Hey everyone,


I had to meet someone at 11 AM at Leu Gardens this morning, so I decided to show up at 9 and bird until the meeting.  After the meeting, I headed to Mead, where it was VERY quiet, but still some fun birds were seen (see below).  Finally, I headed up to Kraft Azalea Park.  I had never been there, but a non-birding friend had gone there and told me about all of the "cranes" nesting in the trees (you know those silly non-birders: any bird with long legs and a long neck is a "crane").  There are many Great Egrets and Anhingas, as well as a few Great Blue Herons.  The nests are easily seen, although the foliage is rather thick and you have to stare a bit for some of them to pop out at you.  Some are not too high off the ground, and a few are right over the residential street which runs alongside this small park.  I did see one fairly large Great Egret chick, and an adult Great Blue Heron feeding two large young.  Everyone else seemed to be sitting on eggs and I did see a Great Egret pair copulate.  Anyway, I post about it because even though the birds are nesting, there were several other non-birders in the park making noise, walking amongst the roost trees (which are spread across the entire park, by the way) and the birds seemed completely oblivious.  I don't see anyone rushing out to get a lifer here, as you can see these three species just about anywhere.  I guess what I'm saying is that I doubt a few photographers would do much harm.  But as always, be mindful of the subjects and if you suspect that your presence is causing them too much stress, please back off.


Anyway, here's my list for the day.  Most species were at Leu, unless otherwise noted.  I saw no warblers at Mead today:


Wood Duck 


Brown Pelican (1)

Double-Crested Cormorant


Great Blue Heron

Great Egret

Green Heron

White Ibis

Wood Stork

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture


Bald Eagle (1, Leu; 2, soaring over Mead)

Cooper's Hawk

Red-Shouldered Hawk

Red-Tailed Hawk

Mourning Dove

Barred Owl (5!  1 at Leu; family of 4 with 2 fuzzy youngsters at Mead.  Super cute, highlight of the day for me!)

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker (1, Mead)

Downy Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Pileated Woodpecker

Great Crested Flycatcher

Blue-Headed Vireo (1)

Blue Jay

Fish Crow

Tufted Titmouse

Carolina Wren

House Wren (2-3 in both Leu and Mead)

Ruby-Crowned Kinglet (5-6)

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher (Mead only)

Gray Catbird

Northern Mockingbird

Brown Thrasher

Cedar Waxwing (25 or so)

Northern Parula

Yellow-Rumped Warbler (4-5)

Palm Warbler (only 2)

Black-and-White Warbler (1)

Worm-Eating Warbler (1)

Northern Waterthrush (1, whitish below bird)

Northern Cardinal

Red-Winged Blackbird

Common Grackle

Boat-Tailed Grackle

American Goldfinch (1, Mead)


Leu Gardens is located near the intersection of US 17/92 (Mills Ave.) and Virginia Ave. in the northern section of Downtown Orlando.  Mead Garden is located near the intersection of US 17/92 (Orlando Ave.) and Orange Ave. in southern Winter Park.  Kraft Azalea Park is located on the south shore of Lake Maitland along Alabama Dr. off of Palmer Ave. in northern Winter Park.  All are in north-central Orange County.


Good birding,


John Thomton

Winter Park, Orange Co.


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