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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 1, 2016 3:27 PM CST
Went to post my poor efforts at capturing an image of the brown thrasher, and here it is August already!!

We came from here: The thread "Bird Photos - July 2016" in Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum

The camera wanted to focus on the bamboo, not the bird. What can I say. Shrug! I'll keep trying. I can't get over how much this bird looks like a large version of the Carolina wren! Same hooked beak, bright-eyed look, same coloring both back and breast. Only the thrasher is pretty big, about the size of a grackle. It also has a long straight tail, not cocked up like the wren's.

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Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
Critters Allowed Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
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wildflowers
Aug 1, 2016 5:34 PM CST
Hello August! Smiling Thank you for the new thread, Elaine. I like your pictures of Brown Thrasher, I'm not sure if we get them here but I haven't seen them. I have seen many Carolina wrens. Smiling

Ruby Throated Hummingbird ~

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May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
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mellielong
Aug 2, 2016 10:17 AM CST

Moderator

I like the eyes of the Brown Thrasher. They look like they know what's going on. Hilarious!
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Aug 2, 2016 8:14 PM CST
Thanks for the new thread Elaine.

I think brown thrashers are just plain cool. I agree with Melanie about their eyes. They sing the most beautiful songs. Lovey dubby
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Aug 2, 2016 8:36 PM CST
I have been hearing some nice singing out there, but I can't tell who it was. Here's today's efforts at a shot of the brown thrasher:

Thumb of 2016-08-03/dyzzypyxxy/47208e Thumb of 2016-08-03/dyzzypyxxy/6eacd9

As you see, once again the camera is refusing to focus on that infernal bird . . it's a mischief maker too - I wondered why I've had to sweep the walkways every morning and today I saw this guy "thrashing" all the leaves and mulch out onto the walkway not 5 minutes after I swept. Anyway, he/she is getting more bold now, and getting up onto the net under the feeder, so I'll get a better picture pretty soon . . . I hope!

I think this woodpecker winked at me:

Thumb of 2016-08-03/dyzzypyxxy/a32ae6 Thumb of 2016-08-03/dyzzypyxxy/157b77

Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Aug 3, 2016 9:43 AM CST
Finally! My brown thrasher has discovered he/she doesn't have to "thrash" so much for seeds. I'm excited to have a "new" bird to show.

Thumb of 2016-08-03/dyzzypyxxy/f7b9f5 Thumb of 2016-08-03/dyzzypyxxy/2cbf34

It's August already, and thinking we'll start to see migrating birds in another month or two. I really can't complain though, looking out the window beside me here I can see four blue jays, at least 3 squirrels, a couple of mourning doves and a bunch of sparrows waiting for room at the feeder. Oh, and mama cardinal just arrived, too.

Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
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mellielong
Aug 3, 2016 2:30 PM CST

Moderator

My bird groups on Facebook said migration was starting this month, but I'm too hot to do anything about it. Hilarious!
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Ibis
Florida, Orlando-ish (Zone 9b)
Region: Florida Tropicals Bromeliad Orchids Container Gardener Foliage Fan
Dog Lover Birds
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IbisFla
Aug 4, 2016 1:02 PM CST
Here are some pictures of shore birds, from our vacation on Longboat Key, FL (West coast on the Gulf of Mexico, near Sarasota). Hope you enjoy!

Blue Heron - He was our companion all week.
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Same blue heron - this guy caught a small fish, and threw it back, but the heron grabbed it before it could get away. Smart heron, this seems to be a much more efficient way to eat Big Grin
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The ever-present Ibis
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The next three are gulls of some kind, possibly Laughing Gulls (?)
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Pelican and White Heron
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Ruddy Turnstone
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A sea turtle nesting!!
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White Heron
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Willets
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Red Bellied Woodpecker nesting in a totem pole
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At the Tampa Aquarium:

Gallinule
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Green Heron
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Ruddy Duck - the flash washed it out a bit, but the beak is actually blue!
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Yellow Crowned Night Heron
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Roseate Spoonbills
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[Last edited by IbisFla - Aug 4, 2016 1:11 PM (+)]
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Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
Critters Allowed Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
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wildflowers
Aug 4, 2016 1:29 PM CST
Very enjoyable, Ibis! Hurray! Although now I'm longing to see the ocean for real. Sighing!
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
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mellielong
Aug 4, 2016 3:18 PM CST

Moderator

I'm trying to figure out how a White Heron is different than a Great Egret. They look bigger, but how do you tell?
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Aug 4, 2016 9:09 PM CST
That's right, Melanie. The white herons are bigger, and don't have the soft, fluttery feathers that the Egrets have.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
Image
mellielong
Aug 6, 2016 12:39 PM CST

Moderator

Okay, this is part "me bragging" and part "getting you guys excited". I registered Mom and I for the Florida Birding and Nature Festival in Ruskin, FL. http://www.floridabirdingandnaturefestival.org/ It's about an hour south of me, at the very bottom of Hillsborough County. I live about three miles from the north end of Hillsborough County. It's in what we call the Southshore area. Registration was supposed to open Aug 1 but they had a few website glitches. I contacted the lady they listed on the flyer because I wanted to make sure Mom and I got the field trips we wanted (and were actually capable of doing in Florida in September weather).

So there are field trips on Fri, Sat, and Sun. To see them all, click here: http://www.floridabirdingandnaturefestival.org/FieldTrips.ht... I knew which ones I wanted to go on, but I told Mom to look them over and get back to me on which ones she thought sounded good. Luckily, great minds think alike! Here are the ones we chose:

Friday, Honeymoon Island State Park, Pinellas County
8:00 am - 11:00 am, Carpool: 6:30 am
Limited to 30 participants, Fee $20, Park fee $8 per vehicle up to 8 persons, $4 single occupant vehicle
Leaders: Dan Larremore, John Hood

Honeymoon Island State Park is a dynamic barrier island. Its beaches and the causeway approach to the park are known hotspots for shorebirds, from the little peeps to reddish egrets doing their ‘drunken sailor’ dance. Merlins patrol the edges looking for unwary dinner items. On the island the Osprey Trail, through a rare virgin slash pine forest, lives up to its name, with dozens of ospreys, plus the resident great horned owl family and migrant passerines. Mangroves, lagoons and tidal flats provide diverse habitat. You will meet the leaders before the causeway and have a look at who’s dining on the beach before heading into the park and walking several places along the edge, the woods of Osprey Trail as well as checking the grasslands for sparrows.

Saturday, Alafia Banks Bird Sanctuary excursion on Bay Spirit II, Hillsborough County
9:00 am – 11:30 am, Carpool: 6:30 am
Limited to 40 participants, Fee: $40.00, Aquarium Parking $6.00.
Leaders: Mark Rachal, Ann Paul

Join us aboard the Florida Aquarium’s Bay Spirit II for a 2 ½ hour tour out to the Richard T. Paul Alafia Banks Bird Sanctuary, an Audubon sanctuary considered to be one of the most important nesting colonies in the state of Florida. Each year up to 18,000 pairs of birds representing up to 20 different species nest on this island, including a third of the state’s population of roseate spoonbills and a very large white Ibis nesting colony. Although October is not nesting season, we expect to see pelicans, herons, shorebirds, and duck species. On the ride out to the island, you will also have the chance to see Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. Enjoy a bonus free aquarium admission for the day upon your return!

Sunday, Duette Preserve Wagon Tour, Manatee County
8:00 am – 10:00 pm, Carpool: 7:00 am
Limited to 18 participants, Fee: $25.00
Leaders: Aedan Stockdale, David Gordon

At more than 21,000 acres, Duette Preserve is the largest Preserve in Manatee County. Located in the eastern part of the county it contains the headwaters of Manatee River. Many species of wildlife can be found on Duette Preserve, including species of special concern such as the burrowing owl, snowy egret, white ibis, gopher tortoise, and at least two endangered/threatened species, the eastern indigo snake and one of the largest and healthiest populations of Florida Scrub Jays in the state. Duette Preserve is also host to many of the native plant communities of Manatee County, providing protection and preservation of pine flatwoods, hardwood swamps, xeric oak scrub, depression marsh, and vast dry prairie.


Melanie here again. I picked that last one because I'm determined to see a Florida Scrub Jay. Plus, it's a wagon tour and that means less walking! Mom was a little wary when she read Indigo Snake but I assured her they are harmless and endangered! All the field trips sound good, right? I tried to pick things that were places we hadn't been, couldn't normally go, or where we would have special access. We've actually been to quite a few of the preserves on the list of field trips, usually as part of the "Give a Day for the Bay" volunteer days.

