Janine's Blog

3 Owlets!

Apr 08, 2018 by Janine |
This week all three Screech owl eggs hatched.









In other garden happenings, the hummingbirds have all gone north. Most of the goldfinches have gone as well. Painted buntings and ovenbird are still here.





The butterfly garden is functioning as designed. I am over run with caterpillars of all kinds!

Monarch



Cloudless sulphur



Queen



Other wildlife happenings include a recent visit to a bald eagle nest. A very distant view showed both parents and a fledgling!



Tree swallow



Lastly, Udo Dirkschneider at Kelsey Theater.









Opener- Australian band Elm Street





Bittersweet Spring

Mar 30, 2018 by Janine |
Spring for us in South Florida means that the wintering birds like painted buntings, hummingbirds, goldfinches, catbirds, warblers, etc etc, move north to breed.

They are still here now but decreasing in number. Within a week most will be gone. The cardinals and bluejays will stay all summer though!

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The good thing about this time of year is that the screech owl nesting is well underway. We hope that the eggs will hatch any day now!

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An unusual bird, the B2 Bomber! Did a flypast at the Melbourne air show last week.

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Jet Truck

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Thunderbirds are always a good time

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Screech owls and other garden birds

Mar 11, 2018 by Janine |
It has been a busy week for the owls! Three eggs have been laid so far.







We got a good look at the female in daylight and realized that she is not the same bird from the past two years. The last female was more of a reddish brown color, and only laid two eggs each season.



We have no idea if it is the same male from last year. He doesn't spend much time in the box and we only get quick glimpses of him transporting food.



Other birds have also been abundant. We are nearing "peak goldfinch" because they are swarming all around the yard. We have a flock of at least 50 that visit. I think there are probably more .





All the activity attracts the attention of predators. The red-shouldered hawks nest up the road and are taking advantage of the food source to feed their chicks. This little goldfinch was a bit too slow.



The other usual suspects are still around. Fewer hummingbirds lately, but more painted buntings and warblers.















Springtime

Feb 25, 2018 by Janine |
All the indicators point to springtime in Florida. Cars yellow with pollen? Check. Everywhere crowded with snowbirds? Check. Birds and butterflies all over the garden? Check! :)

The atala butterflies are doing well.





This unusual Northern Parula has been visiting for the past week or so. The yellow throat does not normally extend above the bill.







This male painted bunting has been quite the poser.







Yellow-rumped warbler bathtime





The hummingbirds are loving the coral bean blooms.





Birds, G3

Feb 11, 2018 by Janine |
The birds are enjoying their new stone birdbath.







The catbird has been eating and caching seed pods. I had been wondering why I have baby cardboard palms sprouting up all over the garden :)



In other bird news, there has been action in the owl box!







So after we got back from California, I had to go to South Carolina for work. Was fun to explore a new place.





Once I got home, we went to Ft. Lauderdale to see G3 with Joe Satriani, John Petrucci, and Phil Collen. I was just as excited to see Joe's band (Mike Keneally and Bryan Beller) as I was to see the big 3.













We were at side stage for the encore. Was amazing to be so close!







Can't wait for the next G3 :)

California trip

Feb 03, 2018 by Janine |
Rich and I went out west to see some shows on the latest leg of Yngwie Malmsteen's World on Fire tour. It was awesome!!!

Santa Monica



Visited the Rock N Roll walk of fame in LA



So that is why Steve Vai plays guitar so well ;)



Hiking around Malibu. We saw lots of wildlife and a bikini model on a photo shoot.









Was fun exploring the tide pools. We were also treated to a fly-by by some WWII fighters and saw some whales blowing far in the distance!







The concerts were amazing. Definitely worth the trip!









The guitar toss!



The band sounded great too and had a really good energy on stage. Was so much fun to meet up with some familiar faces.



We asked Yngwie if he was planning to tour again soon and he said yes! Hoping we don't have to travel so far next time! It was overwhelming because over the course of 7 days we saw 2 Yngwie shows and G3 in Ft. Lauderdale!!! G3 pics to come soon. Gonna get some rest now! :D

Florida Scrub Jay, little dinosaur, and other birds

Jan 21, 2018 by Janine |
Some time ago, there was a petition to change Florida's state bird from the Mockingbird to the Florida Scrub Jay. It never passed, but I think the scrub jay would make a much better state bird for us. I love mockingbirds, but several other states claim it as their state bird. The Florida scrub jay is endemic to Florida and would be much more unique. They are becoming harder to find unfortunately, so it is a special treat to see one.







This fierce little green anole was fighting with another male. I have seen the dinosaur-like crests before, but I have never seen the war paint!





Blue-gray gnatcatcher



Cassius blue



White-eyed vireo checking out the bird bath in my garden

Garden birds and bugs

Jan 15, 2018 by Janine |
We had some unusually heavy rain this past week which is not normal for this time of year. The yard was soggy which was great for birds and bugs. We had a small flock of juvenile ibises foraging for worms.



Water levels are high in Riverbend Park



Usual visitors to the garden. So far the goldfinch count is holding at around 12. The flock of waxwings has increased to about 50 in number but I have not noticed them land in the yard yet.







I planted some giant milkweed for the Monarchs and got a customer right away! I do have the native milkweed too, but the caterpillars defoliate them too quickly. So the giant milkweeds are a backup food source :)



Friday night we braved the cold and stormy weather to see a cool local band called NZM, and the Graham Bonnet Band. We were front and center for a night of 80's metal!

NZM











Graham Bonnet Band











Happy New Year 2018

Jan 01, 2018 by Janine |
Wishing everyone a great year to come!

We wrapped 2017 with some nice birdwatching weather. Checked in at Jupiter Ridge to see how the Scrub Jays are doing. We haven't had a chance to see them since the Hurricane. We heard at least one but didn't see any. Other birds were abundant, including swarms of blue-gray gnatcatcher, palm warbler, and American goldfinch.



A cooperative Downy Woodpecker





We also took advantage of the cooler weather and time off work to do some gardening and enjoy our birds at home.

Yellow-rumped warbler



Abundant painted buntings







Carolina wren



Ovenbird and monarch



Female redstart



The goldfinches are increasing in number. Had 5 the other day. I bought a 50lb bag of nyjer seed in case more turn up!



Also, a flock of waxwings flew over the yard but didn't stop. Riverbend park had loads of robins.
We are supposed to see some even cooler weather this week, so I am hoping to see some more interesting visitors from the north soon!

Holiday Wishes

Dec 24, 2017 by Janine |
Wishing everyone a rockin' Christmas and a safe and happy New Year!