Mead Gardens, nestled in downtown Winter Park, is a well-known migrant trap in Central Florida. Visit during April migration and you never know what you'll see.
The longer your lens, the better chance of seeing those little migrant birds!
7:30 - Dusk
Mead Gardens Blog Archives
- When I was last at Mead Gardens, there were ripe berries on trees everywhere. It seems that Nature takes care of our migrants pretty well, offering them tempting food options on their journey to their winter grounds. The locals don’t mind the food, either. This Red-Bellied Woodpecker was so intent on eating his berries that he hardly cared about the photographer who kept getting closer to him!
- Yesterday the first creature I saw when I arrived was this happy squirrel. He certainly did have his mouth full! He took his prize higher and higher into the tree to eat it.
- I went to Mead Gardens this morning to search for migrant songbirds. It was a gray morning, and as I left, the rainclouds were growing very black. I wasn’t expecting to see much, and I didn’t. There were cardinals and mockingbirds, a pair of American Redstarts, some Tufted Titmice, a Brown Thrasher, several Carolina Wrens, and Red-Bellied and Downy Woodpeckers. I stood quietly, waiting for the birds to come by, and then this Northern Waterthrush hopped out onto a branch! He’s a lifer for me.
- On the morning of the big Fort De Soto fallout, the forecast was for clouds and rain. I went over to Mead Gardens, figuring I’d get an hour of birding in if I was lucky. Mead is a local migrant hotspot, so I figured I might see some birds brought in by the winds of the front. Quite the opposite! The birding was great at De Soto that morning, and very slow at Mead. This is the first Prairie Warbler I’ve seen all spring. This one doesn’t look as snazzy as the ones in their bright new feathers. I’m seeing more Common Yellowthroats around, even in my own backyard. They are such cheerful-looking little birds. I call the one in my backyard “Zorro” for his black mask.
- I keep reading about people birding at Mead Gardens in Winter Park. We went over there on a cloudy Sunday morning and were disappointed not to see a whole lot, probably because of the clouds (it rained most of the rest of the day, and the birds seem to be smart enough to know to stay in their nests!) What we did see: a flock of cedar waxwings, several Carolina wrens, a house wren, a cardinal, a swamp sparrow, and lots of squirrels. We heard at least one goldfinch, but we never saw it. My pictures were pretty bad, mostly because of the low light. I’ve never seen a swamp sparrow before, so I’ll post that picture: