As much as I enjoy going to places like Lake Apopka and Oakland Nature Preserve, sometimes there’s just no place like home. So I finally stopped one weekend in mid-January for some backyard birding. It’s been a while since I spent some quality time with my Painted Buntings and American Goldfinches!
This Gray Catbird was the first bird to greet me. He wasn’t entirely sure why a random person was sitting out near his feeder, but he wasn’t as skittish as some of the other birds. Apparently they’ve forgotten that I used to hang out with them all the time!
We have at least 6-8 Painted Buntings wintering in the backyard this year. The males especially seem to be visiting the feeders more often. This one perched briefly in the viburnum before darting out to grab some millet.
The weather forecast was for a cloudy morning, which is perfect for backyard birding because then I can point the camera in any direction. But it turned out to be a beautiful sunny morning, so I couldn’t aim the camera toward the goldfinch feeding area. I’ll have to try again to capture my cheerful little buddies, who are starting to turn yellow!
We’ve had a pair of Orange-crowned Warblers hanging out in the backyard this winter. They are very fond of my purple salvias and giant coral porter weed plants. I think the warblers are drinking the nectar from the flowers. It was a case of almost having too much lens…
Even though it was a morning in mid-January, there were definite signs of spring. I heard my first-of-spring Purple Martins that morning. They always return in January to kick off their breeding season. I got a quick shot as they flew high overhead. Welcome back, friends!