The sparrows are back, so I headed to Oakland Nature Preserve on Black Friday. I’d much rather visit a field crowded with birds than a shopping mall crowded with people!
My first birds of the morning were a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers in a distant tree. After some synchronized drilling, they flew off. The second one kindly gave me a two-second warning and let me get the shot…
The fields were certainly covered in birds, most of them Palm Warblers. The grasses were lit with the golden morning light as the warblers darted between the grasses, looking for bugs for breakfast. Even they they are common birds, they were fun to photograph!
I saw movement in the distance and spotted a not-so-common bird: a Field Sparrow! They have wintered at Oakland Nature Preserve for the last couple of years. It’s fun to see them back.
I meandered around the meadow, enjoying the sounds of the Eastern Bluebirds and my first-of-fall American Goldfinches. Overhead, a flock of at least 20 Fish Crows made quite the ruckus. Then I startled a little bird who didn’t fly like a warbler. He took refuge in a small tree, then stayed still. Hello, Mr. Grasshopper Sparrow!
It was a good morning for woodpeckers. After the Pileated, I saw a pair of nesting Red-bellied Woodpeckers. The call of a Downy came down from a treetop. Then this Yellow-bellied Sapsucker came out and posed on several trees as he drilled for his morning cup of sap.
I spotted a Pine Warbler in the treetops. His bright yellow color was quite striking. I was waiting for him to turn his head to the camera when he was photobombed by an Eastern Bluebird. ;-)
By 10:00, the activity was waning and it was getting rather hot. This Blue-gray Gnatcatcher waved goodbye as I left and asked me to return again soon!
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!
Jess, you have such an incredible talent! Thanks for sharing it with us.
Thanks Tracy! Hope I get to see you soon!
Any day that includes Field AND Grasshopper Sparrows – well, that’s just special!
Great photographs, Jess.