Sunday, October 23, 2016

Moon Flowers and Eastern Phoebe

Awe, the weather is slowly changing and the air is clear and crisp, an early walk at the Bailey Tract greeted me with Moon Flowers....
The Moon Flowers are in the Morning Glory family - how appropriate to find this on my arrival this morning.

It grows on a twining vine, the flowers (5-1/2") are funnel-shaped with 5 yellowish-green radiating stripes. It is fragrant and opens at night, the leaves are heart-shaped and it blooms year-round.

As I surveyed the rest of the trail, I came upon this quiet group of Mourning Dove, they seemed to huddle together - perhaps to stay warm on this chilly morning.

On my way back I heard and then saw this Eastern Phoebe. Fresh fall birds are washed with yellow below. The Phoebes are distinguished from pewees by their habit of pumping down and spreading their tails.

I've missed seeing the Phoebes and I'm happy to see them again and to hear them sing their "fee-bee" song. Welcome Back!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A walk on the beach side

I had some free time on my hands after checking on the last turtle nest so I took this opportunity to walk the beach, I enjoyed breathing that salt air with the breeze and the peacefulness that came with it - come along and join me....
I got there really early and I could barely make out that the birds were Black Skimmers

And before I knew it, the sun peeked into the horizon - giving the air that golden hue that I adore.

The Dune Sunflowers seemed to embrace that sun.

The little favorite: a Snowy Plover

Second favorite: The SemiPalmated Plover

An Adult Brown Pelican took off just as I set my lens on it - I love their expression and how they often engage eye contact.

More Semi-Palmated Plovers

A Black-bellied Plover

A bright and alive Lightning Whelk - I watched it as it slowly buried itself deeper into the wet sand.

And just for fun I collected a few Kitten paws and lined them up leading to a Spiny Jewelbox.

A hawk flew by and quickly landed into this Australian Pine - too many shadows and since I didn't have my binoculars with me, I wasn't quite sure which specie I was looking at.....

until it switched trees - the bright highlights near the tip of the wings was indicative of a Red-Shouldered Hawk.

Crossing air paths - several Brown Pelicans were cruising.

A pair of Sanderlings quickly got up when I approached - they blend so nicely with their surrounding that I had not noticed them until they moved.

Looks like a Bald Eagle - from the remaining dark feathers on its head - I would guess this adult Bald Eagle to be 3 years old.

While I was watching the Eagle - several of these were swooping by - can you guess which specie this is? I still need to spend more time to figure it out, though I have a hunch that it's a Northern Rough-Winged Swallow.

I couldn't tell what the Eagle was watching so intently but whatever it was, it must have moved on.

A half mile later I came across more Snowy Plovers.

There are three in this frame.

And this concluded my walk today - it is bittersweet to see this last nest of the season as the Sea Turtle Season is about to end - I bid farewell till the next time.

Monday, October 17, 2016

This week's sightings at the Bailey Tract

A few free hours - a beautiful sunny day and the Bailey Tract is calling - I'm a happy gal! Come along and visit with me.....
I think it's a bonus when the moon is still up and the sun is rising, don't you agree?

A dozen of Black Skimmers flew by, the rising sun is giving them a honey glow.

An Anhinga flew by and landed in the mangroves - funny how its head looks so small on that body.

The usual Tricolored Heron in its regular spot.

A beautiful quiet vista - I could hear all the birds - what a soothing symphony!

The Palm Warblers are back in town and we welcome them with great pleasure.

A female Common Yellowthroat playing Peek-a-Boo.

The Common Ground Doves are common all right but seeing 6 on the path was an unusual sight for me.

Being the smallest Dove - they sure are precious.

One of several Ospreys that I saw today.

Another regular - the Little Blue Heron.

The Pied-billed Grebes have arrived for the winter too - this particular one is a Juvenile, soon to be morphing into adult plumage.

"Welcome to the Bailey Tract little fellow - I hope that you'll make this your winter home from now on."

And this concludes my visit today, another winner if you ask me.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

A few peeps

I took a few moments this morning after my sea turtle patrol and observe some of my favorite peeps, take a look....
A pair of Red Knots

A Snowy Plover

A few Sanderlings

And our Sanibel Snowy lady - who favors Sanibel beach over the others - she has been raising several broods for the past 7 years - way to go girl!

Monday, October 10, 2016

A beach walk

My life has taken a different fork in the road recently and I find myself with less amount of time to do birding, today was such a day - but while my husband was getting a procedure done, I took the opportunity to steal a few minutes to absorb the beach scene, come along and see.....
There's something to be said about sand in your toes and salt water in the air - of course the birds are the icing on the cake.....

A Red Knot and a Willet

If you are from this area then you probably recognized the pier from Ft.Myers Beach.

In the background the Sanibel Causeway can be seen too.

In the midst of one of the Willet groups I found several Marbled Godwits

and a few Red Knots here and there

Most of the time a group would be seen all facing one direction - in this case it was total mayhem.

more Red Knots

A nice mix - Ruddy Turnstone, Willet and Marbled Godwit

This one begs for a caption...Abracadabra....

Some folks were walking behind the birds and it made for an interesting color reflection.

A Short-billed Dowitcher made an appearance.

All good things eventually come to an end - one last look before leaving the beach - there's no place like home, there's no place like home.....