Bird Weekly – Photo Challenge – Birds Seen in the Past Two Weeks

Welcome to Week #42 of the Bird Weekly Photo Challenge. Week #42 challenge is Birds you have seen in the past two weeks. I hope you were able to go out and do some birding.

The feature image is a female Common Grackle who decided to join us for lunch uninvited.

Many of my shots are not crystal clear from this trip. Near the end of our 11 1/2 hours at St. Marks Wildlife Refuge, I realized my switch had been flipped on my lens for stabilization. It was OFF! I don’t use a tripod and I’m a bit shaky at times. Regardless, we saw 46 species and picked up 11 new species for the year, bringing our total to 133. This was a light day compared to our trip there in January when we logged 73 species in 9 1/2 hours.

American Flamingo seen at St. Marks Wildlife Refuge in April, 2020.

We spent the whole day looking for the American Flamingo with NO SUCCESS. The bird had been seen for 4 days straight prior to our trip. A front came in and who knows where that bird was hanging out. So we are clear, there is only one flamingo! I have shared the distant photo from when we saw this bird last year.


Over a thousand shorebirds were seen in one of the back ponds behind the tower at St. Marks Wildlife Refuge.

We only went on one birding adventure during our anniversary week. The weather didn’t cooperate for us to get out on the other days. We drove to St. Marks Wildlife Refuge and hiked to the back ponds behind the tower where we found over one thousand shorebirds. Sandpipers, Plovers, Dowitchers, Dunlin and a few others I’m still trying to identify. I’m not real confident that is going to happen.

We saw one adult Bald Eagle and a juvenile in the nest yelling for more food. The nest and birds were too far away for my 200mm lens to reach. I didn’t bother to take any shots. If they are small in the binoculars, they sure are not going to come out in a photo.

Greater Yellowlegs

Greater Yellowlegs foraging in the mudflats at St. Marks Wildlife Refuge.

This Greater Yellowlegs was foraging alone in one of the mudflats along the main road.

Black-necked Stilts

Black-necked Stilts foraging in the mudflats at St. Marks Wildlife Refuge.

It was great seeing the Black-necked Stilts on this trip. They stick out like a sore thumb among other waders with their black and white feathers and pink legs.

Black-necked Stilts foraging in near one of the spillways at St. Marks Wildlife Refuge.

Black-bellied Plovers

Black-bellied Plovers found in one of the back ponds behind the tower at St. Marks Wildlife Refuge.

The Black-bellied Plovers were found in the back pond with all those other shorebirds, however they were separated from the crowd and I was able to get a little closer to them along the shoreline. While photographing these birds, I heard a loud splash to my left. I noticed a pattern and whatever was under the water was coming in my direction. Time to go! It was an alligator in the middle of the pond. I rushed up onto the steep part of the bank and the gator stopped the pursuit. Whew!


One Dunlin was feeding with the Black-bellied Plovers at St. Marks Wildlife Refuge.

While I was taking photos of the Black-bellied Plovers seen all around, there was a Dunlin behind the one Plover in the center. All of these shorebirds in this photo are in their non-breeding plumage.

Common Grackle

Female Common Grackle was screaming at me to share my lunch.  Didn't happen!

We had set up our lunch with our folder chairs and folding tables near a small spillway along Lighthouse Road at St. Marks. It was somewhat chilly and breezy so we set up in the sun. There were no birds around until I opened the bag of potato chips. First came the male Common Grackle seen in the photo below. He started squawking and the female showed up seen above. He was hiding out over in the bush telling her to get lunch and bring it back to him. She was less than a foot from me at one point. I couldn’t even focus my camera on her with my 200mm lens. Both of these Common Grackles left empty handed because we didn’t even leave a crumb when we were finished.

Male Common Grackle in the bush near where we were having a picnic yelling at the female to get some food from the humans.

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird captured high in a pine tree along the back trail at St. Marks Wildlife Refuge.

This male Red-winged Blackbird was perched high in this pine tree directly above me. I stopped on the trail to take a few shots and listen to him sing. His red and yellow wing feathers were really pronounced.

Next time…Week #43 – Birds with chicks

Bird Weekly Challenge Badge.

56 Comments on “Bird Weekly – Photo Challenge – Birds Seen in the Past Two Weeks

    • I haven’t seen a Yellow-headed since we were in Vegas 4 years ago. We don’t get those here. 😊


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  3. Looks like a great place to spot birds! It’s always interesting to see species we don’t get over here, i.e. most of these πŸ˜‰ I especially love your Red-winged Blackbird. I’m fond of our own blackbirds, who sing so sweetly, but that flash of red is rather special. I saw one once in British Columbia (I have a very poor photo).

    Anyway, for my contribution I am taking you to Bushy Park in West London, which we visited on the first day we were allowed to go a bit further afield after the winter’s strict lockdown. It was just under two weeks ago so squeezes into your timeframe πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was so good to get over the St. Marks again. Not a lot of birding trips lately so it was good to get out. πŸ™‚


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    • Uuhhhhgggg! The Flamingo is a nemesis bird for me. So is the Magpie…for different reasons. We will be going back to try to find that bird once more before June and I look forward to seeing your single flamingo one of these days. πŸ™‚


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  11. I’m jealous of your black-necked stilt photos, Lisa. Love those birds. I saw some at Malheur on our way south and was going to photograph them on the way back home. Famous last words.

    I finally got a decent picture of a magpie but it was slightly more than two weeks ago. I’ll post it another day. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • I tell Frank to stop the car when I see something that needs to be photographed. He doesn’t question me. If I see something, he is the one who says, “do I need to turn around?”. I hope you see them again and get your photo. I’m so HAPPY to hear about your magpie and can’t wait to see it! πŸ™‚

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    • Thank you so much! They look very similar to a Female Cowbird and can be mistaken for them. If there is a male Grackle around and a brown bird with them, take care to notice and not assume they are cowbirds. I made that mistake when I first started birding. LOL! I ASSUMED! Ugh! πŸ™‚


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    • BTW: I think you copied over your Bird Weekly Post from 3/21. The URL shows it was like-a-duck-to-water. I’ve done that before. Ugh!


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