A total of 18 people attended the field trip at the Audubon Pennington Nature Park located at 1153 Alton Road in Port Charlotte, Fl. Almost everyone brought their own binoculars with only one person needing a loaner pair. We started on time at 8:00 am with a huddle up to discuss safety regarding being aware of tree roots in order to avoid trips and falls. We also discussed the need to be very quiet and to whisper. A brief description of the park’s history and ecosystems was discussed. Half of those that attended had never been to the park. 2019-2020 Audubon Annual Program Brochures were distributed to all.
Several birds were observed including:
A Red Shouldered Hawk. We saw it in three different locations: in the parking lot on top of a Norfolk pine tree, in a Live Oak on the canal at the trail head and in a tree in the Cypress Swamp.
Blue Gray Gnatcatchers. Most were observed in the canopy of a tree at the beginning of the walkabout. At the end of the walk we gathered at the butterfly garden and a Gnatcatcher joined us where it perched on a branch at eye level a few feet from where we gathered. People with cameras took pictures and this bird was a very cooperative little model posing for us.
A Palm Warbler, two Red Starts, a Palm Warbler, two Limpkins (one on the canal bank on the East side of the park eating an Apple Snail and one on the canal bank on the West side), several Mottled ducks flying overhead, a White Eyed Vireo, Mockingbirds, Blue Jays and Cardinals too.
At the end of the walk I asked the group if they had heard about the recent articles about the dramatic 3 billion drop in the bird count from 50 years ago. Most were aware. I mentioned that loss of habitat was the main cause. I then brought up the Audubon Plants For Birds website and how we can all help by creating micro habitats on our properties.
Rob Mills Field Trip Committee Chair