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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Miami and the Exotics

A new trip opportunity was presented this year - a visit to Miami with a local guide and the chances to see birds I'd never seen before....."Count me in!"
Our excursion began when we boarded the van driven by our trip leader, Ken. A couple stops along the way....Kirby Storter boardwalk and a visit to Shark's Valley - which brought memories back of a long time ago when I visited with my late husband, Tony and our two children who were 3 and 9 at the time - wow, that was 30 years ago! Anyway, I digress - we made it to Miami, settled into the hotel after dinner and got up bright and early on Sunday morning - come along and see what was on our tour.....
It is my hope that I labeled these Parakeets properly - there were so many different kinds that we saw along the way, you just wait and see...and oh.....

Surprise! We also spotted a migrant - a Cape-may Warbler.

A Spot-breasted Oriole! How sweet is that!

The Parakeets it turns out - they are very quiet while feeding in the trees however when they take off flying is when the chorus can be heard.

Some deception with those photos but I did get good views through my bins - the Red-whiskered BulBul was definitely my favorite of them all.


Several times during our journey we heard and saw those beautiful Cedar Waxwings.

And, do tell me, how in the world can a Moscovy Duck have such beautiful ducklings?

Sure, in the midst of all those exotics, I couldn't help myself but feel enamored with this Ring-billed Gull that was surrounded by those silver swirls.

A pretty Swan Goose.

Check this one out - we all stood on the side of the road with our bins on and when the Peacock started to shimmer and tremble its plumes - we unanimously exploded with ooohs and aaahs.



Then our bird guide, Paul Bithorn, took us to see the Hill Myna - another life bird for me - we watched as it strutted and showed us its 'waddle' on top of its head.

These were quite entertaining to watch....and so love-able.

Some Egyptian Goose - don't you think?

Around a shopping center we were able to find this pair of Common Myna.

Around the corner another Moscovy Duck with its little brood - how lovely to see this one that was all yellow.

A Red-tailed Hawk made an appearance and got the group into a lively discussion.

Near the horse tracks - at least 100 Pink Flamingos - not so much shrimp in those waterways.

More exotics.

and more Parakeets.




Well, as the wind blows - it's time to wrap it up and fly away back home....

A great time was had by all with memories to last a lifetime.
 

Monday, March 26, 2018

Kestrel, Red Knots and Osprey.

It had been some time since I had the opportunity to be on the beach and check some of my local shorebirds, today the weather was just perfect so I headed down the street.....come along with me....
How very odd and quite a nice surprise to find a male American Kestrel go fly by me and land along the edge of the beach in the vegetation....




At some point he flew and landed a bit further west - here you can see the beach scene and some folks collecting shells and doing the "sanibel stoop".

My little friend found a nice post and took some time to reflect and so I let him be.

 I then decided to drive to Bowman's Beach before the crowd becomes unbearable....so off we go...
Well, what a nice surprise - several Red Knots were at the beach today



As you can see some of them are starting to get their bright plumage and before we know it they will make their long journey north....

this fellow has a tag which I reported to the FB page of banded birds.

It was quite nice of him to show me his tag so nicely, don't you think?

Of special notation - these Terns are getting their breeding plumage - check those black caps on the Sandwich Tern and Royal Tern.

Not too far off the beaten path - there's several Osprey Nests - it was fun to catch this one in action....some fish for the lady.



And this concludes my beautiful trek along the sandy path - my soul feels rejuvenated and ready for what the week may bring.
 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Babcock Webb with the Caloosa Bird Club

A visit to Babcock Webb had been anticipated with excitement especially since I hadn't been there in a couple of years....an early start did not bother me and it was super special because Dotty offered to drive - what a bonus! We started off the day driving in the fog - which seems to be usual for this time of the year - and arrived in the fog too .... we sat in the parking lot and while waiting for the rest of the group - we enjoyed being serenaded by the Chuck-Will's Widows....once everyone arrived we combined cars/people and off we go....
Our view was quite lovely as the fog started to dissipate but not before getting foggier


We arrived at our chosen location and positioned ourselves so that we could see the Red-Cockated Woodpecker come out of its nest....we waited and waited and finally abandoned the idea and moved on further down the dirt road until we found them...


they were out and about - eating and chiseling wood....then we saw two together...


We heard many Meadowlarks but only saw a couple - they were pretty good at staying out of 'eyes' view.

Same scenario with the Eastern Towhee - though we were able to observe several singing their little heart away.

One of three curious Deer looking us over.


More Towhees



And, folks, that's all the pictures that I have to show for this great trip - how appropriate to have this Bluebird sitting on a 'smiling' branch :) it was a very good day indeed. My e-bird list for today: