Six-mile Cypress Slough Preserve is a very popular place for folks to enjoy the atmosphere of a Florida cypress swamp. This time of year, thousands of vacationing families have joined our seasonal residents to be a part of Spring Training. Both the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox train here and so many folks travel south to enjoy the games. Its common to see families on Six-mile's boardwalk, dressed in their teams regalia as they spend time looking for alligators and egrets before game time. So the parking lot fills fast and the boardwalk can get crowded. So its best to arrive early.
|Barred Owl taking a rest atop of a cypress knee|
I did arrive early because I also wanted to see if a screech-owl could be seen or heard, in or about the owl box located in the parking lot. Its being seen there lately, sticking its head out. But today I didn't spot it. But much better was the Barred Owl.
Currently, as it happened last year, as section of the boardwalk, between Pop Ash Pond and Otter Pond are closed due to a pair of Barred Owls nesting just a feet off the boardwalk.
One of barred owls responsible for the disruption made an appearance as it sat atop a cypress knee just a few away over at Pop Ash Pond. It remained at its post for quite awhile, till finally a red-shouldered hawk began harassing it.
A pair of wood ducks would also make appearance, coming into roost nearby. A dark-phased Short-tailed Hawk was also seen and heard calling nearby.
|A pair of Great Blue Herons nesting at Wood Duck Pond|
Great Egrets, Anhingas and Great Blue Herons are nesting. A pair of Great Blue Herons are tending to nesting duties near the Wood Duck overlook. Great Egrets and Anhingas are nesting in a rookery on Gator Pond.
A few warbler Were present in the parking lot. Not unusual to have some of your birding in . Ruth Parks and A couple of her friends had found a mixed flock in the parking lot. Tufted Titmice, prairie warbler, blank and white warbler, a Black-throated Green Warbler, Pine Warbler, Northern Parulas, Downy Woodpeckers and a possible black-throated blue warbler. Meg Reiser reported hearing a worm-eating warbler near the cross-over.
Am looking forward to spring migration to heat up.