Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Swallow-Tailed Kites - A Trip with Caloosa Bird Club

Monday March 1st

Caloosa Bird Club Trip - Green Cay Wetlands, Wakodahatchee Wetlands, & STA-1W

On Monday, March first I joined with members of the Caloosa Bird Club on a trip across Florida to Palm Beach County to visit Green Cay Wetlands in Boynton Beach, Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray Beach and Stormwater Treatment Area 1W. The trip was fully booked at fifty-two people, as that filled the bus.  It was certianly nice not to have to do the driving this time.
We left Ft Myers about 6:30am and arrived at Green Cay about 9:30am. Had a pit stop in Clewiston. Picked up a few birds there - Greater and a Lesser Yellowlegs and a few Brown-headed Cowbirds. One objective here was to see if anyone could find a common myna.  Not today. The best sighting on the trip over was a FOS sighting of a pair of Swallow-tailed Kites. The reappearance of the kites are much atticipated as the start of the spring migration, plus they are the favorite bird for a lot of people.  Including my daughters. Other interestings sightings along the way included a flock cedar waxwings, a couple Crested Caracara and a Northern Harrier. One species that was missed were sandhill cranes.
 My Clewiston list - White Ibis, Turkey Vulture, Swallow-tailed Kite, Northern Harrier, Crested Caracara, American Kestrel, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Laughing Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Rock Pigeon, Pileated Woodpecker, Fish Crow, American Robin, Boat-tailed Grackle

Green Cay Wetlands - Boynton Beach
One reason I was keen on this trip was the rare bird alerts for a black-throated gray warbler that been seen regularly in the Green Cay parking lot. So I made a quick survey of the lot, without any luck, as usual, before joining the others inside.
Green Cay Wetlands is a facility owned by Palm Beach Utilities for the treatment and disposal of treated wastewater. It is open to the public and is very popular.  Lots of walkers as well nature lovers. Lots of bird life on hand.  All of the waders were here, plus hundreds of Coots and Moorhens. A Limpkin was found or rather heard. Had four differnt swallows on hand. Lots of Purple Martins, Tree Swallows, Northern Rough-Winged Swallows and a sole Barn Swallow.
After a first circle of the boardwalk, I returned to the parking lot to seek-out the black-throated gray warbler. Gave it a good search. The only warblers were a few Yellow-Rumped Warblers, but no lifer today. However, I was in luck with a light-morphed Short-Tailed Hawk circling the lot. Seems that I was the only observer. Returned to boardwalk till it ws time to go.

Mottled Ducks

Anhinga on guard

Boardwalk at Green Cay

My Green Cay List - Mottled Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal, Double-crested Cormorant, Anhinga, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Green Heron, White Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Wood Stork, Osprey, Red-shouldered Hawk, Short-tailed Hawk, Common Moorhen, American Coot, Limpkin, Royal Tern, Blue Jay, Purple Martin, Tree Swallow, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Barn Swallow, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Boat-tailed Grackle

Wakodahatchee Wetlands - Delray Beach

After lunch, we rode  over to the nearby Wakodahatchee Wetlands, also a part of the Palm Beach Utilities system. We were greeted right at the start with a Purple Gallinule. The wetlands had a great many nesting Anhingas, Cormorants and Great Blue Herons. Lots of big gators, as well as, lots of snowbirds. Mottled Ducks, Blue-wing Teal, Coots and Moorhens were very numerous. Also found a could of Hooded Mergansers and a couple of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks too. A Forster's Tern was very busy in patroling the wetlands for its lunch.

Momma Anhinga with chick

Great Blue Heron on nest

Hooded Mergansers and Mottled Ducks

The wetlands in profusion

American Coot

My Wakodahatchee Wetlands list - Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Mottled Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Hooded Merganser, Pied-billed Grebe, Anhinga, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron, Cattle Egret, Green Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, White Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Wood Stork, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Northern Harrier, Red-shouldered Hawk, Purple Gallinule, Common Moorhen, American Coot, Forster's Tern, Mourning Dove, Eastern Phoebe, Loggerhead Shrike, Blue Jay, Purple Martin, Tree Swallow, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Palm Warbler, Common Grackle, Boat-tailed Grackle

Stormwater Treatment Area 1W
STA-1W was last stop of the day before a nice buffet dinner at the Clewiston Inn in Clewiston. Time was short so I stay here was also short. The best sightings here was probably the Black Skimmers and a Purple Swamphen. Lots of Coots and Moorhens again. Aside from Blue-winged Teal and Mottled Duck, most of the other ducks were hard to identify due to bad lighting. Ruddy Duck and Lesser Scaup were noted. A few American White Pelicans were on-hand, but a great many could be seen in flight in the distance. Palm Warblers were also entertaining with their flitting about.
My STA-1W list - Mottled Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Ruddy Duck, Pied-billed Grebe, American White Pelican, Brown Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant, Anhinga, Great Blue Heron, Snowy Egret, Cattle Egret, White Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, American Kestrel, Common Moorhen, American Coot, Killdeer, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Palm Warbler

Arrived back in Ft Myers around 9pm very tired but satisfied with the trip. My day count was 67.  Not a bad start for a new monthly count.

1 comment:

  1. April 19, 2010
    Lone swallow-tailed kite did a lovely ballet over the 9th hole of the Martin County Golf and Country Club.