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Seeking the Ash-throated Flycatcher in Florida

After visiting the nesting Great Blue Herons at Viera Wetlands before Christmas, Michael and I drove down the road to the Moccasin Island Tract to see a rare Ash-throated Flycatcher in Florida.  Ash-throated Flycatchers typically live in the western US, so this guy is a little far from home!  We parked, spotted a flycatcher-like bird on a post, and I got two very quick shots before the bird flew off.  Why is it that lifer shots are always bad ones?  My settings were all off and I severely underexposed him!  But at least I got a shot.  Lightroom helped me lighten the image so that I could post it and add it to my Life List

Ash-throated Flycatcher

Ash-throated Flycatcher

A friendly Eastern Meadowlark was very cooperative for us.  Maybe he felt badly that we didn’t get great shots of the Ash-throated Flycatcher, so he decided to pose.  He sat on a fencepost and sang his heart out for us.  It was very windy, and I was hand-handling the Beast.  It was hard to keep the bird in the frame with the wind blowing so hard!   I kept hoping he’d hop down to a berry bush below his fence, but he wasn’t that cooperative.

Eastern Meadowlark Singing

Eastern Meadowlark Singing

An American Kestrel hopped out to say hello to us, but he wouldn’t pose.  Kestrels are very skittish.  The fencepost and barbed wire environment is perfect for Loggerhead Shrikes, and we saw several out in the fields.  This one below let us get very close and photograph him.  We stayed with him for a while, hoping he’d grab a grasshopper or something.  He didn’t.

Loggerhead Shrike

Loggerhead Shrike

So it was a somewhat quiet end to our morning’s adventure, but it’s always fun to go new places.  I can’t believe I’ve never driven down the road to the Moccasin Island Tract before.  It’s so close to the Viera Wetlands.  I’m sure I will be back!

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