Fighting the Fading Light

Florida Post #2

After birding Pine Trails Park and Tall Cypress there was a little light left in the day so we decided to pick one more green patch at random and try our luck there.   We opted for Sherwood Forest Park.

As a birding spot at sunset it was pretty much a dud.  But we did have a few gems that made the initial foray worth it.   To begin with, I found a butterfly willing to pause long enough for a photo.  Particularly due to low light levels this was an amazing feat!

 Zebra Longwing (Heliconius charitonius), Florida's state butterfly.  Photo taken on January 2, 2015 with a Nikon 3200 Sigma 500mm.

Zebra Longwing (Heliconius charitonius), Florida’s state butterfly. Photo taken on January 2, 2015 with a Nikon 3200 Sigma 500mm.

We also found Muscovy Ducks which totally count. (My general rule is if ebird counts it, I count it since I let ebird do all my math.)  At least that’s my take on the Muscovy Duck Debate, which I didn’t realize was a thing until both Tara and Laurence commented on it.  Although Kenn Kaufman relates an interesting insight into counting which resonated with me:

The list total isn’t what’s important, but the birds themselves are important. Every bird you see.  So the list is just a frivolous incentive for birding, but the birding itself is worthwhile. It’s like a trip where the destination doesn’t have any significance except for the fact that it makes you travel. The journey is what counts. – Kingbird Highway

Feral Muscovy Duck at twilight. Photo taken on January 2, 2015 with a Nikon 3200 Sigma 500mm.

Feral Muscovy Duck at twilight. Photo taken on January 2, 2015 with a Nikon 3200 Sigma 500mm.

I can do dark, brooding ducks, too.  But to top it off, almost eclipsing my lifer of a Muscovy Duck, we came across a RBA for Florida: the Canada Goose!

Florida scenery featuring the rare Canada Goose. Photo taken on January 2, 2015 with a Nikon 3200 Sigma 500mm.

Florida scenery featuring the rare Canada Goose. Photo taken on January 2, 2015 with a Nikon 3200 Sigma 500mm.

Do you see it?  Just swimming off camera to the left?  When in the Galapagos a year ago, I recall explaining how rarities work.  What is not rare at all for New Jersey can be remarkably rare elsewhere.  So in Galapagos as we patrolled beaches for birds and other things,  we were always jokingly on the lookout for a Snowy Owl (hey, they made it to Bermuda!) and a Canada Goose.  Lo and behold one year later the rare Canada Goose because a Real Thing.

In other news I’ve elected to read Kingbird Highway by Kenn Kaufman while in Florida.   So far the insights into birding before ebird and the internet is fascinating.  As a whole the book and its story has been delightful!

Florida Total: 24
Sherwood: Forest Park: 3
New for Florida: 2
Lifers: 1

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