Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Attended Bird Patrol Event

Attended a Bird Patrol event, led by Charlie Ewell, at Bunche Beach. Goal was to look for any possible early arrivals from the artic breading grounds. All the shorebirds were actually non-breaders. Event shortened by rain. BuncFull-screenhe Beach is a world recognized shore bird location.

Species List:
Brown Pelican, Magnificent Frigatebird, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Reddish Egret, White Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Osprey, Red-shouldered Hawk, Black-bellied Plover, Wilson's Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Willet,Marbled Godwit, Ruddy Turnstone, Short-billed Dowitcher, Laughing Gull, Least Tern, Royal Tern, Sandwich Tern, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Fish Crow
Purple Marti
nLocation: Bunche Beach, Fort Myers, Florida Latitude = 26.475797 Longitude = -81.967449

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Owl

For years the night-time operators at our water plant have enjoyed the nocturnal visits of our resident Barred Owl. May actually be a pair of owls, but usually only one bird is seen hanging out. We only see them in the rainy season - May through October - when the the owl finds a convient perch for watching for a midnight snack, especialy near the lights. Sometimes we can see them flying up into the bugs attracted to the light to grab a tasty treat. Seems they like the mole crickets. We don't haress the bird and so it has been very willing to allow us get quite close at times. For some of the guys the owl has been like a mascot and is missed when the dry season comes around.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Six Mile Cypress Slough

Had an hour or so to burn while waiting on my daughter's class to end, so headed over to the nearby Six Mile Cypress Slough to bird the boardwalk. Did not expect any thing special as June is a quite time here for birding. The boardwalk yielded several Carolina Wrens, Cardinals and Blue Jays plus Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers and Tufted Titmouse. The best sighting was a Yellow-Crowned Nightheron. Lacking were woodpeckers, waders, any kind of warbler, cormorants and anhingas.
Earlier in the day I did have a visit at work from our residental Barred Owl and the Common Nighthawks were calling as well. And as I was leaving work at dawn, could hear cardinals and Pine Warblers singing in the trees. White-tailed deer (4) were also feeding along side the road. Before getting home, checked out the Burrowing Owls on Domestic St. Found two of the owls on the fence, plus could hear an Eastern Meadowlark welcoming the new day. More common nighthawks peeping overhead.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Little Estero Lagoon and Snowy Plovers

Following a brief storm, this past Tuesday, headed over to Ft Myers Beach to check out the birding at Little Estero Lagoon. Was looking for a few target birds to help reach my minimum goal of 100 species for June. Was up to 90 after visiting Babcock-Webb Wildlife management Area on Monday. Good hits at Babcock included Bald Eagle, Red-Cockated Woodpeckers, Bachman's Sparrow, Eastern Towhees, Sandhill Cranes and a day-time surge of Common Nighthawks.

Arrived at Little Estero Lagoon about noon and already had a Gray Kingbird on the wires outside of the nearby Holiday Inn. Quickly located a Great and Snowy Egrets. Also had a pair of American Oystercatchers and several Wilson's Plovers, including a pair of chicks on the flats. Further down the beach was able to add Semipalmated and Back-bellied Plovers, a Reddish Egret, non-breading Laughing and Ring-billed Gulls, Least, Sandwich and Royal Terns, Brown Pelicans and Double-Crested Cormorants. Had some Magnificent Frigatebirds fly in as well. Best hit for the day was a couple of Snowy Plovers, which are lifers for me. I have been here on several occasions looking for endemic snowy plovers and had always missed out. But not today.

Little Estero is a protected shorebird habitat. Special efforts are made for the protection of nesting sea turtles, least terns and snowy plovers. These nesting sites are roped-off to keep beach goers from disrupting these sites. However, the least terns are very aggressive in defending their territories. Fact is that they are claiming much more of the beach than what is roped-off, by dive-bombing and attempting to deficate on your head.

Overall, it was a good birding day and was able to get seven new birds for the month. Only need three more to hit my hundred.