Sunday, June 20, 2010

Purple Martin Roost

June 19th
   Checked out the Bunche Beach ribbon-cutting this morning.  Was going to blow-it-off for some sleep, but I figured that I could run into some fellow birders, like Bob Pelkey. Bob is a local birder and award winning nature photographer. See his blog at Southwest Florida Birder. Also folks like Charlie Ewell from the Lee County Bird Patrol. I arrived about 8:45am and headed to beach, were it was high tide, just like yesterday, and did not have much bird activity. Also already getting very hot.
  Did get to met with Bob and Charlie, plus a few other birders as we waited for the ceremony to begin. The new facilities are very GREEN. Totally solar powered, only catch water available, a special water-free composting toilet system and a special storm-water filtration system located below the parking area. Several demonstrations and tours were on-hand.  Some groceries too. But I was too hot and tired and bailed before the ceremony was over. Maybe if I had stayed, I would have seen the American Avocets Charlie Ewell photographed and reported on locating them later that morning.  Shame to have missed them.
June 20th
  Well it seems that the rainy season has begun and it seems that we have the return of the Barred Owl that visits the water plant where I work. One or more owls will visit fairly regularly till the rains end in October. The individual that I have encountered the past couple of nights is a lighter color than birds from prior seasons. I wonder if they change hues as they age or if we have a new bird on-hand. Probably the later.
  Also at work, prior to day break, could hear the call of the Common Nighthawks as they are moving about looking for breakfast. Later, as I was leaving at about 7:30 am we had a flock of six Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks fly over.  This was the second time in a week to see the and hear the whistling ducks pass overhead. I have noted them more often in other nearby locations as well.  No doubt they are moving into the area.  While fulvous whistling ducks seem to be getting less common.
   Stopped at Domestic Street to check on the Burrowing Owl family.  Was able to see four of the five family members today, but what was really interesting was sighting  six Purple Martins roosting along the high power lines. These are the first of the season that I have seen here. Last year I was able to see this roost grow to about one hundred birds.  But also last year, the roost in down-town Ft Myers, by the river, grew to several hundred purple martins.

1 comment:

  1. It was great to meet you, Tom. From the Bunche Beach ceremony I went to the McGreggor Estero Bay Preserve State Park trail head and walked to the point I had reached from the Highway 41 trail head in the Fall of '07. Conditions were very wet in the trails, but fortunately late enough in the day not to be bothered by the biting insects. I would have much rather observed the rarely seen Avocets a stone's throw from where we were as well. Tides at Bunche Beach are very unusual this month in that there is only a single high and low for four consecutive days with nearly four feet above mean a rare high tide as the moon approaches zero visibility. It's exciting to read your thoughts on the migration activity you think you've observed. The Purple Martin remains undocumented with photography here thus far although I was tempted to see the birds after they were reported in the newspaper last year. I think we may have seen descendants of Dr. Bunche at Bunche Beach Preserve although I'm still trying to identify others that I photographed. Still very much looking forward to a wildlife trip with you when there's a chance.