It was a very exciting day on the Flatwoods Park Bluebird Trail and we not only have our first bluebird eggs, but we have our first Carolina chickadee chicks. We have a total of 20 complete or partial nests (9 BB, 6 CC, 5 TM), 32 eggs (6 BB, 20 CC, 6 TM), and 5 CC chicks. See attached spreadsheet for details.
Right away, we came upon a drying wetland that was loaded with wading birds. We counted 7 great blue herons, 22 ibis, 2 roseate spoonbills, 10 great egrets, and 14 wood storks. It was a beautiful sight and I've included a couple of the photos that Sherry took. After that we saw lots of bluebirds, chickadees, titmice, 2 red shouldered hawks, lots of turkey and black vultures eating a dead animal, a yellow-throated warbler, a downy woodpecker, 6 wood ducks, a blue-gray gnatcatcher, a mourning dove, a wild turkey hen, a little blue heron, and a downy woodpecker. I've also included a beautiful picture of a scissor-tailed flycatcher (taken by Sandy Reed) that shows up in Hillsborough County every year about this time. They are found mainly in Texas, Oklahoma, and a few surrounding states, but one or two usually find their way here every winter. Also, at Clay Gully, we saw our 3 young alligators again.
Some of the trees and shrubs are beginning to bloom and I've included a picture of our beautiful fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus) that is in our native garden. Also pictured is a flowering Shiny Lyonia, also called Fetterbush (Lyonia lucida) that is beginning to bloom in the park.