Tuesday, May 23, 2017

STA 5/6, Hendry County - March 18, 2017

Finally was able to visit the infamous water treatment lands of Hendry County.  It really was worth the wait, but I would highly recommend the guided tour!  Our guide was able to lead us directly to gray swamphen, peregrine falcon, tropical kingbird, and gray kingbird.  Pretty amazing!  The swamphen was the reason I made the trip, and a new life bird!

Gray Swamphens
Tropical Kingbird (very rare), Gray Kingbird (very early)

American Bittern
Eastern Meadowlark
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks (top) Fulvous Whistling Ducks (below)
Northern Rough-winged Swallow and Peregrine Falcon

Black-necked Stilts

Caracara, Immokalee - March 18, 2017

On the way to STA 5/6 I was hoping to see a Carcara, and sure enough in morning light, this one was sitting right by the road!


Honeymoon Island - March 13, 2017

Sort of a gray day, and not too many birds until I found a new place to look, behind the mangroves on the side opposite the gulf.  There were so many shorebirds hidden there including piping plover, semipalmated plover, greater yellowlegs, and more!  Also pictured below are turkey vulture, brown pelican, double-crested cormorant, and America oystercatcher.

Celery Fields, Sarasota - March 9, 2017

Stopped here at the end of the day to look for the bronzed cowbird, but no luck.  I liked seeing the purple martins are back for the year.  They were just settling in for the night as I left. Still a very good birding day overall!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Bunche Beach, Fort Myers - March 9, 2017

I went here looking for a snowy plover, but probably didn't see one.  The shorebirds were all so far out, but I did get some nice group shots.  This Merlin was an interesting sight too!

 While we were there, someone asked if we had seen the baby bald eagles yet.  He then proceeded to draw a map in the sand of how to get to them.  It was pretty far (about 15 minutes) but they were exactly where he said. Nice!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary - March 9, 2017

A very nice day at Corkscrew Swamp.  First, there was a yellow-breasted chat, my second ever (the first ever was at Apopka in January).  Next, I got really nice photos of a black-throated green warbler.  I would not have guessed they would be here so early.  Usually I see them at Fort de Soto at the end of April!  There were many other species along the boardwalk today too (46 species total listed on Ebird)

Yellow-breasted Chat
Black-throated Green Warbler and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Purple Gallinule
Pine Warbler
Blue-headed Vireo
Red-shouldered Hawk
Great Egret
Spoonbill
Great Egret, and Spoonbill with juvenile Little Blue Heron

Iris
Ruddy Daggerwing
Just wouldn't be Corkscrew Swamp without all the gators.  I like this one's hat!

Oldsmar Parks - March 7, 2017

At the next stop for the day, Possum Branch Preserve, I noticed the irises are already blooming:
Then, at RE Olds City park, and I got this nice photo of a bluebird:
However, my goal for the whole day was to get a photo of a Brown Booby that shows the yellow feet.  They are so far out in the water, I wasn't sure I could, but the view at Mobbly Beach Park was much clearer than when I saw them from Philippe Park in January.
As a bonus, I also got this nice photo of a spotted sandpiper (without his spots):