At the rope again.

Needless to say, that “rope” became an unexpected highlight of the reunion. Every attempt to take a trip ended up there. They even loaded up my brother’s golf cart and brought a whole crew down there.

What did I eventually see and here? Let’s see; Northern Cardinal, Tufted Titmouse, Blue Jay, Carolina Wrens, Pileated Woodpecker, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Grey Catbird, and some Black Vultures flying overhead.

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren

To me, one of the highlights was watching the Carolina Wrens flying into a cabinet in my brother’s pole barn. When they weren’t around, this is what I discovered:

Wren nest in a paper box.

Wren nest in a paper box.

On the next to the top shelf they had a nest in the works.

Wren nest in a Pepsi paper cup.

Wren nest in a Pepsi paper cup.

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Wren nest in a Pepsi paper cup.

Wren nest in a Pepsi paper cup – closeup.

Talking with my sister-in-law, also a birdwatcher – who lives there, she figures that they feel safe in the pole barn because the hawks can’t fly through there and attack the nests. Several years ago on one of my visits, the Wrens had made a nest in a paper sack. There were eggs in it that time.

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I had the blog on autopilot last week and through the week-end. My sister spent time with us before and after the reunion. Now it is time to get back to blogging.

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