For the Young Birders of Brevard April meet-up, we went to Lori Wilson Park, a Maritime Hammock boardwalk in Cocoa Beach. We are very grateful for the 2 Space Coast Audubon members who came out to help us with our group. This park is on the Great Florida Birding Trail and we hoped to see some migrating Warblers. I started the meeting by sharing some basic binocular skills such as how to focus them and some tips on how to spot birds in the trees. This meet up was going to be a bit tricky because trying to spot Warblers can be difficult—you do know they flit around a lot!
We had 3 families come out to join our adventure and we started out by picking a spot on the boardwalk to listen and look for Warblers. We saw Eurasian Collared Doves and heard Cardinals….but no Warblers….yet! Our group headed down the boardwalk with everyone’s eyes checking out the trees around us. Is it...could it be….Warbler! We all got to see a Prairie Warbler and then an American Redstart. Spotting the Warblers got everyone excited and the search was on! We continued our walk and we heard a bird, but we didn’t know what it was. One of our Audubon members let us know that we were listening to a Northern Parula. Unfortunately, we couldn’t see it, but we got to hear it. One of the Young Birders noticed a baby Raccoon cozied up inside a tree! Further down the trail, we spotted a bird. An Audubon member shared that this was an uncommon bird and he was very excited….we found a Swainson’s Warbler. Everyone got a chance to see it and several phone calls were made to let other birders in the area know about this find. The boardwalk was marked off with a special tape, so that other birders knew where to look. Our group headed off, while excited birders began to gather to spot this unusual bird. On the rest of our adventure, we spotted more Prairie Warblers and Cardinals.
Our meet up ended with a special activity that one of the Audubon members put together. All the kids drew their own imaginary bird and had to share information such as how many babies it had, where it lived/habitat, what it ate and the name. My bird was the Tutti-Frutti Eater and has 2 babies, lives in the woods and gets up to 10” tall and it eats Sparrows and Tutti-Frutti birds (which was the bird, my mom came up with) and its lifespan is forever. I think all the Young Birders had lots of fun and it was pretty cool that we saw the uncommon Swainson’s Warbler that birders went ga-ga about. Can’t wait for our next meet up in May at Sam’s House on Pine Island—Merritt Island. Hey, what are you still doing here? Get out and Bird!