Wednesday, December 10, 2008


After Holland Park I decided that Flamingo Gardens in Davie, FL might be a good place to go. After all it is wooded and there are lots of plants and trees there. If I were a bird I would like it there.
At first I didn’t find much in the way of "wild life" but I kept going as I was finding all manner of things to photograph and I was learning about our birds and getting to see some of them up close and personal and learning to ID them.

There are so many things at Flamingo Gardens to catch the eye of a nature photographer, of course at the time I didn’t realize that was what I was turning into. In fact I didn’t really realize it till this year. First it was birds then in the summer when the birds were scarce I turned to flowers with a dash of butterflies and dragonflies.

Then I found myself seeking out anything in nature snakes, raccoons, and alligators were of course a natural. Now I do Spiders and their webs, Mushroom and fungi, all manner of bugs or insects and reptiles from little lizards to rather large Iguanas. These and much more can be found at Flamingo Gardens. It is getting so that if it is in front of my camera I will try to photograph it and it is very easy to get something in front of the camera at Flamingo.
Now flamingo Gardens is not free. There is an Admission but I am a member and membership has its privilege. So I do get in free and I do go there quite often. It’s fairly close to home and there is something about that place that revives me. Some of the many attractions that I avail myself of are the Arboretum and the different gardens, and the area where the Geese and Swans are. To me these areas provide a lot of opportunity for photographing wildlife and flowering trees and shrubs. Another favorite photography spot are the Butterfly & Hummingbird Gardens. These gardens host a variety of flowering plants and shrubs to attract many different species of butterflies & hummingbirds. I will often sit in on a Wildlife Encounter or take the Tour by Tram and I like going through the Wray Home and seeing all the history there. Right now it is all decked out in its finest for the Holiday Season. I enjoy walking through the Bird of Prey Center even though it makes me sad that all the birds have sustained injuries that will not allow them to be able to fly free again. It is fun though to see the newborns here and know that they at least will have a chance at being released into the wild one day. I enjoy Flamingo Island which as you can tell by the name is where the Flamingos are and I enjoy the River Otter, Bobcat and Panther Habitats as well as Alligator Lagoon. I have been known to buy gift from the Gift shop and The Garden shop and if I am hungry I might stop at the Flamingo Cafe for a bit to eat. So as you can see there is something for everyone young and old alike here.
So if you are ever in the area, be sure to visit Flamingo Gardens in Davie Fl. You can check out their link for more information.

Monday, November 10, 2008


When I first decided I needed to get out to see the birds I wasn't sure where to go and look for them. So then I thought that the local parks would be the best place to start. So then I thought Holland Park might provide a few birds so off I went.

HOLLAND PARK is a delightful Intracoastal-front 23-acre park. Once here you will find boat ramps, two pavilions, picnic facilities, bicycle path, nature trails, a waterfront overlook, and a waterfront observation tower. Here visitors can bike, enroll in kayaking lessons and full-moon tours to West Lake, launch their boats, enjoy an eco-walk on a nature trail or picnic or enjoy freshwater fishing or just sit and relax and watch the activity on the Intercostal.

This park is located at 801 Johnson St. (Map) Hollywood, FL 33019
954-921-3404 and is open from sunup to sundown.

Well as it turns out Holland Park provided me with many a first over the years. My first Flicker, my first Sandpiper, my first Merganser, my first White Peacock, my first wild parakeets, my first Yellow-crowned Night Heron, my first juvenile Yellow-crowned Night Heron, My first Grey Kingbird..

Other birds I have seen at Holland Park are Eurasian-collared Doves, Mourning Doves, Blue Jays, Red-bellied Sapsucker and Downy Woodpeckers, a variety of Warblers. I have seen Osprey, Mafnificent Frigatebirds, Green Herons, Great Blue Herons, Little Herons and a few Sparrows.

Other wildlife I have seen are Squirrels & raccoons, Silk Spiders, and Blue Crabs and Bunnies. Not to mention the Dolphins and fish.

This quiet little park on the intercoastal has provided me with hours of birding pleasure and wildlife exploration. There are lots of plants and trees many of which flower and produce fruit. And the birds......well they just keep coming. I never know what I will find at this delightful little park on Johnson Street.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sometimes They Just Come to Visit Me.

Now just because I don't feed the birds doesn't mean that they don't come to visit me. Quite the contrary, I do in fact get birds that visit me. At first it was just a pair of Eurasian Collared Doves. I say just but this pair taught me something and gave me hours of enjoyment. I also mourned their loss when the hawks found their nests and their babies. I watched them trying to protect the little ones through a hurricane only to abandon the nest after the storm. Not sure if it was because of the storm or if something else got to the eggs that time.

