Of course, just because there were days when I didn’t “go birding” while I was in Florida doesn’t mean that I wasn’t looking for birds. Walking around the neighborhood and adventuring afield on errands turned up great stuff for the alert eye, like:
An incredibly confiding Red-shouldered Hawk which ignored leaf blowers, a large sanitation truck, and us as it caught the morning sun on a parking sign. No, it wasn’t wearing jesses.
A Cattle Egret that dashed practically underfoot in the parking lot of a supermarket, prompting me to wonder if it was using cars as “cattle”, either for the insects they flushed, or the lovely collection of sun-baked goodies they tend to collect on their grills….
As I mentioned before, vast numbers of White Ibises everywhere, along with Little Blue Herons…
And one more bird for my life list: a beautiful Yellow-throated Warbler that was traveling the neighborhood with a pack of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and Titmice. This was an incredibly fortuitous bird; the Inimitable Todd and I had decided to go for a walk mostly just to get out of the house, and in the interest of taking the long way around we went up a street that we had no reason to be on. I heard an unfamiliar chirp and looked up just in time to see the bird flaunt its distinctive yellow throat, white belly, and striking black-and-white face.
So I returned to the chilly winds of New York well satisfied, and ready to start racking up some decidedly non-tropical birds….