Beyond the BackyardJoe Overstreet Road

A Quick Stop at Joe Overstreet

Last Saturday on the way back from Blue Cypress Lake, we stopped at Joe Overstreet Road on the way back to Orlando.  It was mid-day, so I wasn’t sure there would be much bird activity, and the light wasn’t great.  But Joe Overstreet can be a good place to see Crested Caracara, Bald Eagles, and occasionally Whooping Cranes, so I didn’t want to miss the opportunity.

We found a flock of Tree Swallows lined up on a telephone wire.  Occasionally they would all take off, fly around, and then eventually reconvene on the wire.  It can be pretty hard to photograph these tiny, fast birds.  I love to try, though.  Their bright blue iridescent feathers make for wonderful images.  This flock was a little too high, so I mostly got shots of birdie undersides.  The picture below is of a juvenile bird who has not yet gotten his bright blue feathers.

The road is lined on both sides with fences, and birds often pose out on the fenceposts.  We didn’t see any many birds out this time, though.  There were just a few Eastern Meadowlarks, a few Loggerhead Shrikes, and a small flock of Savannah Sparrows.  We reached the lake shore and had better luck.  A Bald Eagle flew around calling to us.  A small flock of Black Skimmers made an appearance.  I had to go back to the car for a second memory card, and I found this Northern Mockingbird.  He was doing the hokey pokey with another bird…they both hop in, they both hop out – their courting rituals are cute!

Small groups of Forster’s Terns lined the small dock.  They were pretty used to people, and they didn’t mind me aiming the Beast at them.  Their group was a mixture of birds in basic (or juvenile?) and alternate plumages.  This guy below is sporting his breeding colors.

Forster's Tern

Forster's Tern

A pair of Sandhill Cranes showed off their new baby at the lake shore.  I had to turn back and head back to Orlando…between the sunrise, Ospreys, and Joe Overstreet, it was a great day!! :)