Saturday, May 31, 2014

Volunteer perks

Becoming a volunteer for Ding Darling has opened many doors for me - and my favorite one is being a rover on the Bailey Tract trail and sharing with the visitors the treasures of nature. 
My first encounter was around the Ani Pond, there I saw a Juvenile Yellow-crowned Night Heron

then as I made my way around, I found a pair of Black-necked Stilts getting ready for their own family

Soon, I came upon the Tarpon Bay Slough where a large amount of birds was observed while feeding and croaking loudly.

Some getting their feathers ruffled.

The Night-crowned Black Heron was there too.

The Marsh Rabbit paid me no attention while he munched on his greens.

Following the trail along the Middle Dike, I was pleased to see other Black-necked Stilts....more families to come.

The Killdeer's voice alerted me of his location across the pond - look how well he blends in.

The Mourning Doves were everywhere - cooing away.

Another Marsh Rabbit.

By the Smith Pond - I found the last Green Heron chick - soon, he too, will leave the nest.

As I stepped away from the Bailey Tract and onto Island Inn Road - I made a point of checking that magic tree which should be called the Wildlife Tower...

below the "Wildlife Tower" I heard a chick chirping and found the source.....a red-belly woodpecker recently fledged and learning the ropes from mom

he watched and followed her lead, flew up into a tree and grabbed a branch - in the process ending upside down and dangling....more learning in the process

Back to the "Wildlife Tower", a Cardinal and a Starling can be seen....

Mom with fledging - giving more instructions

Fledging looking on the lower apartment

and another dwelling where another fledging is ready to take off

....considering all options while watching his neighbor down below..

...the Starling gathering more material for the home comfort....

In the near-by tree, one of the fledging learning the ropes....

while the Swallow-tailed Kites were circling the area.

So, what do you think of this magic tree? Pretty awesome, hey?

Re-entering the Bailey Tract, the Green Heron chick is still standing....

A Blue Morning Glory is calling my attention, as well as

the Sea Daisy which is visited by a beetle.

a dragonfly resting

and the most sought after creature by the visitors....a gator

....a pretty good day visiting the Bailey Tract (see map below).


  1. Wow it has been a while since I took time to look at your blog. You sure do get some great pictures and a nice variety...

    1. Thanks Larissa. I told the birds to be patient until you make your way down here.

  2. The perks sure are amazing. What a great post today. You captured some amazing photographs. I'm so looking forward to returning this fall.

    1. I look forward to your return as well gf. BTW you guys are looking great in the Tetons - the cold weather agrees with you.