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Mystery Bird Found!

Monday, November 04, 2013

I started my conquest in the late 90’s. Always a day late and a dollar short to see the rare visitor Often times less than a day, just minutes late. The elusive bird was “my albatross” and it had entered my psychic as much as any other rare bird does but this one beyond the imaginable causing me to ask the question; Does it even really exist? Time after time reports at Ft. Pickens yield an empty catch. Each trip more frustrating than the one before and by this time I even passed up many opportunities because of my frustration. The entire 90s and early the 2000s were a big miss, 2010 a miss, 2011 a miss, 2012 a miss, time after time going or not going I was missing a chance and felt as if I was “Jousting at Windmills”. The bird only existed in my imagination.

Here are the facts;
1) I know the time of year the bird is to arrive
2) I know what type of weather fronts bring them in
3) I know their call notes
4) I must have studied their pictures thousands of times.

My magic moment came October 29, 2013 at 8:15 am. The Callaway’s had reported a Burrowing Owl at Pickens and even though I have seen one before a chose this time to take a look at the rare visitor. As I drove up, Jerry, Brenda and Daniel were beside the road viewing a Grooved-billed Ani. Yeah right! Let’s go find the Owl, because I know that bird exist. Brenda and I searched for the owl while Daniel and Jerry headed down through the dunes to our location. The Owl had flown the coop and I parted for home. Just one more try I had to look one more time for that bird. “My Albatross”. I stopped short of where Daniel and Jerry has seen the bird and I walked up and to my surprise a GROOVE BILLED FREAKIN’ ANI was in the top of a holly bush just a calling. My Big day!

Yes Virginia there is a Santa Clause and by the way Groove-billed Ani’s do exist! Thank you Jerry Callaway for the find!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JIBBIE49 11/27/2013 12:37AM

    Happy Thanksgiving.

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CAKAROO 11/5/2013 6:02AM


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IDLETYME 11/4/2013 8:22PM

    Fantastic find - thanks for sharing!!!! emoticon

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CAROLISCIOUS 11/4/2013 1:06PM

    That is a really cool looking bird! Thanks for sharing and congrats on finding your "albatross."

Perseverance pays off!

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CAROLIAN 11/4/2013 12:04PM


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LAC936 11/4/2013 8:22AM

    What a great find and very unusual looking bird.

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Mobile Birding

Sunday, January 27, 2013

My bride and I recently spent one of this winter's rare sunny days in Mobile, Alabama. We drove along the I10 causeway and ended up on Dauphin Island and riding the ferry back across Mobile Bay to Fort Morgan.

We found this Osprey near the USS Alabama, battleship.

At the battleship the huge lawn was filled with Canada Geese.

Near the picnic area, we spotted a Loggerhead Shrike.

At Dauphin Island, a mass of gulls. Laughing Gulls, Royal Tern and Caspian Tern.

On the ferry these Laughing Gulls got a free ride.

A juvenille Laughing Gull.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CYBERCITYSHELL 7/10/2013 10:16PM

    I like the little loggerhead shrike emoticon

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CAROLISCIOUS 1/27/2013 10:05AM

    Awesome photos!

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Fort Pickens

Sunday, January 06, 2013

We spent yesterday morning wondering the trails of Ft. Pickens. The fort is an old Civil War site which guarded the entrance to Pensacola Bay. Now, it is a part of the Gulf Islands national Seashore and managed by the National Park Service.

We found some nice birds along trails.


and this Gray Catbird. The Catbirds were everywhere giving their mew like a kitten call.

A Savannah Sparrow.

A White-throated Sparrow

and An American Kestral

he was giving us the evil eye. Although slightly overcast and cool (upper 40's) we
had the place pretty much to ourselves.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HICKOK-HALEY 1/7/2013 7:22PM

    What a fun day. I have never been to the forts over there. Maybe someday. The Sora is a pretty bird. We have the White Crowned Sparrow where I live, but the White Throat is on the west coast. If I ever get over to the beach, I will have to keep my peepers open. We do have the Kestrel. Shy little birds. You were lucky to get a good shot of it lol. The male is such a beautiful bird for being so small.

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New Years Day

Thursday, January 03, 2013

We found ourselves out of the trails and enjoying the day. Although it was very overcast most of the day we missed the rain and found a few good birds.

Boat-tailed Grackle

We could hear the Bald Eagles calling from inside the nest but noone appeared.

My newest bird friend in Florida, Barn Owl

There has been two birds present lately but we only got the male guarding the opening.


Naval Live Oaks

Sunday, December 30, 2012

I spent yesterday wondering around Gulf Islands National Seashore-Naval Live Oaks Unit. The old grove of Live Oaks was set aside years ago to have timber to build the old warships. Live Oaks are tough wood and the old ships like the USS Consitution were built from the branches. Now it is a small part of GINS and protected by department of interior.

Here is a part of the trail.

The old relic dune line has captured debris from past Florida Hurricanes but mostly 2004 Ivan the terrible.

I found a few nice birds including the Sanderling.

Snowy Egrets along the shore line.

The trails are lined with Wax Myrtles which are loaded with wax berries.

And the Yellow-rumped Warblers(Myrtle Warblers) are eating the berries.

Carolina Chickadees were everywhere as well.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAP1313 1/2/2013 8:46AM

    Are the Carolina Chickadees the same as the Carolina Wrens? I have a pair that nest in my garage every year. They hatch out babies a couple of times during he season. I've seen a small flock around my trees already.

Loved the pictures, and Live Oaks are my favorite trees.

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CAROLISCIOUS 12/31/2012 10:45AM

    I love that place. We used to take our kids there all the time.

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HICKOK-HALEY 12/31/2012 3:29AM

    Looks nice and sunny. Love your pictures. We have that Warbler here as well. A cute little bird. Beautiful pictures of the Egrets!

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