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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Stolen moments

It's been a bit since I posted, actually the last time I blogged was on the morning of my husband having a health episode. Life seems to have a mind of its own and I can honestly say that it is quite beyond my ability to control or fix for that matter. In any event - I am not here to gather sympathy but rather to say that I was able to steal some precious moments for myself and I chose the beach as my peaceful getaway.
I took a long walk along Bowman's Beach and took advantage of those lovely early morning hours and it was just what I needed, come along and enjoy those short respite with me.....
The birds were certainly not in great numbers but the few that I did see brightened my day - the Ruddy Turnstone always has a striking appearance.

Since it is Sea Turtle season I can't really be surprised when I come across a crawl however it always lighten me up and makes me smile.....

and another - this one a quick turnaround....Loggerhead Sea Turtle judging from the alternating gait.

The Sanderlings were stealing the show though with their bright summer plumage


And unfortunately that was all the time that I had - it was short but very sweet. On my way back across the little bridge I ended up with another encounter....

A mother Manatee with her young one...how sweet is that!
 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A Mother's love

A mother's love - that's what I thought about when I was walking through the Bailey Tract this morning - come along and see what I mean...
In the Ani Pond - which is almost void of water - a family of Black-necked Stilt is busy growing up, one of the chick is seen here.

As I was watching, the parent came over and started to crouch down and soon after....

the chicks headed for the warmth and safety that the parent provides.

Shortly after the third chick came while the fourth stayed away.


A Killdeer was across the way.

Another pair of Black-necked Stilt is getting ready for its family along the Red mangrove pond.

Across the way I spotted a pair of Black Skimmers - they tend to visit the Bailey Tract during the late spring and into the summer time - always a nice sighting.



What's not to love with a family of ducklings - I'm glad to see that little group even if half of them are missing.

Another family in the making....

The Common Gallinule is sitting on the nest inside the reeds while the mate brings nourishment....the Green Heron just watched though it didn't seem to be very interested.


The Green Herons tends to be more visible around the time of their nesting season, I spotted 8 today - they are such 'still' creatures that at times they are hard to locate which creates a pleasure when detected....all in all this day gave me fuzzy feelings all over.

 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Storms are great!

If you would have told me once upon a time that a storm would be a blessing - I would not have believed you. It turns out that every time a front comes through and pushes rain and wind our way it affects the migrants that are trying to head north for their breeding season, of course it's a bonus for us birders since we get to see them in their beautiful plumage. This weekend turned out to be particularly nice - we had Hummingbirds by the dozen in addiction to.....well....before I blurt it all out, come along and see....
Now, it's true that we see Black-and-white Warblers on a regular basis however some of them are migrating through and are so hungry that they don't care if you are only a few feet away - which provides us with ample good views.

One of the many Ruby-throated Hummingbirds that landed at the Lighthouse, interestingly enough they were all mostly females.....boy are they hard to photograph especially with a camera that takes forever to focus.

With the Great-crested Flycatcher - taking its photo is a lot easier. Don't you just love its attitude?

The Gumbo Limbo tree could have easily been called the Red-eyed Vireo trees as there were so many feasting on the ripening fruit.

Warblers, warblers, warblers ..... they were everywhere and we were all giddy about it. This Black-throated Green Warbler found a juicy bug.

A beautiful Chestnut-sided as well as many others - truly loved the Seagrape flowers and all the little bugs that were in it.

A Bay-breasted Warbler gave us ample views and much delight.

A very lovely Ovenbird - check out the orange crest!


After a bit we went to the Pond Apple Trail and had a delightful greeting when we entered - this Rose-breasted Grosbeak stopped us in our tracts.


Shortly after we found the bird we were looking for - an Eastern Wood Peewee - sweet!

This morning I returned to the Lighthouse and found more of the same - a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak feasting on the Gumbo Limbo berries.

Well, I felt really blessed because I had been wanting to find a Hummingbird for several months now and this weekend found a few dozen - I guess it pays to be patient. Thank you. My E-bird List for the Lighthouse.


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Home stretch - recap

Migration is winding down and we're on the home stretch now - I had the opportunity to go to the Lighthouse and to travel through Ding Darling in search of the latest migrants, this year we are not seeing the birds in great numbers which, in essence, means the birds are finding some favorable conditions for traveling north - we wish them well. 
One exception though was seeing the Indigo Buntings and Blue Grosbeaks by the dozen - that was quite exciting and OH! what eye candy they are.


A Yellow-crowned Night Heron probably wondered what the fuss was all about - however it paid us no mind and went about its feeding business.

The Scarlet Tanager on the other hand truly stole the show!

I found another along the Shell Mound and this one was sound asleep and all tucked in behind 1000s sticks, it was probably exhausted from the trip and needed some rest before resuming its journey.

Another visit to the Lighthouse and this time we found a female Scarlet Tanager....

a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak and....

a few males around the corner - they were not so generous with us and kept hidden for the most part.

This morning I returned to my ole stomping ground - the Bailey Tract - where I observed several Blue Grosbeaks and Indigo Buntings.


Of course the regulars came into play too and it was most enjoyable to watch this Mottled Duck family come straight toward me - I stood still so as not to spook them and they walked right by me.
A Red-bellied Woodpecker caught my attention when the sawdust started to fly around.


Along the edge of the Sanibel River several gators were seen getting their sun rituals, I pointed them out to the visitors and they were quite delighted to see them.

Around the corner a Black-necked Stilt was spotted on the nest, soon we will have little chicks walking around.

Those Stilts are just so elegant looking.


As I was heading out a group of Least Sandpipers landed along the island within the Ani Pond - sweet! This day at the Bailey Tract this morning turned out to be a fantastic spree - I tallied up 56 species - a record for me at this location. See my E-bird List for today.