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 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:

Sunday, March 18, 2018

A Chat!

On Tuesday 3-13-18 while I was at work, word came through that a Chat was being seen in Lakes Park in Fort Myers....mind you a Chat might not be special for some folks but for me it sounded like sweet music to my ears. The last time I saw a Chat was in Naples, almost 3 years ago and the looks that I was able to get were really glimpses in between hoped against all hope that it would stick around until Friday - my next day off from work.....and it did!

My patience was rewarded with fantastic views - out in the open - shining in the sun like a beacon....

and that, my friends, really made my day.

A vist to STA5 with the Caloosa Bird Club

It had been at least two years since I visited STA5 with the group and I was really looking forward to this trip. Funny thing about birding is that you never know what you're going to find and it's always a nice surprise to unravel....come and see for yourself.....
Well, there's nothing like a sparrow to start the day right - a Savannah Sparrow.

An American Bittern sat still - its expertise is slow movement.....and uncommon sightings however, today was a different story because I saw almost a dozen of them and most of them were flying in pairs.

One of many Northern Harriers that were that 'owl' face.

Purple Gallinules were plentiful too - almost identical numbers of Gray-faced Moorhen too!

A nice pair of Anhingas.

Ahhh....the creme de la creme....Tropical, Western and Gray Kingbirds....

Top that with Swallow-tailed Kites and that makes for a fantastic day. As is customary with this trip - a stop at a Mexican restaurant for lunch and then a quick stop at a private back yard filled with bird feeders - provided us with much eye candy.... 

The Buntings were a dime a dozen....

with a cherry on top - A Ruby-throated Hummingbird

I'd say - this was a pretty sweet kind of day.

Monday, March 12, 2018

6 miles Cypress Slough

I had a couple opportunities to visit the Slough this past month and as always I came back with extra peace in my backpack....come along and hopefully experience this peace as well.....
The Lillies are always welcoming when you enter the slough.

On the other side of the pond - away from foot traffic - several birds are nesting, here's a pair of Great Egret.

In the back - where the Grandfather tree is.

In the shadows of the Cypress Trees - bright bromeliads are tentalizing.

A bright and colorful Cormorant takes advantage of the floating dock to rest in between meals.

More Limpkins are making their way into the slough - the food is there for them.

A tree that reminded me of a screaming face - perhaps because some of the boardwalk is closed due to extra stress being caused to the nesting Barred Owls by peeping eyes and extra photography - of course, that's my rendition of this tree, you are welcome to make it something else.

Many Green Herons were seen hunting for food.

A Water snake - isn't it lovely!

Somewhere in this forest of trees - a pair of Barred Owls is nesting.....who cooks for what they say.

Another Green Heron - check the bright plumage.

And, that's all folks, - take some time and go embrace the slough and experience some of that peace too.

The Bailey Tract in March

The weather has been beautiful - the kind that makes everyone wish they lived in Florida, the Bailey Tract has been a bit quiet bird wise - possibly because of the bulldozers - however the birds being seen were worth a, come and take a look.....
I was able to catch sight of the Sora even though the sun wasn't up yet, I also saw Clapper Rails and American Bitterns however no photos to show.

A Snipe was near the edge of the road and surprisingly it stayed put while I took this photo, it always feels like a treat when I see them.

This male Kingfisher stayed perched long enough for good views - the wind on the other hand produced a bad hair day.

A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is always a good find as far as I'm concerned.

A favorite creature for all the tourists that visits the area.

And a visit from a bright male Cardinal always brightens my day.

The first Black-necked Stilt of the season has arrived in Sanibel and landed at the Bailey Tract.

The Cormorant seems in a state of wondering where the wildlife will go when they close the Bailey Tract next month.

The work began a few weeks back - Fish & Wildlife had bulldozers in action - removing many of the hardwoods - the plan is to restore the habitat to what it was years ago.

This is the southernmost finger lake along the Tarpon Bay Road.

And beginning April 15, the Ani Pond (which is the first pond you see when you enter the Bailey Tract) will get filled with an attempt to recover the Spartina Marsh from long ago - also re-creating the habitat for the Rice Rat  - which is native to Sanibel.....not to won't see this rat since it hides well and is also very small.

In the meantime the Mottled Ducks are enjoying what little time there is left in the Ani Pond.

So, stay tuned - I'll keep you in the loop.