I spent Memorial Day morning exploring Fish Hawk Creek Preserve South in Hillsborough County, and I was able to photograph a very patriotic trio of new-to-me birds.
- The RED-headed woodpecker
- The WHITE-eyed Viero
- And the Eastern BLUEbird.
I didn’t plan it that way, but that’s what happened. And, to be fair, my new birds weren’t discovered in the red-white-blue order.
I decided to check out this wildlife area hoping to see a Bluebird. As soon as I pulled into the parking lot, a bright male Bluebird was waiting there to greet me. What a great start! Later I was able to photograph a female Bluebird, too.
As I started exploring the area’s pine scrub and forest paths, I came across several Red-bellied Woodpeckers — but it was a different woodpecker that caught my eye.
It was a Red-headed Woodpecker, which is a pretty rare bird. It flew off quickly from a dead pine tree to a perch up high in another dead tree. I wish I had better lighting for my photos, but it was still great bird to see in person.
Finally, as I was walking around I kept hearing a somewhat familiar birdsong, and my Merlin app told me it was the White-eyed Vireo.
This shy, little bird hops around a lot in brush and trees, so it too me awhile to locate it and then photograph it.
I certainly understand how it got it’s name — its bright white eyes were mesmerizing.
But that’s how I ended up with a red, white and blue birding day on Memorial Day.