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

Thursday, October 9, 2008



While there is a partial list of the places I go on the side of this blog. It isn't a complete list. Some of the places don't have their own WebPages and so I haven't included them in that area.

As I have said before in my previous post I keep to local sites in and around Hollywood, FL but do visit other places from time to time. Today’s Post will cover a few of the local places that are nearby.

One of my favorite places to go is Holland Park at 801 Johnson Street, Hollywood, Fl. 33020. This is a marvelous 23-acre park along the intercoastal waterway where you can enjoy a quiet eco-walk on a nature trail or have a picnic or just sit and enjoy the boats going up and down the intercoastal. There are also bike trails and Kayaking Lessons and a boat ramp. There are two pavilions, picnic facilities, bicycle path, nature trails, a waterfront overlook, and a waterfront observation tower.

This park is a favorite of mine and has provided me with many lifer additions to my lifer bird list and much enjoyment as I discover what this park has to offer. If I just want to run out for a couple of hours this is one of the places I go. Sometimes though the no-see-ums can ruin a gal’s fun, so make sure you take along some bug spray if you are planning to go there in the summer.

Snake Warrior's Island Natural Area,3600 S.W. 62nd Ave., Miramar, FL 33023 Open: Monday through Sunday 7:30am – Dusk - This 53.3 acre Natural Habitat is great place to observe wading birds and ducks, wood storks, little blue and tricolored herons, white ibis, and osprey. I have also seen both Cormorants and Anhinga fishing, hawks flying as well as a Kingfisher and a small group of killdeer. They say there are 120 species of birds there so I have my work cut out for me trying to seeing them all. I have also seen several species of Warblers there in the little Oak filled area north of the parking lot.

The trail is a 1650 foot concrete Boardwalk and there are interpretive signs along the way telling about the history of the area which is all very interesting. Oh I forgot mention the important part the benches along the way so you can sit and enjoy watching the birds and other flora and fauna. Oh and let’s not forget about all the butterflies you can see there. The first time I went the ground was filled with white peacock butterflies. What a site to see!

This trail though, is mostly in the sun and mostly used by walkers and joggers and a few people on bikes so watch out for them. I don’t see too many birders out there but I hear tell they do go there. They probably utilize the place during the week when I am working.

Anne Kolb Nature Center 751 Sheridan Street, Hollywood, FL 33019 (954)-926-2480 is a 1,500 acre wetland mangrove forest habitat for wading birds and other wildlife, this nature center features wildlife viewing areas, narrated boat tours, exhibit trails, an Intracoastal fishing pier, a five story observation tower, and an environmental exhibit hall and my favorite a Butterfly Garden. Although I have not had much luck with birds there, (except for the day I found several Warblers feeding in a tree) I love to go there to photograph Butterflies and Dragonflies.

Secret Woods Nature Center , 2701 W. State Rd. 84, Dania, FL 33312. (954) 791-1030. Is a 56 acre park which opened in September 1978, and I have been enjoying its beauty since I moved here to FL in 1983. Although I don't see many birds here I have seen some interesting sites from time to time. Vultures like to roost in the parking lot at night and I got there early enough one morning to see them still in their beds.

Secret Woods has two nature trails. The Laurel Oak Trail is a mulched trail that is 1,200 feet long. It has several seating areas along the way for you to stop and enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds you. Now I must admit I haven't used this trail much in fact I haven't been on it in years. Guess I should give it a try again huh?

I do however frequent The New River Trail which consists of a boardwalk made almost entirely of recycled plastic lumber that winds its way out to the shore of the South Fork of the New River. It is 3,200 feet long and has several rest stops and observation points along the way.

A recent new addition to this park is a butterfly garden which I now also frequent quite often and you will see many pictures take from here.

So these are a few of my favorite places to go locally especially if I am short on time and just want to get out for a couple of hours (giggling) which usually ends up being 4 or more. I have never been out for just 2 hours.