Reports of a Yellow-breasted Chat at Oakland Nature Preserve took me to the Red Trail with my camera. The chat eluded me, but I did see plenty of sparrows and little birds.
I spotted a Grasshopper Sparrow perched out on a pile of brush. This isn’t one of the highly-endangered Florida Grasshopper Sparrows, but a more common wintering visitor. Arrive early if you want to spot one of these guys. They are easiest to find in the first hour or so after sunrise.
Later I spotted this Field Sparrow in a tree at the edge of the trail. Two Field Sparrows have been regular visitors to Oakland Nature Preserve for the past couple of years. They are uncommon winter visitors in Central Florida.
Throughout the fields, I heard the happy calls of American Goldfinches in the treetops. Finally one came close enough to photograph.
The Grasshopper Sparrow wasn’t the one fan of the big brush pile. This House Wren find a high perch to sing his heart out. For such a small bird, he made such a big noise!
The fields were alive with the calls of little birds. Sparrows, warblers, and buntings. I finally spotted a Painted Bunting “greenie” in the same tree as the Field Sparrow.
Overhead was a Common Ground Dove. I heard this bird before I saw him. The little rustling sound in their wings is unmistakable.
As I wandered around the trail, this Red-bellied Woodpecker flew in front of me and landed on a tree trunk. He said that not all birds are as elusive as the chat!
Want to learn more about nature photography at Oakland Nature Preserve?
Check out my Oakland Nature Preserve 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!