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Birdwalk Highlights for 8/5: Florida Lake Park and Hidden Pond Preserve, Freeport.

For a change of pace at this time of year, we headed inland to check in on the tail end of the summer at Florida Lake Park. As expected, the breeding season is winding down, and therefore birdsong is quite reduced. We did have a singing ALDER FLYCATCHER, however, enjoying the completion of its pre-migratory molting. We also heard a singing RED-EYED VIREO - of course.

COMMON YELLOWTHROATS were common and conspicuous, with everything from adult males to fresh juveniles for a total of at least 10 seen or heard. Two BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLERS were in heavy molt, while the 4 EASTERN PHOEBES were all in fresh juvenile plumage. A BROAD-WINGED HAWK and a TURKEY VULTURE were briefly seen overhead. AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES (8) and CEDAR WAXWINGS (10+) - our two latest breeding species only now feeding nestlings - were easy to see.

A migrant BARN SWALLOW zipped by, and 2 GREAT BLUE HERONS included one youngster that found itself in the upper marsh and surrounded by dogwood that prevented it from taking off when we rounded the corner. Therefore, it just froze and did its best bittern impression as we passed.

The heron was likely looking for the easy-pickings of young frigs leaving the pond, which on a slow birding morning also caught our attention. In fact, we too spent quite a bit of time looking down today, with oodles of baby PICKEREL FROGS, GREEN FROGS, and even a capture of a miniscule baby SPRING PEEPER! Dragonflies included lots of BLUE DASHERS.

We then took a spin over at Hidden Pond Preserve, which was quite a bit birdier this morning. A lot of the same birds, of course, including more American Goldfinches, Gray Catbirds, Cedar Waxwings (10+), Eastern Phoebes, Common Yellowthroats, and another pair of RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES.

Another Alder Flycatcher was heard and seen, but the uplands also held a couple of CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLERS, at least 2 YELLOW WARBLERS, and 2 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS. Meanwhile, down at the pond, 3 juvenile WOOD DUCKS had to row their way to cover, 4 BANK SWALLOWS were foraging overhead, an OSPREY passed by, and a young RED-TAILED HAWK took to the air.

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