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North Shore Birding Festival – Orange Audubon

January 17 - January 21

OCC Members Wayne Bennett and Julie Lee are co-leading trip #20 on Monday, January 21.  Audubon volunteer, Bob Sanders, will be our private guide to help with location and IDs as we travel through the wetlands.  We will be driving with photographers through the Clay Island area typically open to foot and bicycle traffic only. Many other events and tours available. Click on the link below to go to Orange Audubon for more information and registration.

Sunrise Photography and Birding
 – Mostly driving, some walking.
Lake Apopka has remarkable opportunities for sunrises from northern locations like Clay Island, and sunsets from Magnolia Park in Apopka and Newton Park in Winter Garden. Sunrise will occur at 7:19 a.m. on this date.  We will meet at the McDonald Canal Pavilion at 5:30 a.m. (it takes a while to drive to the lake shore). We will carpool through normally locked gates to a tower overlooking beautiful Lake Apopka. Your trip leaders will provide both photo and bird identification tips at sunrise and throughout the morning.

Possible sightings include Sora, Purple Gallinule, Limpkin, Wood Stork, American Bittern, Sandhill Crane, Wood Duck, Mottled Duck, and Black-bellied and Fulvous Whistling-Duck, along with most of North America’s wading bird species. The trip will traverse the canals and wetlands of the Lake Apopka North Shore and the lakeshore in search of ducks and possibly loons and grebes. We will see many of the waterfowl listed under Trip 3. Osprey, Red-shouldered Hawk, Barn Owl, American Kestrel, Merlin and Peregrine Falcon are raptors typically seen. Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-throated Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, American Redstart, Orange-crowned Warbler, and Ovenbird are target warblers. Other possible sightings are Roseate Spoonbill, Black Skimmer, and American Avocet. While most Black-necked Stilts and Least Bitterns are on their more southerly wintering grounds, some are recorded here each year on Christmas Bird Counts. As many as 13 sparrow species have been seen, including rarities like LeConte’s and Clay-colored. Unique flycatcher species like Ash-throated, Western, Cassin’s, Tropical, Scissor-tailed, and Vermillion, as well as Say’s Phoebe and White-faced Ibis are out-of-range birds that have been repeatedly seen, and Groove-billed Anis had been seen each winter between 2015 and 2017. With such a large restoration area on the shore of Florida’s 4th largest lake, off-course rarities frequently show up. Past rarities have also included Rough-legged Hawk, Swainson’s Hawk, Eurasian Kestrel, Wilson’s Phalarope, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Whooping Crane, White-cheeked Pintail, and Ross’ Goose. With skilled leaders and many eyes, we will be searching for what has turned up.


January 17
January 21
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