Last year Rich and I went to Bok Tower a few weeks after the azaleas bloomed, and I was mad to have missed the blooms. So this year we went while the azaleas were in bloom. They were pretty, but not as dramatic as what we expect to see at Callaway Gardens in a few weeks.
The paths were so pretty lined with flowering bushes.
Dyeyo, Rich, and I had fun bird-watching at Bok Tower. We saw the most birds over by Window by the Pond, near the bird feeders. I was amazed to see several painted buntings! One of the caretakers said that the painteds had arrived last winter and returned this winter. There were several males hopping around. I didn’t get a good picture of the buntings, but I did get a decent one of this black and white warbler:
The caretaker also told us about another feeder near the visitor center, and when we found it, we saw this red-bellied woodpecker eating his breakfast. He didn’t appreciate the strangers watching him eat! He’d hop to the feeder, grab a bite, then fly higher to eat it. He’s really a bit big to eat from a tube feeder, but he’s a pretty good gymnast and he figured it out.
I saw this white-eyed vireo by the Window on the Pond. This is the second time I’ve seen one at Bok, and I’ve not seen one elsewhere. Their white eyes are very striking.
The tufted titmice were so cute hopping around the bird feeder. I know they are pretty common backyard birds, but we don’t have them in Stoneybrook West, probably because the oak trees are very young. This guy has his mouth full with his black oil sunflower seed.
I was very excited to see this male ruby-throated hummingbird near Exedra. He was feeding in some salvia and sitting in the same bushes where we’ve seen them in the past. This is the earliest I’ve seen hummers at Bok. Last April I looked for them and never found any. This picture was particularly fun because I think he’s sticking his tongue out at me!
In general we’ve noticed that the warblers are starting to leave, so it was fun to see the oak trees in the parking lot full of little birds. I was able to photograph palm, pine, and prairie warblers all in the same trees. I think I heard one of Mum-mum’s great-crested flycatchers too.
Want to learn more about nature photography at Bok Tower?
Check out my Bok Tower page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!
Planning a trip to Florida? Don't miss my Central Florida Bird Photography Locations reference guide!