Friday, December 8, 2017

From N. River Road to southern Sanibel

My friend Libby is here on her annual visit and today we took the opportunity to explore several areas, her wish was to see the Greater White-fronted Goose - so off we go....
And as it has been reported - it was still present along N. River Road -

We also enjoyed watching a Caracara

as well as this beautiful horse - we were delighted when all of a sudden this horse started running at full speed - I called it Wild Spirit.

Below our elbows we found this colorful bug, most likely left behind by a Shrike.

After a good hour we left but not before another good look at that gorgeous Caracara.

We then made a stop at Harns Marsh where we observed 4 Grey-faced Swamphen.

The wind was pretty gusty and the Dragonflies were holding on tightly.

A mother Sandhill Crane with her young Colt - staying close to it - she watched her surroundings diligently.

Just like a teenager, it ate like there was no tomorrow.

We then stopped along a pond along Colonial Blvd - hoping to see some more birds but instead we focused on some butterflies. Libby gave me a book to identify my butterflies....I'll have to put it to work and find the i.d.

I believe this to be a Common Checkered-Skipper

And this one got me stumped....hopefully someone will pipe in

A Fiery Skipper.

On our way back to the island we couldn't help but notice at least 100 Magnificent Frigate birds in several thermal - we pulled into Bailey Road and enjoyed the show....

What a great way to end the day!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Two lifers in one day, oh my!

This past weekend we had the good fortune of coming across two birds we had not seen in our state so we were pretty hyped up about it.
Our day started south of Marco Island on Tamiami Trail....come along and see....
We found the location where a Golden Plover was reported, another birder was already there and she had her scope zoomed in on the bird, in the meantime we were being entertained by this Limpkin

Within binocular distance we were able to watch a nice group of White Pelicans, Wood Storks, Great Egrets and Roseate Spoonbills.

A Greater Yellowlegs was near shore as opposed

to the Golden Plover which could only be identified with the scope - even with my long zoom on my SX50 I couldn't tell for sure what I was taking a photo of, that's how far it was.

A Kestrel waved us on to our next destination....

Hidden Cypress Preserves in Bonita Springs.

And I figured out why it is aptly named....the birds simply like to hide in the Cypress.

The remnants of Hurricane Irma were still visible.

More some not so hidden birds....A wood stork and an Ibis.

After several hours we decided to call it a day only to arrive at home and to find out that another lifer had landed in Fort Myers on N. River Road....

A Greater White-fronted Goose! And as you can tell from the photo it was at quite a distance away but close enough to be identified with binoculars and great views with a scope. After a bit we left and celebrated over pizza and bubbly....why not. This made for a great day - stay tuned for the next one.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Freedom Park in Naples

There had been many reports on Facebook for the past couple of days about a MacGillivray Warbler being sighted at Freedom Park in Naples and since Monday is birding day - it just made perfect sense to head to that park first thing in the morning.
We arrived at the park and noticed that we were not the first ones - we proceeded down or up the boardwalk, depending on how you want to look at any events....come along and see....
First, take a look at the habitat that this warbler likes to hang in .... deep down in the foliage.

If you haven't noticed by now - I happen to be a sucker for water lily - to me they are special and represent life and being a else could one explain such a beautiful bloom that sprout out of the mud.

Okay, back to birding time....a Gray Catbird was spotted as it balanced on the flower stalks above the water.

Not too far away, a female Red-winged Black Bird.

As we headed toward the Gazebo we slowed down and enjoyed watching this Palm Warbler among the Casia petals....

lots of petals.

Many butterflies were along the path too, this Monarch landed near by and enjoyed the Pink Snow flowers which seemed rather abundant.

And finally the star of the show made a fully visible appearance....

patience paid off and I was finally able to get its photo and I have to say it was not easy - this bird spent the majority of its time under the thick mat of grasses and reeds - giving us glimpses here and there.

 This MacGillivray's Warbler is not supposed to be in this neck of the woods as it is a western specie that migrates to Mexico, for some reason and perhaps because of Hurricane Irma, it landed in our corner. Needless to say it was a "lifer" bird for myself and many others as well....this makes for a very good birding day!

Add caption
And you know what they say,
the early bird gets the worm and
the MacGillivray's got his just
like I got mine :).

Monday, November 6, 2017

Bird Rookery Swamp

Here we are in November and this signifies that it's time for the bird club to resume, our first bird trip of the season was at the Bird Rookery Swamp located in Naples. It started out with heavy fog but soon the sun came out and made everything look so much better.....come along and visit with me.....
Just prior to entering the trail this Green Heron landed in front of us and stayed for quite some time giving us ample views.

The local Red Shouldered Hawk resident was in its usual perch - keeping a close eye on its surroundings.

Along the boardwalk - the usual fauna was in bloom - great eye candy.

Another sweet treat was this White-eyed Vireo which was out in the open and quietly chasing after some plump morsels.

Soon after the boardwalk we turned around because of this small river going across the road and further down we could see large tree 'log' across the path - compliments of Hurricane Irma.

Back by the parking lot we enjoyed watching this Black-crowned Night Heron and

this Green Heron which....

my friend Elaine aptly named:

"Dracula" - it looked so dark and seemingly wrapped in a dark cloth.

Well, as always, a great outing while birding and interestingly enough we started and ended with a Green Heron - the club's mascot....a win-win kind of day!