Last year, there were Roseates everywhere at the Wetlands in January and February – but I had not seen nearly as many this year.
While the Chiefs and 49ers were getting ready, I was busy photographing four species of raptors at the Wetlands: American Kestrel, Osprey, Bald Eagle and Red-shouldered Hawk.
Several weeks before I saw a group of about 20 Sandhill Cranes there. This time there were 10 times that number. Yes, around 200 cranes.
The west rim is on land owned by the Hualapai Tribe, part of their reservation. It’s definitely less crowded that other parts of the Grand Canyon.
In addition to the Anna’s Hummingbirds, I saw Bufflehead, Green-winged Teal and Redhead ducks, Say’s Phoebes, Verdins, Western Grebes and White-crowned Sparrows.
While visiting Las Vegas, I shouldn’t have been surprised to see one of the most colorful, glitziest birds around: Anna’s Hummingbird.
Some are returning birds, like the Palm Warbler and the Yellow-throated Warbler. Some are new, like the female Painted Bunting. And some are regulars, like the Northern Cardinal and the Blue Jay.
Near sunset, as the winds died down and I was leaving the park, a Bald Eagle flew over my head, then circled back and flew directly over me.
It was typical 2024 Florida winter weather when I visited Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, Jan. 27. It was sunny, then cloudy, then rainy, then cloudy, then sunny, etc. Rinse and repeat, as they say.
I decided to make the most of what has been rare January sunshine and hit up both Orlando Wetlands and the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. Sort of a birding doubleheader. But I hit the Daily Double for these trips.