Thursday, December 15, 2016

Birding Gator Hole, a 20/20 preserve in Lee Co.

It had been a while since I visited the Corkscrew/Alico Rd area and since I have the day off and much desire to bird - I and Libby headed out at the pre-crack of dawn....
I drove down Alico with the hopes of hearing the Whip-poor-will but had to settle for this Big Cypress Fox Squirrel - very cool!

One of the perks of being a volunteer for the Lee Co Bird Patrol is that I have access to some of the less traveled preserve such as this Gator Hole. We arrived after sunrise but the fog was still pretty thick in some patches - a common occurrence in Florida.

At the opposite end of the preserve we spotted two Wild Turkeys perched high in the trees!....not exactly where I would expect them to be.

One of many Palm Warblers seen flying in a frenzy while getting their feathers cleaned.

A few Eastern Towhee were heard before they were seen - what a beautiful male!

Many Butterflies were observed along the preserve, beside this Phaon Crescent we had Gulf Fritillary, Zebra Longwing, White Peacock and Barred Yellow.

Some moths too - beside the Rattlebox Moth we spotted this pink/orange moth and after much searching Libby found this to be a Southern Purple Mint moth.

Along the western edge of the property we noticed something down the path....

White-tailed Deer, two on the trail and 3 in the bushes - they quickly disappeared as we traveled down the path.

A Gulf Fritillary

Beautiful fauna within the preserve, don't you agree?

A very bright and yellow Palm Warbler.

One of my favorite - a Brown-headed Nuthatch.

A bright yellow flower bush going into seed.

Another beautiful butterfly that was a challenge to identify - at last it was - I introduce to you: Mallow-scrub Hairstreak - a pretty name that  does this butterfly justice.

Some of the very few remaining Aster at the Preserve - I love the pale yet bright color.

And, as all good things must come to an end - so does this adventure ..... in the meantime I'll keep a keen 'hawk'eye on things until the next time. My E-Bird List for today.

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