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Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Black-necked Stilts are back!

I love this time of the year for several reasons - other than the weather being just right, we are also blessed with migrants going through and our summer birds arriving. Last week I sighted my first Swallow-tailed Kite of the season and this week I had a pair of Black-necked Stilts at the Bailey Tract - sweet....very very sweet. I introduce you the pair....
I heard their loud call (kik kik kik) before I saw them.....look how tall and slender they are....

and the Bubble Gum pink legs is unlike any other.

I was glad to have them side by side and to be able to demonstrate the difference between the male (right) and the female (left) - notice the color of the plumage....as with most birds the male is most striking.



At this time last year we had a remarkable amount of water in all the ponds due to the heavy rain and as such the Black-necked Stilts did not stay around the Bailey Tract. This year has been more normal and the water levels are just right for them - hopefully they will establish their family so that we can admire them as they grow before they fledge south.
Welcome back little fellows!

Stay tuned as this is far from being the end of their story.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Gulfside Park in Sanibel

I purposely took time away from the hustle bustle that the island has been experiencing with the spring break which of course brought in a lot of folks to enjoy our beautiful beaches and weather - I took an early beach walk and was totally entertained by the birds and distracted by the shells - what a great way to start the day!
I arrived just before sunrise and was able to capture the sun as it started to peek up from behind those buildings across the way.


Here's something that I don't see too often - an Octopi, unfortunately it expired.
A Ruddy Turnstone in its perfect environment.

An Eastern Willet

A Snowy Egret in the beginning stages of breeding plumage - its lores and feet are more orange and will turn even brighter to almost red.

A Lesser Black-backed Gull - they look so sharp with their 'tuxedo' and bright white shirt on.

The Sanderlings were feeding in quite a frenzy.

This one caught a small shrimp.

The perfect clam size for this Ruddy Turnstone.


A Black-bellied Plover.


And of course Gulfside Park wouldn't be right without its Plover enclosure.

I saw a total of 5 Snowy Plovers, two of which were banded.....

soon they will be mating and that's a good thing.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Harn's Marsh in Lehigh Acres

It had been a few weeks since my last visit to Harn's Marsh and I've been reading reports of everyone's sighting making me want to revisit sooner than later - so plans were made and off we go....
We searched for a Solitary Sandpiper but found a Lesser Yellowleg instead - I'll take it :)


The Limpkins on the other hand were numerous and easily located.

The lovely Coots with their bright red eye and lobed toes.


The tricolored heron are getting more colorful as the spring progresses.

A group of Green-winged Teals was spotted in the distance and a Dowitcher impromptu flight was caught in the act.


A group of young Wood Storks.



A Red-shouldered Hawk squacking led us to its progressing nest.

A large Bumble Bee feasting on pollen and blowing in the wind - it was working hard.

And this concludes this outing - it was rewarding as always, this Swallow-tailed Kite sealed the day....my first sighting this year!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Pelicans at Bowman

After birding most of the weekend - Elaine and I decided to hit the beach for some shelling - HA! sometimes the best plans are meant to be broken.....instead I bring you Brown Pelicans....
To be perfectly honest I have to admit that I didn't use to pay attention to the Pelicans until I developed a passion for birding and now....

every time I see them I notice their intricate differences....the young ones are all brown and..

the older they get the more colorful they become.

And look how flexible that pouch is!

I also noticed today that their eyes are a different color as they age

a perfect example right here.


"What are you looking at?" it seems to say.



A mere few others were sighted - this White Ibis is just begging for admiration and why not!

And the Plovers are pairing up - soon they'll be sitting on eggs.

Three Wilson Plovers - can you see them all?

Pretty tricky wasn't it?

Well, I hope you enjoyed our sightings....come back later for more :)

A visit to Green Cay and Wakodahatchee

Once per year the Caloosa Bird Club takes a bus trip to go to the East Coast of Florida to visit Green Cay and Wakodahatchee - it is a trip that I really look forward to and this Sunday was the day! Come along and visit with me.....
Along the entrance to Green Cay - which was shielded from the 30+mph wind gusts - a few butterflies caught my attention, this Atala stole the show.

This bird feeder is quite the attractor for the Painted Buntings.

This following segment takes place at Wakodahatchee - here is a Gray-cheeked Swamphen, notice the red face and bill which matches the legs and feet.

Further down a Common Gallinule family captured my interest...


The Pied-billed Grebe might be pondering the fact that it will be in breeding mode soon.

A first time sighting for me was this Juvenile Purple Gallinule.

It was pretty amazing that it was able to stay put while eating the flowers while the wind kept on gusting.


Not too far away....perhaps the parent to the above juvenile....notice the candy cane bill is just like the Common Gallinule bill....one difference being that the Purple Gallinule, beside being purple has a blue patch between the eyes.

And let's not forget about the Wood Storks! This year is seemingly a successful season for nesting and that's a very good thing.

Check those chicks out!


Good thing the parents know what they're doing - with all those legs in such a small nesting area I'd be afraid to step on my babies.


A couple Great Blue Heron chicks waiting for the parents to return with more food.

Another Wood Stork family.


A soon to fledge Cormorant (left) with parent on right.

More Gray-cheeked Moorhen.
A Cattle Egret in full breeding attire.

And, as with all my adventure, this too comes to an end.....I hope that you enjoyed this visit.