So it was bound to happen sooner or later. I missed a few days blogging due to work comittments in Gainesville. I wish I had had time to go birding in this area, so many great sites to explore. I’m only a few miles from one of THE best birding hotspots in the entire state. Paynes Prairie is a jewel in Florida’s birding crown and it’s fantastic at this time of year. Flocks of Sandhill Cranes, skulky American Bitterns and a decent variety of winter sparrows can be found along the famous La Chua Trail. In addition to the plethora of common species, a rarity or two is often present along the trail; most are found by Gainesville’s very active birding community. A few years ago I twitched a Harris’s Sparrow that wintered on the trail, a species that has been recorded in Florida fewer than 10 times. So, if you’re in the Gainesville area try and set aside a few hours to explore the prairie. You won’t be disappointed.