Spring 2010 migration count

Every spring and fall for the past five, maybe six, years, I’ve participated in the North American Migration Count for Palm Beach County. Last weekend I was responsible for two areas: Lake Ida Park and Dog Park in Delray Beach and South County Regional Park in western Boca Raton.

I began well before dawn in my driveway:

and made it to the lake well before sunup; here’s the sun rising over the lake about 20 minutes after I’d already started counting:

A few birds there were:

And many birds there weren’t. The most popular migrants in North America are the warblers, but they always seem to leave our area before the NAMC. I found two individuals, same species, American Redstart.

But despite the lack of migrants, fun was had by all (well, at least me), and it was wonderful to get out in the field a little bit. You never know what you might run across. For example, while setting up to take the pictures of the Limpkin and the Royal Tern above, I noticed a few tiny anurans hopping around in the undergrowth. After leaning up against the tree to steady myself and take those shots, I was able to track down one of those little hoppers, as you can see:

I still have no idea what it is, but it was fun to follow and get a good shot of…

After a couple of hours at Lake Ida, I headed over to South County Regional Park in west Boca, where I got my Bird of the Day, a Swallow-tailed Kite (no pictures; they’re hard to photograph, at least for me). I also saw a Least Tern fishing over one of the many ponds in the park:

All in all, it was a very good day. Hope you enjoyed yours!