Beyond the Backyard

A Visit to the Swallow-Tailed Kites on Powerline Road

Posted on
Swallow-Tailed Kite. Powerline Road, Hernando County.

Every year in the summertime, the people on Birdbrains start talking about the kettles of Swallow-Tailed Kites on Powerline Road in Hernando County.   Last year I really wanted to go and see them, but I didn’t.  This year Dyeyo and I decided to drive out there to see what there was to see. We found kites!  Not in the 75+ numbers as described on Birdbrains, but we easily saw 15-20.  They roosted in some distant trees, then flew over the grasslands, generally staying pretty far from the road.  Occasionally we’d luck out and one would fly towards us. Powerline Road is also known for Eastern Bluebirds, American Kestrels, Burrowing Owls, Eastern Meadowlarks, and Red-Headed Woodpeckers.  We saw all these kinds of birds as we drove up and down. I love the song of the Eastern Bluebirds, so I made a video when one started singing on a powerline. It’s too bad it was so windy that day – you hear more wind than song! The excitement about birding at Powerline Road illustrates clearly two distinct types of birders. The first group is what I’ll call the “birdy birders.”  They are most interested in species counts, rare sightings, and bird […]

Backyard photography

Eastern Bluebirds

Posted on

On Saturday I was driving back from Circle B when I saw these Eastern Bluebirds on CR 545 outside Winter Garden.  I did a double-take, then quickly turned around and pulled over.  I’ve never seen bluebirds around our house before!  Ironically, I saw these near “Red Bird Road” (haha).  I think it is a male/female pair.  How cool!

Beyond the Backyard

Callaway Gardens Trip – Spring 2010

Posted on

Rich and I decided to take a week off this spring to go to Callaway Gardens to see the azaleas.  With the cold winter and early spring rain, the bloom was supposed to be spectacular.  It’s also very late – so the Callaway Azalea Watch was very helpful in planning our trip. The Mountain Creek Inn was full, so we ended up renting a cottage.  It was really nice.  We were right inside the gardens, and we woke every morning to bird song. One of my favorite things about Callaway is seeing flowers and plants that like colder weather, so I can’t grow them in Florida.  The flower beds were accented with pansies and tulips and daffodils. I took this picture in Mr. Cason’s Vegetable Garden in the morning while the gardeners were watering the flowers.  The water droplets add a fun effect. Rich asked me to take a tulip picture for his mom, and once I started trying to get good close-ups, I had trouble stopping.  Squirt says I should have gotten more close-ups of pansies while I was at it. Of course, the real reason we went this week was to see the azaleas.  Callaway has several azalea […]