We have very good Bluebird Trail Reports from the following County Parks:
Balm Boyette has 4 TM chicks in a second nesting, with 17 TM fledglings.
Lake Park has 7 active BB nests, 6 of which are second nestings, with 18 BB eggs, 12 BB chicks, and 50 fledglings (32 BB, 12 CC, 6 CW).
Sargeant's Park has 5 BB eggs in a second nesting, with 5 BB fledglings.
Flatwoods Park has 20 active BB nests, with 8 being second nestings, with 36 BB eggs, 17 BB chicks, and 93 fledglings (58 BB, 23 CC, 12 TM). See attached spreadsheet for details.
We had very good news when we opened our first box at Flatwoods this morning. Box F1 is the box with a camera that projects images of the bluebird nesting on a TV screen in the Ranger's Office. That box has not had occupants for 4 years and today, it had a partial BB nest! We are hopeful that Flatwood Park visitors and staff will again be able to observe the whole BB nesting process. We were also amused when we checked on box F27 which has 3 BB chicks. As soon as the chicks sensed our presence, they stuck their heads out of the box, begging for food. It was amusing and we were not concerned because their parents were nearby bringing them food. We were also happy to see that box F37, which had one white egg last week, now has 5 white eggs.
Today, bluebirds were everywhere! They seemed to be flying with their fledglings teaching them how to hunt! It was wonderful watching them. We were also happy to see the return of our summer tanagers, that nest every summer at Flatwoods. We saw 5 in all --3 males (that are red), and 2 females (that are yellow). We also saw great crested flycatchers, titmice, 3 whistling ducks, about 20 wood ducks, 2 mottled ducks, a red-bellied woodpecker, great blue and little blue herons, 2 red-shouldered hawks, mourning doves, a blue jay, towhees, black vultures, a swallow-tailed kite, and our little ruby-throated hummer feeding on the Firebush in our native garden. We also saw a wild rabbit.
Saltmarsh fleabane or camphorweed (Pluchea odorata), is blooming profusely all over Flatwoods. In our native garden is a beautiful small ground cover, that I've also seen along highways, called sunshine mimosa (Mimosa strigillosa). Also attached are pictures of a beautiful, somewhat rare, leafless beaked orchid (Sacoila lanceolata), which grows at Flatwoods, but my husband, John, took this picture in the Withlachoochee Forest last week. The beautiful native oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) is blooming in my yard.