Janine's Blog

DeLeon Springs

Apr 18, 2015 by Janine |
Went to DeLeon Springs State Park this past week for some field training.

Hangman's Oak

Devil's walking stick


5-lined skink. They lose their stripes with age.

At home, I still have a flock of female painted buntings. The males left last week, but I did see one straggler this morning. I took this picture on Sunday last week. I had a feeling that they were planning to leave soon because the males were singing and behaving very aggressively.

Still lots of other bird action in the yard. Had a Northern Parula stop by, and there are plenty of cardinals and blue jays. Have not seen any hummingbirds for about a week so I guess they are gone until the fall.

Catbird Fight

A pair of brown thrashers has been hanging around

Carolina Wren

Baby Raccoons

Apr 04, 2015 by Janine |
Raccoon family

A cluster of zebra longwings

Irises in bloom

The hummingbirds might be gone. Have not seen any today. Got some shots earlier this week.

The painted buntings are still here, feeding up.

I noticed one of the males has a yellow patch on his chest. He is not one of the ones that overwintered here. I think a lot of the buntings I am seeing now are stopping off on their way north.

Pelican Island

Mar 22, 2015 by Janine |
We took a sunset cruise around Pelican Island NWR yesterday and saw lots of birds.

Ospreys everywhere

Pelican Island

Other islands nearby

Mother dolphin and calf hunting in the shallow water

Couple of days in Colorado this week.

At home, things are wonderful, and terrible. Wonderful because there are more hummingbirds and painted buntings than ever! But terrible because they are leaving soon. So I will enjoy them while they are here!

I was wondering if this might be a female broad-billed. Will have to try and get some better photos.

Lots of ruby-throats.

Spring has arrived

Mar 15, 2015 by Janine |
While I have been up north, spring is here in South Florida. In my garden, coral bean plant is covered with blooms, the trees are flushed with bright green growth, and the hummingbirds and painted buntings are feeding up for their migration. Yesterday we saw our first Swallow-tailed kite, a sure sign that summer is on the way.

Screech owl waiting for the sun to go down (not in my garden unfortunately!)

I just got back from a work trip to Texas. While out there I was able to visit the Bracken Bat cave, which is the largest gathering of mammals on the planet. Up to 20 million bats roost in the cave and emerge at night to feed.

Bats only beyond this point

Predators also gather to prey on the bats as they emerge.

I recently bought a digiscoping adapter for the spotting scope and it has worked amazingly well. The Snapzoom attaches a cellphone camera to the scope for photo or video capture. I have the scope set up on a favored hummingbird perch in the garden, and here's the result:

Pretty good, considering it's a phone camera!

Baby Owls

Mar 08, 2015 by Janine |
Great horned owl nest in the visitor center parking lot at Everglades National Park

Another parking lot nest, this time Barred Owls

One parent kept a close eye on the nest

The other one stayed nearby

It has been a bit of a crazy week. From flood, to freeze, to fire.

Last Saturday we got over 10 inches of rain.

Then I headed up to Canada, with temps of -10 and an ice storm

Got great looks at snow bunting and horned lark. Also had a drive-by short-eared owl!

Got home, thawed out, and enjoyed my butterflies. Lots of monarchs this week. Painted buntings and hummingbirds still here.

Then it got up to 92 in the Everglades on Friday. Kind of a shock to the system!

Barred Owls and more lens practice

Feb 22, 2015 by Janine |
Paid a visit to the barred owls at Riverbend park:

Love in the air

Lots of ospreys

Been practicing with the fixed 300mm lens. It takes some getting used to, but I think I am getting the hang of it.

Green Cay wetlands is a great place to practice because there is a good variety of birds and distances to play around with.

Gonna need a bit more practice before I have mastered this lens though. I still find myself struggling to get close subjects within the frame. Lots of stepping backwards!

Double rainbow, zoo pics

Feb 07, 2015 by Janine |
Trying out a new point and shoot camera, the Samsung Galaxy Camera 2. I was pleased with the Sony that I had before, but the lens kept sticking and was not focusing properly. It lasted about 2 years before this problem started, so I would still say that it was a good camera. Anyway, went shooting at Jonathan Dickinson and captured a double rainbow and full moon.

Last year we visited Zoo Miami over Christmas holiday. I could spend all day in their aviary!

Wakodahatchee and Green Cay

Jan 25, 2015 by Janine |
Visited Wakodahatchee wetlands to see the yellow-headed blackbird, an unusual visitor to South Florida.

He put on a good show!

Nesting Anhinga

Sneaky bittern

Purple gallinule

The usuals at Green Cay

Red-winged blackbird

Pied-billed grebe

Sora rail


Whistling ducks

At home, lots of birds this weekend due to a cold front.

Yellow passion flower

Hoping to catch the next Atala emergence soon! At least two cocoons in the garden now.

Atalas, Riverbend owls

Jan 10, 2015 by Janine |
Most of my Atala butterflies emerged from their chrysalises yesterday while I was at work. Happily, one was a bit late and emerged today, so I was able to see it before it flew off.

What's left

I was also happy to see that there are more Atala caterpillars, so I can expect to see more butterflies soon!

This one looks like it is preparing to pupate.

Another emergence today, a Monarch.

And the next generation not far behind

We visited Riverbend park a few times over the holiday and enjoyed spotting the barred owls

Other Riverbend sightings

White-eyed vireo

Lots of waders

Broad-winged hawk

Happy New Year!

Jan 01, 2015 by Janine |
On the road to success, always look ahead. May you reach your destination and may your journey be wonderful. Happy 2015.

Last week's Everglades Visit

Dawn at Anhinga Trail

Research Road

Eastern Meadowlark

Eco Pond and Flamingo

View of Flamingo Lodge from the bay


Sunset with dolphins

In other news, lots of owl activity at home. We have been seeing pairs of barred owls at Riverbend and around the neighborhood, and a single barred owl paid us a visit this morning. Also been seeing Eastern Whip-poor-wills and bats in the evenings. The painted buntings are still here, and lots of hummingbirds too!