The Robin’s roost

Posted in nature by paulie on February 2, 2011

I estimated 240, 000 Robins passed over me southbound from this small area of low woodlands. The estimate was conservative, though. A similar number of birds left heading southwest. These Robins are here for only a few days more before they will begin their northerly migration. The location is 28.213,-82.762.

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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Limpkin city

Posted in nature by paulie on November 29, 2010

I went to investigate the large number of Limpkins reported by Ken T at 28.1944,-82.503 and saw not a single bird. Still, there was plenty of evidence of Limpkin activity. My photos show areas strewn with empty snail shells and I could hear Limpkins calling from the woods on both sides of SR54. There are a series of ponds here that are drying out, revealing fish and snails to a large number of wading birds including two kinds of inland Sandpiper, seen in the embedded video. I evaluate the tiny birds as Least Sandpipers and the single tall bird as a Stilt Sandpiper. Please comment if you can recognize the bird. I was disappointed to see only the pink egg masses of the exotic Apple Snail.

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!

Local Sandhill Cranes have raised two colts!

Posted in nature by paulie on August 27, 2010

Baby Sandhill Cranes are called colts, in case you did not know it.  This pair of cranes is generally found in the area between the Holiday Rec Center and Gulf Trace Elementary.  Often I link my friends directly to my films where they reside on youtube but in this case the ‘related videos’ were dominated by references to hunting of Sandhill Cranes and even Whooping Cranes.  Here I can supress ‘related videos’.  To browse films that are mine with a minimum of relating go to my youtube channel page:  http://www.youtube.com/user/yourboypaulie

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: http://myfwc.com/WILDLIFEHABITATs/Nonnative_NorthernCurlytailLizard.htm

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.

Dear BP: this is my beach

Posted in nature, worldweary by paulie on June 25, 2010

Dear BP and your friends in Washington (please forward to Sarah Palin and Republican Congressman Joe Barton).  This is my favorite beach (link to video).  It’s close to my house and I come here every few days to walk and to see what I can see.  I usually have my small video camera with me and I done a lot of shooting there.  I have a library of films of the species you might see, however inconspicuous.  I have already posted some of my films to youtube.

You might think you’re over the hump with this oil spill but my anger is only just rising as the oil comes closer to me.  If I can control myself I will translate my anger into action.  I was thinking of re-shooting all of the same places and species once they are covered with oil.

Actually, I have three youtubes.  And I have a wordpress, a digg, a technorati, a twitter, a buzz, a friendfeed, a facebook and a myspace.  Yes, that is a lot of places to post but don’t worry it’s no trouble.  They intersyndicate automatically.

I heard you had goons keeping people off the beach in Louisiana and Alabama. That wont work with me.  I am a goon.

Local Western FL naturalists will meet to discuss the oil spill

Posted in nature, social network by paulie on June 9, 2010

At the center of the West Coast of Florida, in the town of New Port Richey people will gather on Saturday to discuss how they will meet the oil when it arrives.

Many local people participate in organizations such as Audubon, Sierra Club, Florida Native Plant society and Friends of Werner Boyce – Salt Springs State Park. Many are part of more than one.

They plan to gather outside the New Port Richey City Library at 10:00am SaturdayJune 12, 2010 to discuss how to respond to the oil, how to obtain needed resources and volunteerism.

To see more of the park pictured above visit: http://www.youtube.com/user/yourboypaulie

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.

The Albatross’ cathedral

Posted in nature, worldweary by paulie on April 12, 2010

We had come more than three thousand miles and we’d seen them in their twos and threes – then we found this place. It’s their cathedral.
A birder told me we were seeing Black-Browed Albatross, and sometimes the all-dark Storm Petrel.

White Pelicans: a rare sight

Posted in nature by paulie on December 28, 2009

For me at least.  I’ve seen them four times, that’s once for every two or three years that I have lived in peninsular Florida.  Once I saw a hundred of them form a wheel high in the air, moving south on the wind faster than I could drive my car – without a one of them ever flapping a wing.  I thought they were Storks but thanks to my Audubon friends I learned that I had seen the White Pelicans.  On this blustery day they were fighting turbulence to make their transit altitude.  They could not make a distinct formation but, spotted by us while still at low level, you can see what they look like as they soar.

swans at peace

Posted in nature by paulie on December 17, 2009

To my surprise no humans were mauled in the making of this film. I waited all day to record a swanny smackdown but it never came. The lakes of downtown Lakeland, FL are loaded with swans and I saw them put up with unruly children, friendly ducks, clumsy Ibis, joggers and curious naturalists, even while sitting on their nests. BTW it has been English law for five centuries that all Mute swans, wherever in the world they dwell, belong to the Regent.

Coots, Moorhens and Purple Gallinules

Posted in nature by paulie on December 13, 2009

This film highlights these three Rails. You can see them together when you visit downtown Lakeland, FL which our local Audubon did yesterday. Here’s their website: http://www.westpascoaudubon.com/
The stars in order of appearance:
Ringneck duck
Am. Coot
Mute Swan
Moorhen
Purple Gallinule
Am. Alligator
White Ibis
The lakes visited were Wire, Mirror and Parker.

hundreds of Herons

Posted in nature by paulie on November 22, 2009

Dawn at Safety Harbor municipal pier with hundreds of Tricolor Herons, Little Blue Herons and Snowy Egrets leaving their night roost. Local people thought the roost would be at a place called Alligator Lake. Also two Spotted Sandpipers and a Yellow Crowned Night Heron were found at Philippe Park. Thanks to Clearwater Audubon. Here’s their site: http://www.clearwateraudubon.org/

Additional: here’s the trip’s bird list, thanks Jo:
Clearwater Audubon Phillipe Park, Safety Harbor, Fl, Nov 21,2009 Merle Hubbard, leader.
Belted Kingfisher
White Ibis
Spotted Sandpiper Lesser Scaup
Willett
Brown Pelican
Bald Eagle
Forster’s Tern
Laughing Gull
Common Loon
Yellow-crowned Night Heron
Snowy Egret
Great Blue Heron
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Black and White Warbler
Palm Warbler
Pine Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
House Wren
Hermit Thrush
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Gray Catbird
White-eyed Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Blue Jay
N Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
Cardinal
Fish Crow
Red-tailed Hawk
American Goldfinch

fiddler crabs are coming

Posted in nature by paulie on November 10, 2009

The Fiddler crabs at Key Vista are coming out en masse. Each of then has a unique pattern on it’s shell. Many look like faces.

Glossy Ibis at Holiday recreation complex

Posted in nature by paulie on November 7, 2009

Glossy Ibis can be seen seasonally at the Pasco County Holiday recreation complex.  A pair has been present for the last few days and I shot some video.  The Ibis’ presence upset a juvenile Moorhen whose parents got involved.  The Moorhen family bothered the Ibis until they left.  I was very amused by the Glossy’s brief attempt to threaten a Moorhen.

The Glossys flew toward the TV towers where there must be a substantial roost.  I have not figured out how to get to it but in the evening you can see hundreds of birds heading in.

Long-Billed Curlew

Posted in nature by paulie on November 1, 2009

Clearwater Audubon visited Ft. De Soto, 10/31/09, halloween. I read there was a Long–Billed Curlew hanging around and by watching some birdwatchers we found it! What an elegant bird. I could not see what it was getting 10 or 12 inckes under the sand.

View the video:  http://bit.ly/3kiCHW
Video window basics:  http://bit.ly/1Ke2Y1

I also saw my first-of-season Coots, Redhead Ducks, Ruddy Ducks and Scaup and a flock of around 20 Magnificent Frigatebirds. Also in the video are Oystercatchers, Terns, Plovers, Marbled Godwits and a mysterious and beautilful feathery-flowered plant that enchanted me. Please tell me if you have a clue what it might be. The stick insects were mating despite the papparazzi. One shorebird remained unidentified, might be a Short-Billed Dowitcher.

bizarre creature

Posted in nature by paulie on July 20, 2009


Somebody please tell me what this is?
Please!