Winter Park Spring, Part 2

[My apologies – this post is late and delayed due to a really bad head cold I am just now getting over]

In contrast to the morning at Meade Botanical Gardens, the second part of our day was a lot quieter. After some lunch at Einstein Bros. Bagels, we drove over to the Lake Berry Overlook. The boardwalk out to the overlook is in a very posh neighborhood, and just gawking at some of the homes could be a daily hobby. Our hope was to see a Red-headed Woodpecker that has been reported on eBird. The boardwalk traverses some nice transitional vegetation, and we could hear Northern Parulas and cardinals along its length. Toward the end there were several pairs of Red-bellied Woodpeckers, and we manged to glimpse three male Wood Ducks through the swampy trees and brush. At least one Red-shouldered Hawk flew nearby, as well as a raptor we didn’t quite get a good enough look at. It seemed to lack most of the obvious field marks for a Red-shouldered Hawk, but nothing definitive. Unfortunately, the Red-headed Woodpecker did not appear, though we heard some encouraging call notes. On the way back out near the boardwalk entrance some Chimney Swifts flew overhead, the first I’ve seen this year.

We continued on to the Harry P. Leu Gardens to try our luck there. Leu Gardens, as I’ve said, is more formal and organized that Meade. It has a membership structure and entrance fees to help pay for its upkeep and events. People often hold weddings and other formal affairs there. There are more exotic plants, with many paved paths. This was all very beautiful, but either a combination of the non-native vegetation and the heat, or just luck of the draw, we didn’t see much in the way of birds (and certainly warblers).

We did see some activity along the chain-link fence by the parking lot. At first I thought they were Worm-eating Warblers, but a closer look was cuter!

leu-baby-carolina-wren
Baby Carolina Wren! The fence spacing here is much smaller than a standard chain-link fence, so this bird was small.

Apart from that, we did see a few larger birds, like crows, Anhingas and even an Osprey. We tracked a Northern Parula through the canopy for a while before getting any sort of decent look. Otherwise, despite the beautiful surroundings, we were getting tired.

leu-oak2
Marvelous oak tree with Spanish Moss.

There were a few more whimsical garden areas, too. This “pot head” was definitely a work of art, with some butterflies nearby and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers singing in the trees above.

pot-man
“What’re you doin’, man?” “Just chillin’, dude.” “Yah..”

And that was our day out at Winter Park. For any “score keepers” out there, we can round out our afternoon species list:

  • Red-bellied Woodpecker (Lake Berry Overlook)
  • Northern Parula (♫ LBO)
  • Red-shouldered Hawk (LBO)
  • Wood Duck (LBO)
  • Chimney Swift (LBO)
  • Carolina Wren
  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  • Blue Jay
  • Fish Crow
  • Northern Parula
  • Osprey
  • Anhinga
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • Black Vulture
  • Turkey Vulture

My apologies for the delay in getting this out. Spring head colds are the worst!

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