Friday, October 11, 2013

Phoebes and Merlins - Oh My!

I arrived at the Lighthouse before the sunrise, it was sweet to be able to see the Black Skimmers feeding swiftly through the water, lots of fish ....even the fishermen were thrilled to be able to fill up their nets with bait for their day's adventure, their excitement could be heard and felt, they reminded me of one of my sons....interesting to watch and to muse about.

I walked a bit on the beach, hoping that I would be so lucky as to come across a flock of Avocets .....well, one can wish, right?
 Above is a piece of driftwood that has been on that beach for as long as I can remember - sometimes that's a long time :).
I looked skyward and could already see the migrants flying over and heading toward the Gulf - they were coming in droves - 15/20 at a time. I got excited to hopefully catch a few of them at eye levels and escape the warbler neck effect.
It was nice too, to realize that some of my bird acquaintances were around - yeah! And I got to meet Bob Pelkey - another blogger. It is great to be able to meet others face to face - not only from the Brdbrain Listserver (Hi Anne) but also from the Blog world.

This was my little surprise this morning - standing on one of the boardwalk's railing - was an Eastern Phoebe....I wish that the light had been better because it was a great opportunity to take this photo with no obstacles - like leaves and twigs - in the way. He got spooked away when another person approached from the other direction.

I really like this railling as it has provided me with many different sightings at one point or another.

And here we have the "Star" of the day - a beautiful Merlin. I was really glad to be surrounded by others who recognized him right off the bat. We actually had several sightings of the Merlin(s) flying over us in front of the Lighthouse. I believe this was either a female and/or juvenile because I didn't see any gray-blue that the adult male has - though I could be mistaken because I only saw him from the front and flying above view.

It was even more special when he parked himself onto that tall branch and gave us the opportunity to ooh and aah over him - as well as letting us take his picture, of course.

Thank you - this was an incredible morning. And I'm already looking forward to tomorrow. Migration is sweet!
A bit later I saw that another birder had spotted 2 Canada Warblers in the area, boy, that would have been nice to set my eyes on.
My E-Bird List for the day


  1. Wonderful to finally meet you, France. Excellent images of the Merlin. There's no doubt you'll be at the Sanibel lighthouse McGrath hawkwatch on 20 OCT. Get a pic of the Canada Warbler tomorrow.

    1. There was no Canada Warbler in sight - instead we were treated to a red-headed woodpecker ... very sweet.

  2. They both looked like they enjoyed posing for you. What a wonderful opportunity.