Since the field trips start so early, and my credit card was running a special 10% cash back on hotels, I looked into making this a little mini-vacation. We booked a hotel right on the beach, five miles away from the festival headquarters. Birding during the day, margaritas on the beach in the evening! I've never had a margarita. That will be fixed soon. Rolling on the floor laughing I hope we see lots of cool stuff on our trip, and you know I'll be sure to share it with all of you. For now, all I can share is my excitement!
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Ibis
Florida, Orlando-ish (Zone 9b)
Region: Florida Tropicals Bromeliad Orchids Container Gardener Foliage Fan
Dog Lover Birds
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IbisFla
Aug 6, 2016 1:56 PM CST
Melanie, great choices! Thumbs up I love the wagon ride in Duette Preserve - I hope you see a Scrub Jay, and selfishly, I hope you also get a picture of one Whistling
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
Critters Allowed Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
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wildflowers
Aug 6, 2016 1:59 PM CST
Sure looks like a good time. Green Grin!
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Aug 6, 2016 3:05 PM CST
Right - we want lots of pictures! Especially if you see an indigo snake. If ever there was a "good" snake that one is it. They actually eat rattlesnakes and other venomous snakes.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
Image
mellielong
Aug 6, 2016 8:13 PM CST

Moderator

Mom and I are going to the FL Wildflower Symposium in Silver Springs next month and there are supposed to be Florida Scrub Jays in the Ocala National Forest. So I'm hoping I see one there, but if not, I'll have the Birding Festival as backup. Hilarious! It's kind of a bucket list thing for me. I won't feel like a real Floridian until I see one! That being said, I'm a native Floridian and I've never been to Silver Springs! Mom hasn't been since my parents first moved here in the early '70's. (They got stationed at MacDill AFB.) Mom doesn't think there's any such thing as a "good" snake, but I'll try to talk some sense into her. She actually did really well on the orchid walk at Orlando Wetlands Park and they found three snakes there (a Ribbon, and two Pygmy Rattlers, I think).

I promise I will take so many pictures! This new camera has a great battery life. I carry the spare around, but I haven't had to use it yet. I also have a USB cable I can use to charge it in the car. And a converter. Hilarious! Dad and I were even talking about how many pictures I took in WV. I was cataloging cemeteries while chasing butterflies (or vice versa) and taking 400-600 pictures per day! I was saying how it only costs me a second of my time to take a photo so I don't mind taking a few to get it right. And then we started talking about how much it would have cost to develop all that film back before digital cameras! And you had to hope you got a good shot!

Oh, my bird feeder was empty when I came home and the hummingbird feeder was way down but cloudy. It fermented so I ran it through the dishwasher to disinfect it. Both have been refilled and are being used. Haven't seen the hummingbirds, but the nectar disappears. The squirrels got more seeds than the birds, but we're all getting our exercise by chasing them off. Rolling on the floor laughing It's supposed to rain for the next few days so I'm going to do indoor stuff. Seriously, the county was handing out sandbags today. It's that much rain!
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Aug 6, 2016 9:19 PM CST
It was cloudy most of the day today but we never got a drop of rain. Seems like most of the rain has been out there in the Gulf.

If it doesn't get down here to us tomorrow, I'm going to have to turn on the irrigation!
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Aug 7, 2016 7:17 AM CST
mellielong said:I'm trying to figure out how a White Heron is different than a Great Egret. They look bigger, but how do you tell?


Some links for ID'ing cranes, herons & egrets. Interesting stuff. There are white morphs of all kinds of them.
http://www.learnoutdoorphotography.com/2011/11/identifying-w...
http://blog.nwf.org/2011/03/is-this-a-heron-egret-or-crane/
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
Image
flaflwrgrl
Aug 7, 2016 8:43 AM CST
Elaine I do believe you're right about that woodpecker winking at you! Hilarious! I have to say that in all the years I've had brown thrashers I have NEVER seen one eat seed so you're way ahead of me on that one. They'll come to suet but I never had one at a feeder nor eating seed on the ground.

Ibis what beautiful photos of a nice variety of birds! Thank you so much for sharing your vacation with us.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Ibis
Florida, Orlando-ish (Zone 9b)
Region: Florida Tropicals Bromeliad Orchids Container Gardener Foliage Fan
Dog Lover Birds
Image
IbisFla
Aug 9, 2016 6:54 AM CST
[quote="flaflwrgrl"]

Some links for ID'ing cranes, herons & egrets. Interesting stuff. There are white morphs of all kinds of them.
http://www.learnoutdoorphotography.com/2011/11/identifying-w...
]http://blog.nwf.org/2011/03/is-this-a-heron-egret-or-crane/[...

Ah, so I believe that my "white heron" is actually a Great Egret. I always learn something new on this forum!

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