Saturday, January 19, 2008


We have a tremendous number of goldfinches visiting our nyjer feeders at the moment. I took this picture yesterday of our four super tube feeders. When I looked out of the kitchen window earlier today, I was amazed to see that all 80 perches were occupied with several more finches waiting their turn in a nearby tree. Goldfinches are one of my favorite birds and it's always exciting to see them. I just wish we could have 'em all year round!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Monticello Birds

Carol Miller sent us pictures of a Pine Siskin and an Orange-crowned Warbler. She has seen 10 Pine Siskins, mixed in with 50 American Goldfinches, at her thistle feeders this week.

Monday, January 7, 2008

St Marks NWR Photographer's Club

Chances are good, that if you frequent WBU, you are familiar with St. Marks Wildlife Refuge. Established in 1931 for wintering migratory birds, we are lucky to have this beautiful place of nature practically at our backdoor!

I'd like to invite everyone to check out our newly formed photo club. We are a very informal group with broad differences of photography levels and cameras. There are no fees, other than the normal admittance to the refuge and the only requirement is that you enjoy nature! We meet at 9am on the third Saturday of each month at the educational building, which is to the right of the refuge welcome center and gift shop. We generally take a field trip somewhere on the refuge's 68,000 acres that encompasses Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor County, then eat our brown bag lunch while sharing photos and photography tips. We also help the refuge with some service projects, but this is NOT a requirement. Join us on Jan19 for a nature and photography adventure that will surely keep you comming back!

For more information, you may contact Thomas Darragh at :

A glimpse of just a few of the many birds you may see at the refuge that I took while on a club outing.

Glenda Simmons

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Two Hummers

We now have two hummingbirds in our yard, a female Ruby-throated, which Fred banded a while ago and a newly arrived male Black-chinned. This is the first Black-chinned we have had in our yard. At first the female Ruby wasn't as impressed with his arrival as we were but they seem to be getting along as I write. I put an extra feeder out so they wouldn't have to compete as much especially since the freeze pretty much killed all our flowering hummer plants! Hopefully he will stay so that FRed can slap a band on him next weekend.


Iceland Gull

My daughter called me from Jacksonville Friday, telling me about the Iceland Gull that had been seen at Nassau Sound. Mike and I drove over Saturday to twitch it. When we got to the bridge, there were no fishing boats in sight, so I was concerned about finding the gull. One of my daughter's friends was there on the bridge and pointed it out to me-sitting on the beach with a mixed flock of gulls,etc. At first it just looked like a gray rock, but eventually it got up and moved around, and we got good views.

Carol Miller

Iceland Gull is a rare visitor to these latitudes, they are normally found much further north. In winter they frequent harbours scavenging for scraps around fishing trawlers and boats.


Broad-billed Hummer

Mary, Susan, Julie (my wife) and I drove to Blountstown today, to see the male Broad-billed Hummingbird that Fred Bassett banded last week. We all eventually saw him, in all his glory, whizzing around the trees catching insects and feeding on Chinese Lanterns. Unfortunately he never came to any of the feeders, which made it very difficult for me to get any pictures in the hour we were present. Glenda Simmons and Bonnie Nielsen paid homage to him on Friday and Glenda managed to get a couple of pictures.

If you have the chance, go see this spectacular bird, he is stonking!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Hummingbird news

It seems that Fred Bassett got the xmas gifts he was looking for this past week. On 29 December he banded a female Anna's Hummingbird, only the second state record, at the home of Dara and Lloyd Dobson in De Funiak Springs. Then to his delight he got to band a gorgeous male Broad-billed, also the second state record, at the home of Ray and Elsie Dennis in Blountstown. Both hummingbirds are still present and details about how to go see them can be found on the Florida RBA listserv. Click on the following link for details.

Fred Dietrich took some pictures of these two exciting rare hummers. View them by clicking on the following links.

I will be there sunday to enjoy these spectacular birds!

If you have a wintering hummingbird and would like Fred to band it then contact us at the store and we can help put you in touch with him. Fred will be back in town next week to band several more wintering hummingbirds.