Pasco County Birding 12/24/2013

Redhead (l) with Widgeon (r)
Today, I spent a few hours birding Pasco County with local experts Dave Gagne, Bill Pranty, and Valeri Ponzo.  We decided to sleep in and start at the former Gulf Harbors Golf Course at 7:30 this morning.  

This area is quite remarkable for birding yielding 70+ species in a couple hours in a winter morning. Redheads were present in the ponds by the thousands.  Among them were several Gadwalls and a Ruddy duck.  Nelson's sparrow has been seen here lately as has a wintering Yellow warbler.  Wind conditions made it difficult to see songbirds, but we did get great shots of the ducks, including a single Greater scaup.  Three county ticks for me.

Later, we checked a couple spots for the wintering Bar-tailed godwit that has been teasing birders in north Pinellas and south Pasco Counties lately.  It has been seen at Fred Howard Park in Pinellas County and Anclote Gulf Park in Pasco lately.  Not by us on this day.  I did manage to add Marbled godwit to Pasco.  Fortunately, I have Bar-tailed godwit back in 1999 when one showed up on Huguenot Park in Duval County.