Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Starting a new year

Each year we keep a record of the number of species of birds we see and 2014 was our "Big Year" finding 566 species.  We traveled from Arizona to California, Oregon, Washington north into British Columbia, Yukon and Alaska.  Then down through the Canadian Rockies of Alberta and BC to Montana and Wyoming, east through South Dakota, Iowa and back "home" to Wisconsin.
Io Moth Caterpillar 

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Although now home is wherever we find ourselves since we are full time RVing.    We then went around Lake Michigan and down the east side, through Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina.  We followed the Atlantic Coast through South Carolina, Georgia and into Florida.  Our retirement list has reached 672 birds and we are on day 1,344; traveling over 85,000 miles in that time.  It will get much more difficult to add North American birds as time goes on.

N. Mockingbird

Little Blue Heron close up


Red-bellied Woodpecker

Now - for starting over - the first 100 birds are easy in Florida, less than 6 days.  But time to travel on if we want more.
Tree Frog

Pond Lily at White City Park

Along with walking around Wood Stork Trail near our RV Park in Port St. Lucie, we also traveled out to Allapattah Flats, Ft. Pierce Jetty and Hutchinson Island beaches on the ocean, Jonathan Dickinson State Park and the Savannah State Park.
Crested Caracara

Now for his close-up

Pop-up Showers come in along the coast

Brown Pelican

Sharp-pod Beach Morning Glory

We are enjoying our time with Daryl & Vicki and we also had a chance to meet with Patti Hancock-Myers and her new husband Bud as we both drove half-way across the Florida peninsula to have lunch.  It's also great to be able to watch the Packer games from where it is warm, we will be praying for Aaron's calf to heal so they can win some more.
Wilson's Snipe


Loggerhead Shrike finds a huge grub

Tricolored Heron immature

Paper Wasps start their next

Blue-headed Vireo

White Peacock Butterfly

Common Gallinules

Portuguese Man of War Jellyfish

It's always fun to find new birds and see all of God's creation wherever we go.

Love & Prayers,
Ty & Ida Baumann

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas on the Treasure Coast

We've been settled into the Port Saint Lucie RV Park for 3 weeks now; other than the local decorations it certainly doesn't feel like Christmas or winter.  Sunny, warm days, times at the pool, and birding trips to area natural areas.

The best part about being in PSL is being near Ty's brother Daryl and his wife Vicki.  Spending time visiting, working, eating together and going to church and Bible studies has been fun.  We look forward to another 6 weeks here in the area until their mission trip to Haiti with New Hope Missions Intl. that they help administer.
Alligator in almost every pond

Almost daily we walk to Wood Stork Trail and Lake just north of the RV Park.  Seems like there is something new to see everyday.  Here's a small example.
Mottled Ducks


Ox Beetle

Pileated Woodpecker

This Sandhill Crane along with two others landed right in the RV Park and took a walk around the sites.
Eastern Towhee

Just northeast of PSL is the Savannah State Park where we walked the trails and went through the Nature Center.  Here are some finds from our exploration.
Pine Warbler

Grass-leaf Golden Aster

Great Blue Heron takes off

Eastern Meadowlark

We drove about 30 miles southwest of PSL to the Allapattah Flats.  While walking the trails we saw northern migrants such as this Eastern Meadowlark and flocks of American Robins.

There were many wading birds in the area such as the Roseate Spoonbills and Wood Storks.
Roseate Spoonbill & Wood Stork

Peregrine Falcon

We took two trips to Ft. Pierce and Hutchinson Island enjoying the Atlantic Ocean beaches.  While sitting at the beach we observed many Magnificent Frigatebirds and Northern Gannets and we even saw some Cory's Shearwaters.
Magnificent Frigatebird

Sometimes the birds just come to you; all I had to do was bring out a bag of cookies and 30+ Ruddy Turnstones immediately arrived hoping for a crumb or two.  This was on the Ft. Pierce South Jetty where many people also come to fish.  There were several Manatees feeding close by.

At the river mouth is a great place to bird.  Brown Pelicans, Black Skimmers, gulls and terns and over 20 Ospreys found abundant fish as the tide rolled in.
Christmas Berry (Dahoon)

We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and hope you have a wonderful New Year.

Love & Prayers,
Ty & Ida Baumann

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Birding Southeast Florida

Rainbow over the Everglades

We left the wilderness of the Everglades to the traffic laden roads of southeast Florida from Miami to West Palm Beach.  The thing is there are lots of "city" birds that are only found among the sky-scraping hotels and intermittent green spaces.
Tree Frogs seem to love campsite electrical boxes

White-crowned Pigeons in Poisonwood Tree

Close up Great Egret

Bronzed Cowbird


  We stopped at Kendall and found the Red-whiskered Bulbuls (camera shy - no photos).
We also found 6 species of parakeets in varies places along the route.

We found Bronzed Cowbirds and Common Mynas in their preferred habitat - Restaurant parking lots.
Common Myna

Brown-crested Flycatcher

With some help from some local birders, we found the sought after Brown-crested Flycatcher at A.D. Barnes Park in Coral Gables.  There was also a late Summer Tanager and many warblers scattered along the park trails.

Summer Tanager

Earth Boring Dung Beetle

     With lots of busy activities in the area, such as the Nascar Speedway Race, the Miami Dolphins game and the college football Noles/Canes game we decided to head north.  We arrived at Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge just as the gate opened at sunrise.  Limpkins were calling and did a few fly-bys.

Am. Bittern tries to hide

We then went to Green Cay Water Management Area where boardwalks take you over a couple miles of prime habitat for all kinds of wildlife.
Apple Snail eggs

Banded Watersnake

Bobcat Kitten

Fern Sporangia

Green Heron

Just east a few miles near Boynton Beach area is another great boardwalk at Wakodahatchee Wildlife Area which yielded more interesting sightings.
Purple Swamphen

Tricolored Heron

Dragon-sized Iguana

Showing off his colors

We then spent 4 days at Jonathan Dickinson State Park among the managed Scrub habitat. The perfect place for the Florida Scrub Jay.  This one is inspecting all the bling.

The other end of the park is Pine Forest where we found the hiding Bachman's Sparrow - also camera shy.  But a very cooperative Loggerhead Shrike kept posing in between finding worms to eat.

We are now at the Treasure Coast and Port St. Lucie wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving.
Love & Prayers,  Ty & Ida