Hi everyone! Today, I am blogging from sunny Port St. Lucie in Florida! I traveled down for the month to see family, sunshine and do some serious birding! My first week of bird watching in Florida was amazing. I saw almost twice as many birds by January 10th, 2023 than I did by this date in 2022! It’s not an equal comparison as I did not bird every day in Massachusetts as it was freezing last January! I also saw some lifers already-bird lingo for birds I have never seen before. You can check out my eBird lists to see all the birds I have seen so far. My eBird profile link is on my Robin’s Nest page.
I walk in my little neighborhood every morning here and there are 3 little ponds that attract larger birds like herons. I have seen a Great Blue Heron, some Glossy Ibises (lifer), a Tricolored Heron, and lots of White Ibises so far. I also saw a Little Blue Heron and an Anhinga, or “Water Turkey” drying its wings in the sun. My temporary nest is an older area so there are some larger trees to attract birds too. I saw 2 Loggerhead Shrikes (lifer), and tons of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Yellow-rumped, and Palm Warblers that decided to winter here too. I love that I can Northern Mockingbirds sing and Gray Catbirds calling to each other in January. I even walked out my door to a Wedge or group of White Ibises in my front yard!
My parents live in a community named Vitalia. They have many little ponds and a beautiful lake near their clubhouse that attracts SO many different birds! I saw almost all the birds that I mentioned above and more. There were large groups of White Ibises, Glossy Ibises and Cattle Egret mixed together. I saw all the same types of herons and an American Kestrel. There was a Snowy Egret and some Sand Hill Cranes. I saw my first Limpkin too! The large lake and pond near my parents’ house attracts lots of waterfowl. I have seen Ring-necked Ducks, Mottled Ducks (lifer), Blue-winged Teals, colorful Common Gallinules, and an unusually large group of American Coots. I heard a strange call, and my Merlin app alerted me in time to see 5 Black-bellied Whistling Ducks fly over-but had no camera. I also saw a pair of White-winged Doves-another lifer for me.
My parents are awesome as they are totally willing to drive me around and watch me bird watch! We went to Fort Pierce and visited Jetty Park and the Fort Pierce Inlet. I saw some Brown Pelicans, Laughing Gulls, Ring-billed Gulls, Herring Gulls, and some I am still trying to identify. I saw a Great Egret in the surf-didn’t know they liked the ocean! We also visited the Savannah Preserve where I saw some pretty Pine Warblers. The bigger lake in Tradition is also a favorite spot for Anhingas. The last place I dragged them too was Sandhill Crane Park where I saw many of the already mentioned birds. I also saw a pair of Bald Eagles tending their nest. Finally, I saw a lone Canada Goose, which is rare for these parts.
There are also many of the same birds we have in Western Mass here, such as Robins, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Mourning Doves, Red-shouldered Hawks, Osprey and more. I hope you enjoy the pictures and I will work on collecting some audio this week too! I have been posting some videos of these birds I have discussed to my social media pages so check them out. Follow if you don’t want to miss any of these amazing bird! Take care. Until next week, Robin
Hi! I am also visiting in Port St Lucie for a couple months. We are in PGA Village. I have seen many of the same birds- we also have a resident pair of Sandhill Cranes. We only have one car and everything seems to be 30 min drive. I’d love to know where else to go but afraid of crocodiles!
Hi! I wish I could stay longer! Not looking forward to returning to all the cold temps and snow in the forecast for next week! My dad said most crocodiles are not this far north. I have walked by LOTS of gators this week and they didn’t seem to care about me, but I know they can run like 40mph so I don’t get too close! Do you use eBird? The Merlin app is a game changer too. You can search for local birding hot spots and even search for specific species. Sandhill Crane Park is a favorite spot of mine close by. I haven’t seen gators there yet, but you can view the birds easily from a distance there.I am just sharing some pics today of my visit there. Sprucehill Bluff is close by and gator-safe too. I have seen some Warblers there! Check out my eBird profile as you can see all the local places I have been and which birds were there. I wish I had more time. I cold have met you and we could have birded together.