Saturday, January 26, 2013

Ammodramus Madness and an Ani

I left Lansing, MI on Friday the 25th with my dad. We headed south to Florida. We drove through the night, battling treacherous driving conditions nearly the entire way. It was the toughest driving I have done since living in the Upper Peninsula. We got to Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estaurine Research Reserve, our first stop, at 830am and had no trouble at all finding the ammodramus sparrows being reported. In fact, they were everywhere. I estimated at least 30 ammodramus sparrows filtering in and out of the area we were watching. Incredible! We had Seaside, Nelson's and Saltmarsh and multiples of each. They were close, but the lighting was bad.

Seaside Sparrow
The drab "Coastal" Nelson's Sparrow
Saltmarsh Sparrow

We then drove to Gainseville and picked up my friend Craig Bateman. He showed us where the Groove-billed Ani is hanging out at Paynes Prairie Preserve. We had a bit of trouble locating this skulky bird. Finally, after giving up hope and ready to leave the park, the bird flew up right in front of us! I managed a clear enough picture to show the grooves on the bill.

Groove-billed Ani

I'm extremely low on sleep. I took a few other pictures, but you'll have to wait for another time. I'll update the rest of the blog and flickr later as well. Hopefully these teasers pictures will be enough to entice you back. The trip just started and we are already off to a great start!

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