Leif Rydell

Travel, birding and taking photos as the main purpose.

Florida Feb 2011

During the Swedish "sport holiday" in Februari -11 my family went to Orlando for a week. We found real bargain tickets and decided to go. Most days were spent around the amusement parks but also at Kennedy  Space Center from where they this week launched the last space ferry. Florida is a good birding destination and therefore I had contacted Birding Pal Gallus Quilley who came and picked me up one morning.

Gallus Quirell

Gallus, my excellent birding pal guide.

First we went to Tosohathee WMA for some forest bird and I was glad to see the skulking Bachman´s Sparrow. Most time were spent at the Viera Wetlands where yo have good opportunities to see herons, ducks and other water birds. Here you can see some of these; Snowy Egret, Tricolored Heron and Great Blue Heron.

Snowy Egret

Tricolored Heron

Great Blue Heron

In Sweden the Bittern is extremely secretive and very hard to see. Here they walked around in open which was surprising for me. I also saw a few of the special Limpkin, here flying.

American Bittern

Limpkin

As you can see on the following pictures ducks and other heron, ibises were plentiful. Here Blue-winged Teal, Am. Coot, Green Heron and White Ibis.

Blue-winged Teal

Am. Coot

Green Heron

White Ibis

Some of the Grebes we have in Europe are the same but not this Pied-billed Grebe. Resembling the Bronze Ibis and closely related is this White-faced Ibis.

Pied-billed Grebe

White-faced Ibis

We then continued to the coast and Merrit NWR which is probably the best place to see the endemic Florida Jay.

Florida Jay

Close by, we stopped at one of the inlets in this area. The reason for the stop was a big flock of Black Skimmers. A few Ring-billed Gull were also present.

Black Skimmer

Ring-billed Gull

As an end to this good day we stopped at Orlando Wetlands where I eventually saw one of my target birds, the Wilson´s Snipe. Also here was this Wood Stork which was preparing for the night rest.

Wood Stork

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