Friday, June 12, 2015

Sanibel Garden Preserve after the prescribed burn.

A prescribed burn was scheduled for earlier this week but because of changes in the wind direction it was postponed by a couple of days. I had set out to visit the Bailey tract this morning but at the last minute I decided to make a stop at the Garden Preserve to check and see what took place. Come and see for yourself....
I've seen the preserves in the past following a prescribed burn and it is always amazing how quickly things recover and how fast new green shoot takes place.

The bird life was quite abundant - one of many Black-crowned Night Herons can be seen here getting ready to have a snack.

Aha! It appears that there is a breakfast bonanza taking place by the tower.

A Swallow-tailed Kite was watching and probably wondering what the raucous was all about.

I never get tired of watching these guys and how they cross back and forth while dragging their toes in the water - attracting fish in the process.

As I stayed motionless - the birds came practically at my feet.

They had more important things to do than pay attention to me.

A Black Skimmer whizzing by and clapping his bill as he caught fish, in the background a gator was seen waiting for a perfect opportunity.

Around the corner - more birds, more feeding.

The gator is not giving up yet.

While I was there I saw this Great Egret and thought he had mud on his feathers from eating until I came home and put my pics on the computer only to realize that he was probably burned - what a sad encounter! However, he was feeding well and flying - didn't appear to be in any way disabled from carrying on. Living in the wild is a tough daily battle, good thing they are equipped with survival skills.

On my way back a Snowy Egret crossed in front of me - showing me his latest pedicure.

Ready for a nice stroll on the beach.

A Mourning Dove flew and landed real close - his bright colors and legs would indicate perhaps breeding time.

A young pair of Red Shouldered Hawk - waiting for opportunities.

As I turn the corner I spotted some white dots in the distance - making me think that some shorebirds might be lurking by - but who??

Aha! It looks like the Black-necked Stilt family from the Bailey Tract has migrated over on this side.

All of a sudden - commotion erupted and the Stilts flew up -

This might have been the opportunity that the Red-shouldered Hawks had been waiting for but the Stilts are not about to give up that easily.....

They buzzed him from all directions and soon

they were joined by a family of crows too....

The Hawk reluctantly gave them the wing and took off.

In the meantime the chicks had been given loud warning to take cover and it sure worked....can you see 3 chicks in this photo?!?

The parents came back and they started to resume their activities.

They have much eating to do if they want to be big like their dad.

My short visit turned out to be a couple of hours - plans often gets changed when birding is involved and it's all good. My E-Bird list today has almost as many species as the winter time.....a very good day indeed.


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