Friday, April 14, 2017

Migration time!

Now that it's migration time I tend to spend a bit more time at the Lighthouse Point and the Pond Apple Trail since it seems to be rather productive with sightings of Warblers passing through - come along and see what I've come across for the past week or so....
All right, I know that this male Pileated Woodpecker is not migrating but I couldn't pass him up as he sat on top of this wooden pole.

A Cape May Warbler took me by surprise - at first it was being called a "Prairie" by others but the more I looked at it the more I was questioning the call - I was delighted when I got home and started to study my photos and I was able to come to the conclusion that it was a Cape May.

A Northern Waterthrush has also been seen along the Pond Apple Trail - picking along the small ponds here and there along the trail.

While it happens to be migration - it also coincides with our local birds going into their breeding season - evident here with this Cattle Egret and....

the Tricolored Heron.

A day later - I found myself at the Lighthouse for the first hour only to move to the Pond Apple Trail and for good reasons......

A Yellow-billed Cuckoo made a swell appearance.

and so did the Summer Tanager.

I don't know about you but every time I see a Yellow-billed Cuckoo I am delighted - what's not to love!

The Vireos were in good numbers too - I was able to photograph this White-Eyed Vireo and

this Blue-Headed Vireo.

The Red-eyed Vireo as well as the Yellow-throated Vireo were seen but not photographed.

Another sweet appearance from the Summer Tanager.

I couldn't pass this young Little Blue Heron - they have a special appeal when the blue starts to color its plumage.

Today I found myself at the Lighthouse once more and was delighted to see several Northern Parulas,

and Yellow-throated Warblers

and another Cape May Warbler - this is great! We should have another week of migration and hopefully we'll get more sightings along the way....stay tuned.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

From Moon to Sun to Duck and Gators - oh my!

It's a brand new day and I have free time - the full "Pink Moon" is also calling me - so off I go....

I made my way to my neighborhood beach and arrived on time to see the full moon in all its glory only to be blessed with....

a brand new spectacular sunrise on the horizon - I ask you: "Is there a better way to start the day?" and I say: "I think not".

Of course it also happens to be Easter week and look at the amount of people out on the beach at 7:00 in the morning! I'll leave it to your imagination as to how busy it gets come 10-11 o'clock.....if you didn't get a parking spot by then - you're out of luck.

Okay, enough about people - especially since I came over to observe nature and the beautiful world as it wakes up - This Black-bellied Plover is getting quite colorful as the season approaches.

And the regular Snowy Plovers were busy chasing bugs and staying out of people's way. Shortly after I left to investigate a recent sighting at the Sanibel Garden preserve....

I was quite delighted to see that it was still here - a male Northern Shoveler in the company of Black-necked Stilt.

Flying above my head I spotted an Osprey carrying more nesting material.

Back to this breathtaking Shoveler - my photos does not do it justice - my position and the sun was not conducive for optimal colorful photo and I wasn't about to get in that water where the gators live - no thank you.

How often do you see those two together?

This pair of Black-necked Stilts made this day even more special.

A pair of Killdeer tends to hang out there too and I suspect they might have started the family ritual.

Up on the tower - this Black Vulture kept its eyes on anything that moved - probably waiting for something to stop moving - if you catch my drift.

A young Gator was savoring something while sporting an evil looking grin.

In the meantime I'm thinking and hoping that this Black-necked Stilt pair will be successful this year.

Well, time is rushing away from me once again and the 'errands' are calling - on my way out I counted the young gators - all 12 of them....given the law of averages, they should prosper to a long life.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Owl, Woodpeckers, Plovers, Kites - Oh My!

Boy, where does the time go?? It's been a couple of weeks since I've had time to sit down and gather up my thoughts and photos to create a blog. Since I'm so far behind - I've decided to share bits and pieces of what I had the opportunity to observe for the past 2+ weeks - so come along and take a look....
This Black-bellied Plover was observed near Bowman's Beach - soon it will change and start to get some black spots on its belly before turning totally black.

A group of Royal Terns which drew my attention, I found it especially interesting to see the different color bill - the brighter red was a sure indicator of breeding - they sure are looking elegant.

A few days later I visited the Pond Apple Trail with my friend Lisa Hoyt from Michigan. Some of our sightings were these two Red-bellied Woodpeckers....notice how red the belly is on the bird above.

A Palm Warbler all decked out with its rusty cap and bright brown & yellow plumage....soon it will reach its summer destination and will breed its little brood.

Along the retention ponds we also found this Cattle Egret as well as...

this Tricolored Heron - check its bill and legs!

On our way back along the trail I spotted this Louisiana Waterthrush....

sweet spotting especially since this was a 'lifer' for Lisa. This migrating bird has probably reached its destination by now.

A few days later we found ourselves with the Caloosa Bird Club in Pine Island - check the view from this private pier!

A neighboring pier had a little group of Dunlins and a Semi-palmated Plover.

Of course a trip through Cape Coral requires a stop at the ball field to check on the Burrowing Owls - this one enjoyed a sun bath.

Several days later and after working 4 very busy days - I was due for some peaceful relaxation and what better way to do that than head to the beach to catch a brand new sunrise - this is the tip of Sanibel island with the lighthouse on the left.

A Black-bellied Plover leisurely finding some juicy morsels for its breakfast.

The 'newer' Sanibel Pier - the only feathered friend found along the railing was a Reddish Egret patiently waiting for a hand out.

I cringe when I see those beautiful birds getting used to being fed and especially hanging around a fishing pier - it's just a matter of time before it gets tangled into monofilament and/or hooked which could cause much damage and then some.

I then got off the beach and cruised down the 'utility lane' along the lighthouse in search of some migrants going through - it was pretty quiet on that venue except for a handful of Prairie Warblers - they were busy feeding before resuming their trek north.

It's black circles looks much better than mine.

And today, a day later, I had the pleasure of reconnecting with Elaine - a visit to the Bailey Tract took us along the Ani Pond where much of the action was taking place - this Black-necked Stilt drew my attention.

We then extended our hike to the Frannie's Preserve where we located a beautiful Swallow-tailed Kite.

Seen here preening while in the company of two Red-bellied Woodpeckers.

Not too far away - its mate seemed comfortable sitting and watching.

Nearby a Pileated Woodpecker was preening - making me realize that it was the first time I observed one doing so.

Then we came across a little pond that was filled with birds - a Snowy Egret here....

A Great Egret there, a few White Ibis and...

a young Roseate Spoonbill - wow!!

At some point the feathers were flying.

What a treat this turned out to be!

Thank you for reading - stay tuned - I plan to return to the Lighthouse area in the very near future with the hopes of bringing you some migrants reports.