Bartow County 7/20/14

About a week ago I went birding at Sam Smith Park and Brandon Farm and Taff Roads in Bartow County. We had some Scissor-tailed Flycatchers at Sam Smith Park. At Brandon Farm and Taff Roads, we saw Green Heron, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, a Willet, a Lesser Yellowlegs, two Stilt Sandpipers, Short-billed and Long-billed Dowitchers and a Semipalmated Plover.

Sam Smith Park:

Birds (20 species, 0 lifers):

Canada Goose  2
Red-tailed Hawk (Eastern)  1
Killdeer  15
Mourning Dove  5
Eastern Kingbird  2
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher  1     Seen and heard. Observed flying into large oak tree at the end of the gravel road that breaks off from the parking lot of the aquatic center.
Blue Jay  1
American Crow  1
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  2
Barn Swallow  5
Cliff Swallow  15
Carolina Wren  1
Eastern Bluebird  5
Northern Mockingbird  2
European Starling  20
Field Sparrow  3
Blue Grosbeak  1
Indigo Bunting  3

Brandon Farm and Taff Roads:

Birds (40 species, 1 lifer):

Canada Goose  10
Wood Duck  9
Mallard  10
Northern Bobwhite  4
Great Egret  8
Green Heron  1
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron  1
Turkey Vulture  2
Red-tailed Hawk (Eastern)  2     One juvenile.
Semipalmated Plover  1     Small plover with Black on lores and black band around breast. Brown above, white below with a white collar around nape. Short, stubby, orange and black bill. Orange legs.
Killdeer  30
Spotted Sandpiper  3
Willet  1     Appeared to be molting into nonbreeding plumage. Not sure if Western or Eastern but definitely a Willet.
Lesser Yellowlegs  1     Slightly larger than nearby Short-billed Dowitchers. Bill length about length of head.
*Stilt Sandpiper  2     Medium-sized, slightly decurved bills. Smaller than Lesser Yellowlegs.
Least Sandpiper  25
Calidris sp.  1     Most likely a Semipalmated Sandpiper. Complete breast-band less smudgy than that of a Least. Face was light but not light enough for Western. Bill was long and seemed slightly decurved but hard to tell from a distance and that was the only characteristic that might suggest Western. White supercilium with dark gray eyeline. Scapulars and coverts gray with black marks. Flanks lacked chevrons. Attenuated shape unlike in Least or Western but that would suggest Semipalmated. Large enough in comparison to nearby Leasts to be a White-rumped or Baird’s but rump had a brown middle so White-rumped was ruled out and was foraging in water too much to be a Baird’s. Hard to tell from such a distance and in bad light, but dark primaries seemed to project past the end of the tail. “Shoulders” appeared to have white spots but this could have been body feathers extending into wing. Overall, the only characteristic that seemed to suggest this confusing individual was not a Semipalmated Sandpiper was that it was so much larger than the other Least Sandpipers foraging around it, but this could of course be due to fat built up for migration. Too far away to get any good pictures – even through the scope at 60X zoom.
Short-billed Dowitcher  1     Light orange wash to breast. Arched supercilium. Smaller, more compact shape. Black bars on outer rectrices narrower than on Long-billed. Slight droop at end of bill.
Long-billed Dowitcher  1     Darker orange wash on breast than Short-billed. Larger, stockier body shaped more like a football.
Eurasian Collared-Dove  5
Mourning Dove  10
Red-headed Woodpecker  1     Gave “where!” screaming calls.
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Downy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)  1
Eastern Phoebe  1
Eastern Kingbird  5
Purple Martin  3
Barn Swallow  20
Cliff Swallow  25
European Starling  50
Chipping Sparrow  2
Field Sparrow  5
Grasshopper Sparrow  5
Northern Cardinal  1
Blue Grosbeak  1
Indigo Bunting  3
Red-winged Blackbird  15
Eastern Meadowlark  15
Brown-headed Cowbird  100
American Goldfinch  5

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Juvenile Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

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Green Heron

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Juvenile Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

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Short-billed Dowitcher

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Short-billed Dowitcher

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Green Heron

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Green Heron

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Green Heron

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Green Heron

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