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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Roseate morning

A visit to the Bailey Tract this morning made for a very nice beginning for this day.
There's a cold front heading our way and even though the Bailey Tract is 1/2 mile from the beach, I could hear the ocean roar....

the Pied-billed Grebe is pretty well protected.

Around the corner a Mourning Dove's feathers seemed to glisten with gold in the sunshine.


A Kestrel was surveying the area for a bite to eat.

This Roseate Spoonbill gave me the impression of being filled with kindness - can you see it in its eyes and can you feel the softness too?






Once the Roseate disappeared from sight - a Palm Warbler caught my attention - it had me wonder at first because it was hopping while keeping its tail up, not quite a Palm behavior however with closer inspection it was confirmed.

Well, this concludes another beautiful visit at the Bailey Tract - looks like the Mottled Ducks were able to find a spot away from those high winds....I think I will too.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Estero Preserve at Winkler


This rustic preserve has become one of my favorite places to go to - it can be rough walking, boots are needed most of the time and a mosquito head net is often worn - and I love it! We had a total of 53 species this morning and it was lovely, here are a few snapshots that I took along the way....




 I've been looking for this Nelson Sparrow on and off for a couple of years now and I was totally delighted to find it in this little clump of mangrove along with a Sedge Wren just a foot or so down below it - how sweet is that!

That large clump of mangrove is where we saw it.

At the large pond for the past two years we had several hundred different ducks visiting for the winter, so far this winter this is it - 6 Lesser Scaup and 2 White Pelicans had the pond to themselves....hopefully they will bring their friends soon.

At the bayside we were hoping to see some Avocets but were surprised with Red-breasted Mergansers and several Reddish Egrets....

those three White Pelicans were perched on stumps - perhaps drying their feet for a bit.

A few hundred Tree Swallows had an harmonious rhythm going until a Red-shouldered Hawk made an appearance and made them all scatter in different directions.

Soon after a Bald Eagle cruised on by.

Soon it was time to head back but not before taking a closer look at this Yellow-rumped Warbler - a very interesting specie with many different features from one bird to the next.

Another day, another stick and another preserve - so much to see and so little time.....do take the time to explore and enjoy the moments in your day....I did and I have no regrets.

Friday, January 20, 2017

New year - new beginning

A new year has begun on so many different levels for me and a lot of it has been challenging. One of those moments happened when my computer and monitor died after serving me well for 7 years, but I thought "fear not" I had religiously backed up all my photos. Though when I went to retrieve them I sadly realized that it had stopped backing up 1.5 years ago. I realize that I could have checked it along the way - so my bad - and for that I feel a lump in my throat especially when I think about those life birds that were captured but more importantly my grandson's sweet face. Gulp, it is hard to let go and start all over again.
So, brushing up and moving on - I'm working with a new PC - a challenge in itself, but at last - my camera is still working and I was able to download my photo editor Picasa to get my photos ready for this blog...so without further ado....come along and visit the Lighthouse area of Sanibel....
I arrived just in time to see the sun rise along with the Black Skimmers

A Snowy Egret slowly waking up to this new day

The Brown Pelicans on the other hand were already hard at work taking advantage of all those school of fishes that were present this morning.


This Ring-billed Gull had a mourning call, I wish I understood Gull talk.


The same call was going on when another Gull joined in

In the meantime I almost missed these Ruddy Turnstone by my feet - they blend so well with their surroundings.


I came to the conclusion that this Gull likes to gather attention and why not - it's worthy of many looks.

A Great Egret was quite comfortable on the railing of the new fishing Pier.

A live Lightning Whelk was on the edge of the gulf and slowly making its way back in.

This fishing vessel had me chuckle when I noticed its given name....how appropriate!

"Maybe there's a Brown Pelican's vessel out there".

More Egrets!

And our regulars - the White Ibis with their baby blue eyes.


I bet that Snowy is thinking about those Sand Fleas that the Ibis are consuming.

Ha! Look who arrived! A Lesser Black-backed Gull.


And then in the blink of an eye - an Osprey swooped down to gather some nesting material...

something nice and soft for those new chicks....now, that's something to look forward to for the new year.

Monday, January 16, 2017

At the Bailey Tract

It is good to be here! I finally had a free day to go birding and I truly enjoyed my morning....several birds were out and I had the opportunity to marvel  at the warblers and their feeding frenzy - the Yellow-rumped were in great numbers and so were the Tree Swallows. In the meantime I captured this Gray Catbird who stood out in the open.

A lovely Tricolored Heron stood still - perhaps pretending to be part of those stumps.

Some Prairies and Northern Parulas were amongst the Yellow-rumped today - making it fun to watch.

This makes an interesting pair, don't you think?

Our last capture today was this green bee who was gathering pollen from this Thistle which was quite visible as it built up on its hind legs.....so much work and so little time.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Baby it's cold outside!

Brrr...it is 40 degrees in S.W. Florida this morning with a wind chill making it feel like 33, so what's a girl to do but bundle up and go for a drive....it's tru the Wildlife Drive of Ding Darling we go....
Apparently I wasn't the only one feeling chilly this morning.....this Great Egret felt it too

and it wasn't long before it retreated under the mangroves and away from that gusty wind.


The Reddish Egret seemed to be the boldest one of them all - right out there in the open....hunger wins.

Several Night Herons were seeking shelters just like this Black-crowned was. After exiting the Wildlife Drive I opted to go to Captiva Island....

Same scenario here - the Willets sought shelter behind the breakers



They were most likely as cold as I was except that I decided to move to warm up.....and warm up I did as I walked the Captiva beach and exercised my "Sanibel Stoop" - a common term around here which refers to people's position while looking for seashells. On my way out with my prized possessions I noticed that the Willets were still in their little crook and crannies...."stay warm little fellows".


And, folks, these are now part of my new 2017 shell collection.

Shark eyes, Common Nutmeg, Lightning Whelk, Cone, Jewel Box, Scallop,

Banded Tulips,

Turbans,

Shark eye, Moon Shell and my prize pieces.....

Junonia and Lion's Paw - I will treasure these as they are extremely difficult to find in one piece - perhaps this year will be the lucky one.