Kelp Gull visits Florida

Posted in florida garden, nature by paulie on January 19, 2011

Taken 1/5/11 at Anclote Gulf Park, Holiday, FL where the gull visited a tide-exposed area for several days.

Birders soon appeared from all around the state. It is cheaper to see him here than to pursue the gull in it’s native range: the shores of the South American continent. As of this writing the gull is still seen now and then on exposed flats.

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Yellow-Breasted Chat: I’m famous again

Posted in florida garden, nature by paulie on November 7, 2010

The Blue-Winged Warbler, Curlytailed Lizard and now a Yellow-breasted Chat in this yard. It is only the third verified Chat in my county of Florida! We also saw three Robins today. First of season! And I discovered a colony of Red Headed Woodpeckers here in town. Local ornithological types already knew about the woodpeckers but it does not change the fact today was a banner day for my county’s bird history!

An exotic lizard in this yard

Posted in florida garden, nature by paulie on August 20, 2010

I think he’s called a Curlytail.  I have seen these at Nassau, The Bahamas.  This one turned up in my dooryard today.  Funny, I think his tail unculs when he relaxes.  The species is an exotic invader.  Here’s what Fish & Wildlife says about him:

Frog chorus at the Heron’s water hole

Posted in florida garden, nature by paulie on July 2, 2010

After months of gradually drying up the heron’s waterhole filled in a few minutes with the first good rain of summer.  The fact that it dries out so badly is hard on the fish but is what makes this a good frog pond and here and there you can see them busily amplexing on the surface.  One of the calls you hear is the Bufo Marinus, whose trill is nearly indistinguishable fron the Screech Owl’s.  The rule is if the call is coming from the ground it’s the toad.  If it’s from a tree it’s the owl.  Bufo Marinus, the Marine Toad is non-native, grows as big as a dinner plate, and secretes poison.

What kind of bird is this?

Posted in florida garden, nature by paulie on June 27, 2010

Actually, I know.  But I won’t spoil your fun.

My Palm Warbler has left for Canada

Posted in florida garden, nature by paulie on April 18, 2010


It seems my Palm Warbler has got underway.  He is ‘mine’ because he comes to the place outside my window where I feed birds.  He visits every day of his winter vacation, which he has spent entirely within my small back yard since at least 2006.  Another Palm Warbler occupies my small front yard.  Usually these birds do not appear at any kind of feeder but my small friend somehow learned to eat the bird chow that my domestic birds didn’t want.  It’s how I know he is mine.

My hopes go with him as he flies through the night, probably for weeks, looking at the stars and sensing the Earth’s magnetic field to find the place in Canada where he will see his hen again if she has also survived.

I know his mission to make a new Palm Warbler is critical and much more important to him than risk to his own life but when November comes I will look for him every day.  I wish I could tell him that if he can somehow get back to me I will be ready with chow and orange slices and we’ll enjoy the mild winter days together one more time.

Palm Warbler at the plant table

Posted in florida garden by paulie on December 2, 2009

Video proof! I first photographed the Palm Warbler who fed at my table in late 2007. This is unusual because, of course, the bird is an insectivore and not a visitor to any feeder. But among the seeds I put out are a kind of engineered nutrition pellet for domestic birds and this warbler has learned to eat those. I believe this is the same individual that learned to eat the pellets and who has wintered with me since at least 2006. He returned about a week ago and will be with me until mid-March of 2010. I am happy to contribute to the life of this formidable bird for as long as we cross paths. Here’s what I wrote about him in 2/08.

And, yes those are flower spikes on the Black Aloe in the picture. I am aware this is often referred to as a nonblooming kind of Aloe. Mine blooms regularly with long rests. The flowers are large and coral – orange.

Red-Shouldered in this yard

Posted in florida garden by paulie on November 13, 2009

I scrambled to get a camera on him but he stayed for several minutes and the encounter became one I’ll never forget.

my own invention, the Angry Candle

Posted in florida garden, social network by paulie on September 25, 2009

One of my creative outlets. The video has more information. It is high quality so don’t watch it in this little box. If you click the yt logo the site will open in a new window. You can even fullscreen it and it should look fine.

Ground Dove in this yard

Posted in florida garden by paulie on July 12, 2009

I am pleased at the reappearance of a common Ground Dove in this yard. There were a pair but they disappeared five or six years ago! Despite the dirty window glass I nailed the pic. He was as surprised as I was. Full size image hosted here.

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the new Cardinal chick pic

Posted in florida garden by paulie on July 6, 2009


I think our local Cardinal couple has managed to raise a baby every year of the past eight. They have a good nest location that they keep secret even from me.

When he is not busy begging his parents to feed him our fledgling spends lots of time on my plant table trying different seeds in my domestic birdseed mix and learning the potentials of interacting with Mourning doves and lizards.

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