Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Sanibel Preserve - December 6, 2014

This place was quite difficult to find, and I'm not even sure I could find it again the next time.  Did get to witness a pretty cool territory battle between a red-shouldered hawk and the much smaller kestrel.  Eventually the red-shouldered god annoyed and gave up the spot.

Bailey Tract - December 6, 2014

This is a part of the Ding Darling preserve that I had not yet visited until today, even though the birders always talk about it.  Not too active today or at this time of day.  I did find one small bird I couldn't identify(below).  Probably just a palm warbler or something in strange light.


Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge - December 6, 2014

Always a nice drive through this park.  I loved the light on the white pelicans and the fact that they were so close this time.

Immokalee Rd. - December 6, 2014

Near Corkscrew Swamp, this flooded tomato field held some surprises including many spoonbills, yellowlegs, avocets, and stilts among others.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary - December 6, 2014

Got up early to walk the boardwalk at my favorite park in Florida.  There is always so much to see!  Best finds of the day, oddly enough, were a flower (called a clam shell orchid) and fuzzy caterpillar under a leaf (still need to figure out the species).  Also, just outside of the park entrance were several fox squirrels.  Glad to know they are still around somewhere.

Sunset at Lover's Key - December 5, 2014

Was also a wonderful time of the day to be at the beach.  Felt so lucky to be in Florida this time of year.  I really prefer sand to snow!

Beach Birds at Lover's Key - December 5, 2014

This park had a good variety of birds.  Was surprised to find the black-backed gulls!  I think these first three are all lesser black backed at different ages with the smaller ring-billed in some photos.   Definitely the ones with yellow legs are.

lesser black-backed (above) and herring (below)

sandwich tern (above) and forster's tern (below)
laughing gull (above) and oyster catcher (below)

Screech Owl at Lover's Key - December 5, 2014

On an inner trail at the park, we didn't see much except for a gopher tortoise and killdeer until a park ranger pointed out a screech owl in an old tree.  So far I have only seen one other screech owl in the wild, and it was in a nesting box.  It was nice to see one in a natural home and up close!