Thursday, April 22, 2010

Red-Eyed Vireo - Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
Tuesday April 20th

  After taking care of some business I headed over to Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Collier County to see if there was any interesting warbler activity. Could not get there till 10:30 am and found the number of visitors to be way down since my last visit. Reason being that so many snowbirds have already headed back north.
  At the butterfly garden, at the entrance to Blair House, I was informed that I had just missed a hummingbird. After a short wait, I can always try again when later, on the hummer I went inside to pay. Here I was rewarded with a male painted bunting at the feeders behind the building. Grackles and Red-bellied Woodpeckers soon took over and ran it off.  Waited at the feeder for a reappearance of the pair of Shiny Cowbirds, that I had just missed. Pushed on,  as I could try again on my way out, for the cowbirds.
   At the feeders I met up with Jeff, an ex-patriot Brit and snow-birder from New Jersey, whom I had walked with on a prior visit. Later on we were joined by a lady from Michigan, who had just flown-in to search for property in Cape Coral (residential property here are at fire sale values with the collapse of the local housing market). She was a very experienced birder and had plans to attend a birding festival at the migrant trap at McGee Marsh in Ohio in a couple of weeks.

Gray Catbirds were very abundant

 We found the water level to be very high today, so few waders were to be expected.  Had hoped for some nightherons, but only a sole Little Blue Heron and a sole Great Egret were seen. Noisy and soaring Red-Shouldered Hawks were very evident as were calling Gray Catbirds, White-eyed Vireos and Carolina Wrens.  A scope was set up at a Blue Gray Gnatcatchers nest for visitors to use and where we were able watch the gnatcatcher harrass a Red-Bellied Woodpecker that was much to close for the vigilant gnatcatcher. A couple of Great Crested Flycatchers were seen and heard. As for the warblers they were found high up in the canopy of these ancient cypress trees.  Heard several Northern Parulas and actually could only locate a beautiful singing male as the emerging foliage did make the birding more challenging. One warbler we found as Black-throated Green Warbler.  We were able to add a Black-and White Warbler and a calling Pine Warbler. A suspected tennessee warbler, only seen from directly below, I am now convinced was the similarly looking Red-Eyed Vireo. Several FOY Chimney Swifts were seen and heard. It was a good day with a few interesting birds, but not a great variety of warblers. One very interesting observation was a white-tailed fawn and doe grazing right next to the boardwalk.  They were very tolerant of the walkers. Left at 2PM without the shiny cowbirds or hummer, but was satisfied with an enjoyable walk in great weather. Won't be long till the daily 90+ degree temps, high humidity and afternoon showers reappear.
The Fawn


The Doe

My List - Great Egret, Little Blue Heron, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Red-shouldered Hawk, Chimney Swift, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Great Crested Flycatcher, White-eyed Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Carolina Wren, Tufted Titmouse, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Gray Catbird, Northern Parula, Black-throated Green Warbler, Pine Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, Northern Cardinal, Painted Bunting, Boat-tailed Grackle

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