Sunday, September 14, 2014

A box of chocolate - how sweet it is!

I've started to refer to my birding and turtle patrolling days as "A box of chocolate" (Forest Gump) - because as you head out to the trail, you just never know what you're gonna get - one thing that is certain though, is that it is very sweet indeed. 
Today was composed of premium chocolate, take a look.
As I was making my way toward Island Inn Road, I slowly passed Bailey's keeping my eyes open for the Gray Kingbird - and there it was, his partner wasn't too far away.

I made my way into the Sanibel Garden Preserves and spotted this bird, at first I wasn't sure what I was looking at because of the feathers - now I see that it was a juvenile Mockingbird - at least this is what I think it is.

I wondered what was in store for me as I listened to all the 'chips' around me, trying to identify what I was hearing - tried as I may to spot who was singing....I love those challenges, sometimes I am rewarded with a good view.

A few lady Red-bellied Woodpeckers were seen around the preserve, hanging in and out of the nesting boxes.

A tree filled with Mourning Doves.

"Time to move on", said the Marsh Rabbit - he has claimed this spot as his own.

At the end of the path, I saw a dark bird -not really knowing what I was looking at until I raised my binoculars - and, oh my!, what a nice surprise - A Blue Grossbeak taking a break during his migration path.

I stepped across the way and meandered on - looking for more surprises, at last I returned to the edge of the Sanibel Garden Preserve along Sanibel Blvd.

The Pileated Woodpecker was quite busy chipping away.

The Red Cardinal watched him with interest.

The Pileated and Red Cardinal sharing the tree with a Mockingbird.

And here, folks, is my premium piece of chocolate - A Mangrove Cuckoo. I was following "chips" and my eyes rested on this for a second, when I realized what I was looking at - I don't know if he sensed it or not but I was totally beside myself with excitement - I wanted to capture it with my camera and at the same time wanted to watch him with my binoculars - he didn't stay long and luckily for me I have a couple photos to show for.  

Wow, wow and more wow! I am singing Alleluia to myself while my eyes swelled from the excitement.

After he flew across the way I meandered back into the preserve and 5 minutes later I heard church bells ringing - I appropriate!

A Prairie Warbler was feasting on bugs and spiders - he was happy too even though he looks "tired".

I reached the end of the preserve and crossed over to the Bailey Tract.

The regulars were in their common location - such as this Tricolored Heron,

The Common Gallinule - keeping his safe distance

showing me which end is up.

The Kingfisher was flying and singing - and as expected, perched as far away as he could from me - yet tantalizing me with some looks.

Snowy Egret.

Anhinga drying out as I made my way back. What a beautiful and rewarding day this was - plenty to see.....I will be back. My E-Bird List for today


  1. A box of choc? I would agree with you. The red cardinal---means you will have some great luck birding this year :)

  2. It definitely looks like u had a great day @ the preserve, France! Awesome that u found a mangrove cuckoo; maybe he'll revisit the scene :-) B.

  3. Wow! You really got yourself a big box of chocolates today! A nice view of the Pileated, great photo of the egret,and wow-Mangrove Cuckoo-very sweet indeed!