From: Rex Rowan <email@example.com>
To: Alachua County birding report
Early this month Darrell Hartman, who works part time for the Gainesville Sun, phoned to ask if I might be interested in doing a birding- and nature-related blog for the Sun’s online edition.
“I might be,” I replied, rubbing my hands together greedily. “How much does it pay?”
“Not one red cent,” Darrell said.
“Ha haaaaa!” I exulted. “My ship has come in! … Wait, what?”
So of course I said yes, and here it is: http://fieldguide.blogs.gainesville.com/
Okay, on to the birding news:
The Western Tanager at Jack and Mary Lynch’s place in High Springs showed up on Saturday. Fifteen or sixteen people visited throughout the day, and about two-thirds of them got at least a fair look at the bird. Matt O’Sullivan got a photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/118053703@N02/16196345793/
On March 15th Kathy Malone, trying to photograph as many of Alachua County’s birds and butterflies as possible before she moves away to Tennessee, got a lovely video of a Bachman’s Sparrow singing very quietly at O’Leno State Park: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2SPuh8rmcY&feature=youtu.be She also got a really great picture of a bird that’s not easy to photograph, a Yellow-throated Vireo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kmalone98/16641313269/
New spring arrivals: Ron Robinson heard a Chuck-will’s-widow singing in his yard on the 13th, and on the 14th Matt O’Sullivan and I saw a Northern Rough-winged Swallow at the end of Cellon Creek Boulevard, where they nest. Nobody has yet reported a Red-eyed Vireo from Alachua County, but during the past three days there have been multiple sightings in Central Florida and a few in North Florida, so they should be here soon if they’re not already.
The loon migration has been rather quiet. As I mentioned before, Andy Kratter saw one on March 9th, the first day of his annual loon watch, but he hasn’t seen one since, and I haven’t seen any during the two days I’ve watched from my back yard. However it’s still early in the season.
Not bird related, but very interesting. I remember hearing someone say that bat houses never attract any bats, that they’re mainly to get people interested, to raise awareness. Evidently the bats around Ron Robinson’s place weren’t aware of that. On March 13th Ron wrote, “I sat out this evening and counted the bats exiting my bat house. I counted 59 before the mosquitoes began to arrive.”
Coming up in the next week:
This Thursday (March 19th), Third Thursday Retirees’ Birding Group to Suwannee River State Park. Meet at Hitchcock’s at 7:30 a.m. to carpool. Lunch at All Decked Out in Live Oak, which has received very good reviews. If you’re going to lunch with the group, contact Bob Carroll at firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP so that he can reserve the space: “The restaurant is small, but the owner promised to work with me to sit us together as long as I give him some numbers in advance. So it’s important that you get back to me!”
This Saturday (March 21st), field trip to Watermelon Pond, led by Sam Ewing: http://www.alachuaaudubon.org/event/watermelon-pond/?instance_id=397
Next Monday (March 23rd), program meeting on loon migration by Andy Kratter: http://www.alachuaaudubon.org/event/program-meeting-the-cross-florida-migration-of-common-loons/?instance_id=395
(Finally, I realize that the announcement, “I’ve started a blog!” strikes some people in just the same way, “I’m selling Amway!” would. To those people I say, “Dude, subscribe to my blog!”)