The goldfinches are following a similar pattern as last year. We started with three at the beginning of the month. 3 became 6, which became 18, and now I estimate that we have 60+ visiting daily. They are funny to watch as they swarm the feeders.
Another unusual visitor, a ruby-crowned kinglet.
The female black-throated blue warbler is still skulking around.
Brown Thrasher in the bath
My "citrus grove" is coming along nicely. I am even getting some fruit!
In other news, we replaced the old wooden owl box that was destroyed by the pileated woodpeckers. The new box is plastic and is wired with an infrared camera. We have seen a screech owl investigating the box this week. Hopefully they decide to nest again this year!
We've had some interesting birds pass though this week. A flock of robins flew over on Thanksgiving, and we've got 4 American goldfinches visiting the feeder. Here are 3 of them.
Hummingbirds never seem to cooperate by feeding from these flowers in the bright sunlight! It is always in the evening.
Eastern phoebe. He likes sitting on this bat and looking for insects.
Speaking of bats, I've got a new bat detector that auto-detects bat species from their echo location calls. We have been astonished with the diversity of bats just in our garden- according to the detector we have Hoary Bats, Eastern Red Bat, Brazilian Free Tails, Evening Bats, and Big Brown Bat. The only one I have actually seen is the Hoary bat, because it is a large bat and it often flies around our yard at dusk. The smaller bats tend to wait until it is dark, so I've only "seen" them through the bat detector. There are certainly enough mosquitoes for them to eat!
A new visitor to the garden also arrived this week, a blue-headed vireo.
It has been a busy few weeks. Luckily we were spared the worst of Hurricane Matthew and only had some minor tree damage. We had the birdfeeders back out at dawn immediately after the storm passed. Since then I've picked up a few more painted buntings, as well as had some other migrants pass through.
Red eyed vireo
Black throated blue warbler male
And female. All of the warblers have been enjoying these rouge berries.
Female Scarlet Tanager
Ruby throated hummingbird
Our wildlife cams have been catching plenty of interesting visitors.
By day: Catbird, Ovenbird, Cardinal, and Carolina wren
By night: Raccoons, Opossum with baby in pouch, Armadillo, and a pre-dawn Ovenbird
It has been a lot of fun watching what goes on in the garden when we are not looking!
Last week I was in San Antonio for a conference. Flying out of Palm Beach, I got a nice view of all the runoff stormwater draining offshore.
Market Square, the largest Mexican market in the US.
The highlight of the trip was the Bracken bat cave, home to millions of bats! It was amazing to watch them emerge at dusk. I had visited last spring, but this was much more impressive since there were many more fall migrant bats present.
We've also had our first cool front pass through in Florida, which has been a delight.
Hurricane Matthew is heading for South Florida this evening. Thought I'd get one more blog in before going offline for a while!
Bird activity has picked up in the last few days. We had our first painted buntings arrive a couple of days ago.
Hummingbirds have been arriving steadily
New one for the yard, Swainson's Thrush
The local pileated woodpeckers have been taking an interest in the owl box. This one decided to widen the entrance hole enough so that it could fit inside. I don't know why since I doubt that the box is large enough for them to nest in. Guess I will have to look into reinforcing the entrance before the owls come back!
To those in Matthew's path... stay safe!
Welcome to my blog!
Thoughts and images from a South Florida biologist and photographer. Comments have been disabled due to spammers. Sorry. I still appreciate your feedback though. Feel free to email me: janine AT janine-images DOT com