There were other birds around the usually suspects, mocker, Blue Jays and Cardinals and soon I had a couple of visiting sapsuckers and in season I found the Norfolk Island Pine loaded with Palm Warblers.

One of the biggest thrills was watching a Kestrel at the top of the Norfolk Island Pine. He soon became a daily occurrence and I was lost when he disappeared. But when the seasons changed he was back in the pine tree again. That is until Wilma too it down and the Condo in
turn had all the large trees cut down in fear of future storm damage. But that’s another story and I need to get back to my birds. Even now I see the Kestrel occasionally sometimes on the roof of the condo and sometime in a tree top when I am out for a walk in the neighborhood.

I get all excited when a bird comes to visit me for the first time. I try to get picture but I don’t always succeed especially if the bird is a warbler. Those little guys don’t sit still for nothing. I have had several warblers visit the little tree outside my porch and a few interesting butterflies and bugs too.

One of the best visits came when I was on my way to work. I was walking along the catwalk making my way to the elevator when I saw this hawk at the pool. Now the question was do I go back to the apartment and get the camera or do I just go to work knowing he will be gone when I get back. Well folks sometime you just got to take a chance and I did. Got the camera and got a few shots and I tried getting closer by going down the stairs and as I was on the second floor landing taking pictures something caught my eye and I turned to look and there was a second one in the palm tree. Well I go a couple of shots of him before he flew down to join the other one. Then I got shots of the two of them. They let me get pretty close and I was a happy camper. Just couldn’t wait to tell the folks at birding about this adventure.

Some time the visitors are moths or butterflies or dragonflies or lizards. One never knows what will be waiting for her just outside her condo.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Other Amazing Places

As I said in the beginning, not everywhere I go to bird is in Broward County. One or actually two of my favorite places are in Palm Beach. Delray to be exact! Wakodahatchee and Green Cay are absolutely wonderful places to go. There is so much activity at these two places it is unbelievable. I used to spend more time there then I do today but that is because I have been spending my time in search or Broward’s Birds. Also on this coast but a lot further north is Merritt Island. If I had a choice today on where I could go to live it might be in that area. Might??? Who am I kidding would move there in a hot minute. I fell in love with that place years ago when I was traveling around Florida for the company I was working for at the time. They get different birds there then we see down at this end on this side of the state at least. I took a friend with me last time I went and she is not exactly a birder but when we drove around the bend and the water was filled with pink birds she suddenly became interested. But that was the extent of her interest. She was not interested in scouring through every cluster of ducks to see what else might be there. She did however enjoy the gift shop……… did I.....bigger smile. Now on the west coast I love the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and Sanibel Island’s J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Sanctuary. Both are amazing places. I certainly must get over there this year if possible. It has been a long, long time since I have been to either place, and longer since I have been to the Everglades. Time for a Florida West Coast Trip! Wonder if old Bessie is up to it? Of course there are more places that I go to and tons more that I would like to visit but there is so little space and so many good birding places. I hope once I get a new car I will get out and about to more places in particular the places I haven’t been yet. I will as I go along feature each and every birding space but for now I will just tease you with bits and pieces. Enjoy!!!!! And Good Birding to each and everyone!

Monday, October 13, 2008


When I am out and about I see all manner of interesting things. My main reason for going out and about is to look for birds of course but that quest will often bring other rewards. These rewards come in the shape of butterflies, dragonflies, flowers, reptiles and mammals. Now this is just a general listing as I am known to photograph just about anything that catches my interest and stands still long enough to let me take it's picture as you will find out if you follow this blog.
Basically I just love being outside and enjoying the fresh air and the balmy Florida breezes. There always seems to be a breeze here although in the summer it is best to hide from that hot afternoon sun. I try to get out early and get the good morning light but it doesn’t always work that way in the long run. I tend to stay away from late afternoon forays as the traffic here gets pretty heavy by then and I hate traffic. It ruins the peace and serenity I found while out and about.

Below you will discover a few of my favorite subjects with a brief description of what they are and where I photographed them.

The Photos above include a beautiful Banana Tree in Flower, An alligator photographed at Flamingo Gardens and no it is not in the wild but I just liked the effect of the shadows in the water. The wonderful Buckeye Butterfly was photographed at Anne Kolb Park. The Racoon was enjoying a feast that some well intentioned person had left behind for the wildlife. Guess they just don't realize what harm they are in fact causing.

A beautiful Banded Dragonfly photographed at Anne Kolb Park
A close-up of White Ibis Photographed at TY Park.
An Iguana catching a few rays at Flamingo Gardens
A Silk Spider photographed at Holland Park