Monday, December 9, 2019

Lovers Key State park

December 9, 2019

Sea Grape

Lover Key State Park is a collection of barrier islands popular with boaters and beach goers, located just south of Ft Myers Beach.  I hadn't visited the place for a long time. Hadn't planned on stopping here today either. Was passing by and decided to just stop in.

Zebra Longwings tend to pose for the camera

Walked one of the trails first, before checking out the beach. There is a butterfly garden present along the trail and several species were present today including Cloudless Sulpher, Zebra Longwing, Gulf Fritillary and a Cassius Blue.  Hadn't seen a cassius blue till today. Might go back to try for a good photo.

Not too birdy, till I reached the beach. Had Herring, Ring-billed and Laughing gulls, Sandwich and Royal Terns, some Brown Pelicans, Sanderlings, Willets, Ospreys and Ruddy Turnstones. Scoping out Carlos Point, which lays across the inlet, could seen a great many seabirds at rest. 

Herring Gull

White Ibis
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Herring Gull

Monday, December 2, 2019

Myakka River State Park

Monday December 2nd

Myakka River State Parks hosts lots of large American Alligators
Snow Goose

Snow Geese are a common bird. But not in south Florida.  A few Snow Geese may migrate as far south as Florida, so now a young Snow Goose has been found near Sarasota at Myakka River State Park. 

Today was windy as a cold front was moving in. And no waterfowl were out on the water, except for a few Black-bellied Whistling Ducks seen from the bridge and the Snow Goose.  I found in the exact location, near the weir, as other birders had already reported. This same location was also hosting numbers of Rosette Spoonbills, Black-necked Stilts, White Ibis, Limpkins, Yellowlegs, vultures and some rather large alligators.

Glossy Ibis
Black-necked Stilt
Snow Goose

Other sightings included White-tailed Deer, feral Hogs, Wild Turkeys,
 Cormorants, Anhingas, 
American Robins, American Avocets, 
Long-billed Dowitchers, Least Sandpipers, American White Pelicans, Glossy Ibis and 
Wood Storks.
Least Bittern at Celery Fields
After visiting Myakka River, made a quick stop at nearby Celery Fields.  Didn't expect much due to the time of day and the winds. No waterfowl here either, but was treated to a cooperative Least Bittern and a Purple Gallinule.

Lesser Scaup at Akerman Park

Did eventually find a few ducks a Akerman Park. Some Mottled Ducks and a pair of Lesser Scaups. 
Plus some Pied-billed Grebes and a few 
Brown-headed Cowbirds and Laughing Gulls

Monday, November 11, 2019

Visiting an Oasis

Monday November 11th

The Vermilion Flycatcher is such a vibrant bird and always a pleasure to find. They are very uncommon, as winter visitors to Florida. I've traveled to the Panhandle and down to the Everglades in the past to see one.  St Mark's NWR, in the Panhandle, as been very reliable in the past as a host and currently has a pair wintering there today. But recently another flycatcher has shown up in Collier County.

Mountain Bluebird at the Oasis Visitor Center 
on November 17, 2015
Florida Gar
This bird is hanging out at the parking lot at the Oasis Visitors Center in the Big Cypress National Preserve along the Tamiami Trail. Today I went down there to catch up with this young male.  Many of my friends have already made the trip and I was glad to have able to get down there today.

Made a point of sharing the unusual sighting with the tour guide from an Eco Tour group, but they weren't much interested.  Seems this group was made up of European tourist who found the alligators seen from the board walk a bigger draw. Lots of gators, a few cormorants, anhingas and herons as well. Plus lots of fish were also  gathered in the canal. Gars, bass, oscars, cichlids and sail backed catfish.

Four years ago this location also hosted a much more uncommon bird to visit Florida. A  species from the far West, a Mountain Bird, which spent a couple weeks in this same parking lot.


Sunday, October 20, 2019

Migration has Picked Up

Sunday October 20th

Yellow-billed Cuckoo
We're finally having some fun 

as the birding activity in Southwest Florida has finally picked up. even as Fall Migration period is reaching its waning days

Till now our birding experience has been very weak and disappointing.  A question shared by many was 'Where are the birds?'

Red-eyed Vireo

Rotary Park in Cape Coral has had a nice variety lately. The Blue-winged Teal have arrived. Other recent sightings at Rotary Park have included Acadian Flycatchers, Swainsons Thrush, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Red-eyed Vireos, white-eyed Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo, Gray Catbirds, Mangrove Cuckoo, plus Chestnut-sided, Black-throated Blue, American Redstarts, Black-and-white, Bay-breasted, Blackburnian, Cape May, Northern Parula, Yellow-throated,  Prairie, Ovenbirds, Tennessee & Common Yellowthroat Warblers. Also Scarlet Tanagers,  Indigo Buntings, House Wrens, Peregrine Falcons, Merlin and Belted Kingfishers. Even a Nashville warbler was seen a couple of days ago

Acadian Flycatcher
The past couple of  days I haven't needed to leave my yard as the huge ficus in the front yard is very birdy.  Baltimore  Orioles,  Bay-breasted,  Magnolias, Tennessee, Pine, Black-throated Blue, American Redstarts, Black-and-white Warblers, a Swanson's Thrush and White-winged Doves.

Plus Grackles, Crows ,Mockingbirds and Starlings are loading up on the fruit and bugs

A female Black-throated Blue Warbler

A White-eyed Vireo
A Scarlet Tanager munching on a berry
European Starlings are feasting on the fruit on the ficus tre

Monday, August 26, 2019

Black Tern at Bunche Beach

Sunday, August 25th

Roseate Spoonbill at Bunche Beach Preserve

Beach Bean
Its been awhile since I birded at Bunche Beach. Haven't really had the time.

 But today I arrived at the low tide and found lots of birds busy feeding on the flats.  

Had my first Black Tern of the year, in the company Least, Royal and Sandwich Terns.  

A couple of dozen Red Knots were busy feeding in the exposed sea grasses. We had Short-billed Dowitchers, Ruddy Turnstones, Least Sandpipers, Willets, Marbled Godwits, Black-bellied Plovers, Wilson, Piping and Semipalmated Plovers too. 

Black Tern

Black Tern
Black Tern

Lots of Marbled Godwits present today.
 This individual is extremely pale in coloration.

An extremely light colored Marbled Godwit
Red Knot

Red Knot

Royal Tern family

Young Royal Tern begging for a snack
Gray Kingbird
A family of Gray Kingbirds were sitting on the wires 
at the intersection of John Morris Road and Summerlin

Sea Oats

Sandwich Tern

Sandwich Terns

Short-billed Dowitcher

Least Tern

Seaside Dragonlet

Ground Cherry

Ground Cherry

Seaside Dragonlet

Beach Bean

Beach Bean

Seaside Oxeye


Red Mangrove in Bloom

Roseate Spoonbill