Monday, August 22, 2016

Six Mile Cypress Slough

I've had the opportunity to visit the Slough a couple of times for the past two weeks - each time was quite rewarding for seeing some of the migrants coming through the area....and a special bonus is the fact that the slough is at least 5 degrees cooler since it is surrounded by water and the boardwalk is in the shade. I spent more time with my binoculars than my camera but I did manage to get a few pics to share with you....
A Yellow Rat Snake was spotted above our heads - seemingly digesting something is my guess by looking at that bulge in his belly.

A Prothonotary Warbler - this has got to be one of the most striking warbler with its bright golden-yellow face and unmarked blue wings, how fortunate we are to see it as it travels through our area.

The Carolina Wren on the other hand is not a migrant but a year around resident - either way, it's a treat to spot one and watch it as it vocalizes away.


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Sod Fields

I was blessed today with good friends and the ability to visit the Sod Fields in Palm Beach County - I've often driven by the area but little did I know that there was so much to see. Come along and take a look....
The Black-necked Stilts are always a joy to see - with their sharp plumage and bubble gum legs - what's not to love! I've also missed seeing them this year in Lee Co, the Bailey Tract had way too much water when they arrived for their summer breeding, causing them to find other locations.

And a new lifer for me....a Gull-billed Tern! Thanks to the McQuade for taking us along and showing us where this Gull hangs out.

Here's a nice little group with 2 Gull-billed Terns, 1 Black Tern and a few Black-bellied Plovers.

A few American Avocets were spotted too - how sweet is that!

A crop duster was busy at work while we were there, we watched as the birds

flew up in order to escape what was coming down the pipes....yikes!

"I know, I get bug-eyed too!"

Who knew that a Gull-billed Tern has such a red mouth!

It's beautiful in flight too....

And as an adult it has a black cap too!

Another nice surprise for us to see was the Common Nighthawks that were resting on the ground.

This was my first opportunity to see one so close, most of the time they are flying by at dusk - so big bonus for me.

Look how many birds there are....

they were all lined up along those ditches

and some more were coming to join in

It is just totally amazing to see this

We should have some sod fields in Lee Co!

You heard of road block - well, this is a bird block!

Several Sandpipers were seen too, a Pectoral makes for a nice treat.

Well, all good things eventually come to an end - and what better way than to check out the swallows before we go!  
 A great day birding as always and a big thank you to the McQuades for taking us along for the ride.

Monday, August 8, 2016

CWA Lagoon

Some reports of a Whimbrel being seen at CWA Lagoon prompted me to make a visit, come along with me....
I was going to say that I arrived bright and early except that I got there so early there was no 'brightness' about it - but, the birds don't seem to mind as they were already there feeding away.

I bumped into Janet & Aaron Kirk and we all admired this Great Blue Heron and how classic his pose was.

I'm liking how the sky is turning blue, the stairs to heaven are a definite plus and I'm hoping the weather will clear up.

The Black Scoter is still hanging in its regular spot - patiently waiting for others to join her in the fall.

A bit of pink from the Roseate Spoonbill is bringing some brightness to a dreary day.

Oh My! What do we have here?

It's a Black Tern! This bird holds a sweet memory from a few years back when Carol & John Herr and I visited this very spot and saw our very first Black Tern - we were very happy with our find - what a great day that was!

A pair of them is very sweet and in breeding plumage too!

The Black Tern is slightly bigger than the Least Tern which is our smallest Tern.

And, my go-to bird has arrived and I'm glad it is only sprinkling at this point and that I

can take its photo.

Nearby is an American Oystercatcher with a green band.

The Whimbrel in the company of Marbled Godwits.

Some fancy footwork from a pair of Reddish Egret - quite entertaining.

More Roseate Spoonbills in their pretty pink.

Some footloose from the Marbled Godwit

while the American Oystercatcher was busy shaking the water off

....all clean now.

A SemiPalmated Plover was hunkering down.

Everytime I make it there, I always wonder why I don't make the trip more often as it is such a lovely spot.

I just love this bird with its bubble gum pink bill.

On my way back I made a quick stop at Bowitch Park - this lovely immature Little Blue watched its reflection in the little pool.

A Gray Kingbird kept diving down for flying insects before returning to its mangrove perch.

A young Sandwich Tern - interesting how the bill is yellow....but soon enough it will blend in with the rest of the flock.