Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Bird Rookery Swamp and Tomato Fields Pond

Monday Mornings - are now my favorite day of the week because it is the day that I get to go birding with my Caloosa Bird Club. Yesterday morning was no exception as I really looked forward with great anticipation as I drove to my destination - Bird Rookery Swamp. This particular trail, I visited in previous occasion, and immediately fell in love with it and I look forward to the day when I can venture far into that road - apparently it is a 12 miles loop but I've yet to make it past 2 miles. Anyway.....I digress as I am here to talk about yesterday's experiences.
So, here we go.....fog and all....
Doesn't that look exciting and welcoming! If this had been Halloween, I would have said "eerie".

The Black Vultures were alert and laid back.

We saw several immature Night Crown Herons in/around some small bodies of water, later on we saw the adults too.

We gathered up and listened to Barb (trip leader) the history behind the Bird Rookery Swamp before we began our trek unto the trail.

We were surrounded by many warblers and most of them were seen before we entered the boardwalk....the list includes: Black and White, Orange-crowned, Yellow throated, Common Yellowthroat, Northern Parula, Palm, Pine, Yellow-rumped, Prairie and Black-throated Green - which ended up being voted the "Trip Bird". We also saw several woodpeckers, such as: Red-bellied, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Downy (pictured) and Pileated.

Pine Warbler

The Asters added a nice little pop of color along the trail.

On the boardwalk, getting close to the trail head. We had a nice group of 22 folks ..... we were all well behaved by staying together and speaking quietly :)

From the boardwalk, the trail can be seen....with no end in sight.

I heard there are large bears, huge alligators, bobcats and panthers in these woods/swamps......I wonder what the story is behind this 'headless' person.

More of that beautiful trail (White Ibis)....doesn't it make you feel like keeping on going?

Yellow -bellied Sapsucker - notice how clear the bark is LOL.

On our way out we saw a lonely little Grebe.

And a pair of Red-shouldered hawk bid us farewell as we exited the parking lot. From there we were heading for a boxed lunch and follow that up to a stop on Oil Well Road - where many, many species of birds have been seen for the past few weeks. I was there a couple of weeks ago and the pond was brimming with wildlife/ducks that I had never seen before.

A lot of ducks have left already - the numbers were no where near what they were a few weeks back - we say......any day is a great birding day. I wish I had more photos to share but most ducks/birds were too far away for me to get clear photos.

A pair of Widgeon - just beautiful.

The Mottled Ducks said: "Farewell" - till the next time.
Since it was two separate location, I made two separate E-Bird List listing the species seen at both location. Here is my E-Bird List for the Bird Rookery Swamp - where we had 56 species.
My second list on E-Bird is for the Oil Well Road which I just found out that the location has been decreed and named the "Tomato Fields Pond" by Ken, the trip chairman.....I'll have to change my location's name later. Species that I put on my E-Bird List totaled 39 species.


  1. Where was the gannet included on the eBird checklist??

  2. Good question Anonymous! We never saw a gannet - which goes to show me that I need to slow down some when I do some of these things. I've corrected it and fix a few typo errors too. Thanks for pointing that out.

  3. You sure were busy taking lots of pictures to shares with us. Thank You.

  4. Love the trail shots - & that pair of hawks :-) Thanks France! Beth