Thursday, December 8, 2016

Punta Gorda with the Caloosa Bird Club

I'm a bit behind in posting and I guess my excuse is that I am now semi-retired and I don't have as much free time as I used to....but better late than never, right?
This outing took place this past Monday - Elaine, Libby and myself met up with the Caloosa Bird Club and set out to explore several different areas as we have in the past....come along and see.....
In the past, this particular trip usually takes place toward the end of December and since we found ourselves at the beginning of the month - we really had to look hard to find ducks.

Nevertheless, a trio of Lesser Scaup was a welcoming sight.

As was the three pairs of Hooded Mergansers.

Shortly after we found ourselves at the Ponce de Leon park - this Great Egret watched as we entered.....

then we had to get passed these Black Vultures...

this one gave us the 'go ahead'.

Ponce de Leon has this facility that holds several types of birds which have been injured and would not otherwise make it out in the world, we entered and delighted on many of the species. This particular Yellow-crowned Night Heron was not caged but seemed to enjoy hanging around.

Though I wondered if it was having a bad day.

Perhaps it didn't appreciate being compared to the Black-crowned Night Heron sitting in the background.

Then we made a visit to Olie's Pond where it seems to be customary to see the Black-bellied Whistling ducks.

I enjoyed the scenery from this angle with the reddish looking tree and the 'pink snow' flowers on the grass.

As we neared the end of the circle around the pond, I took some time to watch this Great Blue Heron amidst the creamy water lilies.

We also spotted a few Ring-necked Ducks and commented among ourselves with wonder as to why it is not called a Ring-billed Duck.

The find of the day was this Least Bittern which was quite a challenge to locate - see how well it blends in?

And as customary to our outings - we always go and have lunch while we do our bird list....however for some unfortunate reason we ended up missing our turn and found ourselves over the bridge....but fear not, our fearless driver found us a quaint spot along the water - we hoped that our group across the way saw us wave to them as we enjoyed our lunch while watching this Spotted Sandpiper along with the beautiful vista.


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