Monday, June 14, 2010

Northern Parula - Harn’s Marsh

June 13th

Checked out Harn’s Marsh in Lehigh Acres this morning looking for Limpkins and Snail Kites. I was also interested in locating any bitterns or rails plus any whistling ducks.

Arrived at the school side entrance about 8 am. This side of the marsh had been posted for no trespassing recently as construction of new flood control devices were being built. Seem that the project is now complete and the signage has been removed.

Plan was to keep it a short visit to avoid the hotter weather later in the day. Walked the west side of the canal and quickly located a couple of Snail Kites, several Limpkins, Little Blue Herons, Grackles and Red-Shouldered Hawks. Had walked the length of the canal and back again and was preparing to head over to the other entrance when I heard a Northern Parula. Headed around to the other side of the canal were a singing Parula was active in a cypress stand. Got a brief sighting and as I was, again, heading back to my car, I could hear a second Parula calling from another nearby cypress stand.

Did check out the marsh from the other entrance, were I found a small Pied-Billed Grebe swimming across the lake. Located several more limpkins and another pair of Snail Kites. But not a whole lot more. Could see that the water level is falling fast and parts of the marsh are already drying out. Just this winter the water was too deep for the apple snails that the limpkins and kites need, but now it is getting too shallow. The summer rains should be starting any day now, which should help to stabilize the water level and assure a food supply for these Florida specialities.

Snail Kite

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