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Birdwalk Highlights for 5/13: Florida Lake Park

It's hard to not enjoy a morning of birding in mid-May, and today was no exception. While it was slow overall by May 13th standards - especially for passage migrants - the local breeding birds and newly-arrived breeding migrants more than made up for it.

We began the walk with two tussling BALTIMORE ORIOLES for an early splash of color. It was warm already today, so the edges weren't as attractive to birds today. Instead, we encountered scattered warblers in the woods, in a loose group or mostly, singing on territory.

Slowly we built a warbler list of 12 species. We had great looks at several of the 4 MAGNOLIA WARBLERS, 3 of the 4 BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLERS, and the single BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER and YELLOW WARBLER. The CANADA WARBLER that finally popped out for everyone to get a good, albeit quick, look at was the headliner for most though; at least two others were heard. COMMON YELLOWTHROATS were plentiful as expected, with at least 8 heard and well seen. The same for several of our 7 AMERICAN REDSTARTS.

Although "heard-only" singing birds that gave us opportunities to practice our birding by ear skills included a total of 7 OVENBIRDS, and 1 each of CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER, BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER, PINE WARBLER, and NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH.

We had a good look at a GREAT-CRESTED FLYCATCHER near a likely nest hole, and later, we spent quality time watching a pair of BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES excavating a cavity in a dead stump just a few feet away from us. GRAY CATBIRDS were conspicuous as well.

We had a good raptor show, including 4 BROAD-WINGED HAWKS (including one displaying), a passing SHARP-SHINNED HAWK and BALD EAGLE, and a pair of hunting OSPREYS. The swallow show was sup-par, however we did tease out 1-2 NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOWS and a BARN SWALLOW from the dozen or so TREE SWALLOWS.