Oscar Scherer State Park

There were two targets on my list for today.  The Bachman’s Sparrow and the Florida Scrub-Jay.  I visited Babcock-Webb early this morning and had singing Bachman’s Sparrow everywhere.  One male was perched in a shrub 30 feet off the road.  This was a good bird to get here and now because it eliminates the need to travel into the Piney Woods of East Texas in late April.

Dave Thurston suggested Oscar Scherer State Park as the easiest place to find Florida Scrub-Jays, which is on the Endangered Species List as a threatened species.  Soon after my hike into likely Scrub-Jay habitat began, I ran into a volunteer who was studying the jays. He said they weren’t showing themselves today, but I wasn’t hearing any of that and soon afterwards located a sentinel for a family group.

Florida Scrub-Jay at Oscar Scherer SP, FL (Photo by John Vanderpoel)

There only about 40 of them in the park, so I considered myself lucky to find six of them in three different groups.

Six-lined Racerunner at Oscar Scherer SP, FL (Photo by John Vanderpoel)

On the return hike I found a Six-lined Racerunner and as I began to drive back to Cape Corral, a Gopher Tortoise crossed the road.

Gopher Tortoise at Oscar Scherer SP, FL (Photo by John Vanderpoel)

Tommorrow I team up with my Colorado friend Bill Kaemfer to try for Budgerigars. Stay tuned.

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3 Responses to Oscar Scherer State Park

  1. I just found out about your blog. I love it! I’ll be tracking you throughout the rest of your year. Best of luck with the big year.

    I’ve joined you on NARBA website big year blogs. I’m doing a Junior Big Year this year in 2011. You can check out my blog if you’d like:

    http://www.juniorbigyear.blogspot.com

    I can only hope to one day do an ABA big year like you’re doing.

    Again, best of luck!

    -Gabriel, 11 year old avid birder

  2. Jim Vanderpoel says:

    The tortoise is great-not a tough one to photograph if you can find one. One of my highest priority reptiles.

    Jim

  3. Very nice variety of photos!

    This takes me back to the year I graduated from college, and spent the summer studying Bachman’s Sparrow singing behavior at Archbold Biological Station. Beastly hot place – when the jays were panting by 8 am you knew it was going to be a scorcher.

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