I went to Oakland Nature Preserve over the Memorial Day weekend to look for baby bluebirds. My favorite trails that were so active in the winter are definitely quieter during the summer, but I found some good birds. They were red, white(ish), and blue, perfect for the holiday!
When I first arrived, a squirrel hopped up on a sign and begged me to take his picture. I complied, knowing that I might have a not-so-birdy day and need fodder for a blog post!
The chipping calls of cardinals filled the air, especially in the area where I chased the Yellow-breasted Chat this spring. I spotted the whole family: Papa Cardinal out looking for bugs, Mama Cardinal just in from the shower, and Baby C who just wanted to be fed!
These next birds were white….or at least, partly white! This little Blue-gray Gnatcatcher was a fun find for summer. Blue-gray Gnatcatchers do summer in Florida, but they are much harder to find than in the winter when their northern buddies join the party.
I heard this Northern Parula before I saw him. The trill in his song is unmistakable. He paused briefly to look at the camera before continuing his hunt for breakfast.
Nearby, the calls of an Osprey drew my attention to a large bird carrying a huge branch. Most Osprey I know were starting to fledge chicks by this time, so I was surprised to see this massive piece of furniture heading for the nursery. It’s too bad the tree in the foreground obscured it – the branch was easily twice the size of the bird!
My last bird of the morning was an Eastern Bluebird. He stood tall and proud on a pine tree, seeming to watch over one of the bluebird houses. A female bird answered him from just above me. They weren’t ready to introduce me to their family, but that was ok. It’s nice to know that they have a safe place to raise their kids, despite all the recent habitat loss due to housing development.
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!