Saturday, July 31, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
Wednesday, July 28th
But the warblers were a great addition to the summers scant list of warbler species seen so far.
|Eastern Tiger Swallowtail at Six-Mile Cypress|
Tuesday, July 27th
Tuesday morning, my daughter and I headed out at day break to check a new area for us. We were going over toward Palm Beach County and the Everglades Agricultural Area south of Belle Glade and South Bay, to look for newly arriving shorebirds, terns and swallows.
Late summer is the time to check the flooded fields and sod farms. It was a little early yet, but reports were starting to show up on the message boards. Our goal was Brown's farm Road south of Belle Glade. The one problem with venturing to a new area, cold so to speak, is that you can waste a lot of time and energy, that those experienced on the site would avoid. So for us that was the case. A good day but not too much that I could not have found near home. No doubt our inexperience, here, was our problem. we missed on almost all of the species we were looking for.
We started with a quick stop in Alva and got Wood Duck, Red-headed Woodpecker, Loggerhead Shrike, Northern Mockingbird, Eastern Meadowlark, all because I already knew were to look. Next I wanted to check out a good site off US29 in Gladys County to look for scrub jays and wild turkeys. But the US29 bridge over the Caloosahatchee River was closed for repairs. Took an alternative route which added time. A waste of time. No jays or turkeys. Did get Black Vulture, Swallow-tailed Kite, Red-shouldered Hawk, Crested Caracara, Sandhill Crane, American Crow, Eastern Towhee, and Eastern Meadowlark. Found two caracaras with one being harassed by a towhee. Had four swallow-tailed kites. The crows appeared very scruffy as they were experiencing a molt.
Continued on eastward on Rt 80/US27 toward Clewiston. Between Moore Haven and Clewiston, had to have seen sixty swallow-tailed kites including a kettle of about twenty birds.
Next checked out Griffin Road west of Clewiston were we found several Common Nighthawks resting on the wires, plus a pair of Gray Kingbirds and a lone Barn Swallow. Later at the picnic area were bronzed cowbirds were found last winter, by the Lake Okeechobee boat ramp we found a couple of Cormorants, Laughing Gulls and a lot of Boat-tailed Grackles. Was hoping to find the eastern kingbirds I found here a few weeks ago, but not today. In town were the usual Rock Pigeons and House Sparrows.
There is a cypress stand located off of US27 and along the Miami Canal on RT827 that is noted for roosting barn owls. This is one of my nemeses birds and that status was maintained, after driving this narrow lane miles through the sugar cane fields to the location. Did spot several more resting nighthawks, soaring swallow-tailed kites and wading birds in the adjacent ditches, but we did not see any owls. They were probably there, I just could not spot any birds at all in the stand.
From here we found the Brown's Farm Road and traveled south 14 miles till it turned to a gravel road and as it was already past our time to head back home. We turned around here. Needed to arrive earlier to more thoroughly explore the area as we obviously missed the reported flooded fields. We did find small flocks of resting Purple Martins and Bank Swallows, and at a flooded area along some high-power lines we found a few Black-necked Stilts and a few waders. But not the long list of reported sandpipers, dowitchers and whistling ducks. Nor any black or gull-billed terns at the sod farms along US27.
Thought I had king rail out in the open, but it was really a juvenile Green Heron in a hunkered down postion. Also had a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk. Did find a large number of Wood Storks, White Ibis, Great Egrets and such concentrating on a particular ditch in one of the sod farms. Had to have been a close to a hundred birds.
My List - (41) Wood Duck, Double-crested Cormorant, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Anhinga, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Green Heron, White Ibis, Wood Stork, Swallow-tailed Kite, Red-shouldered Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Crested Caracara, Laughing Gull, Black-necked Stilt, Sandhill Crane, Mourning Dove, Common Ground-Dove, Common Nighthawk, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Red-headed Woodpecker, Loggerhead Shrike, Northern Mockingbird, Purple Martin, Barn Swallow, Bank Swallow, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Common Nighthawk, Gray Kingbird, Fish Crow, American Crow, Eastern Towhee, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Boat-tailed Grackle, Eastern Meadowlard, House Sparrow
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
Earlier that morning I checked out the Monk Parakeets and Burrowing Owls at Pelican Boulevard Ballfields in Cape Coral. Also found a lone Swallow-tailed Kite soaring over Ft Myers. Haven't seen many of the kites this season.
My Saturday List - Brown Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant, Magnificent Frigatebird, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Reddish Egret, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, White Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Black-bellied Plover, Willet, Marbled Godwit, Sanderling,
Sundays List - Brown Pelican, Magnificent Frigatebird, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron, Reddish Egret, Green Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, White Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Osprey, Black-bellied Plover, Wilson's Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Willet, Marbled Godwit, Western Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Laughing Gull, Least Tern, Royal Tern, Sandwich Tern, Mourning Dove, Fish Crow, Purple Martin
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Tried checking out the Rest Stop at I-75 and Daniels Road again this morning looking for migrants shore birds. Found several Glossy Ibis, a few Killdeer and Mottled Ducks. A trio of Black-Necked Stilts flew in and a pair of Lesser Yellowlegs were seen in the company of a, first-of-season, Greater Yellowlegs.
With Tropical Storm Bonnie passing close by tomorrow a visit to Bunche Beach could be in order to see if any pelagic birds are pushed into shore. The Lee County Bird Patrol is hosting a bird walk at Bunche Beach this Sunday at 6pm as well. I am planning on attending. May try Babcock-Webb WMA on Monday or Tuesday in the early morning. Too hot to bird there later in the day.
Had bit of luck photographing the killdeers -
Monday, July 19, 2010
Not too much birding these past few days. We have been preoccupied with my oldest moving out with his wife to their new home in Washington DC. She begins classes in law school there next month and they have a lot to do. While loading the rental truck Friday we had a pleasant surprise with a pair of Swallow-Tailed Kites soaring overhead. Beautiful birds. But seems to me that I haven't seen as many as usual this season, which should be ending in two or tree weeks. Another surprise occurred as we made our good byes as a white-morphed Short-Tailed Hawk was seen soaring over-head. Hadn't seen one these Florida specialities for several months. Another nice sighting without having to go anywhere.
Earlier yesterday morning, just before leaving work, I noticed a pair of Common Nighthawks working the area with one bird surprising me with a swoop just four feet over my head. They too, should be gone by the end of August, when they head south to Central America. Following work I did check out the flooded fields at the I-75 rest stop to see if any new shorebirds were on hand. Did find four Black-Necked Stilts and four Killdeers. Four Glossy Ibis came flying in. Next checked out the Domestic Street site were a large flock of White Ibis, Roseate Spoonbills, Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets are taking to the air. Could not locate any of the burrowing owl family, which maybe dispersing, but did find a Red-Tailed Hawk sitting atop a high-power line stanchion.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Gull-Billed and Black Terns
Cockroach Bay Road
Lettuce Lake Park
After reading several reports of Black Terns at Gundy Beach, near St Petersburg and of Gull-Billed Terns at a mitigation impoundment on Cockroach bay Road, near Ruskin, I planned stops at these locations on my trip up to Tampa Bay today. My original plans were to check out Lettuce Lake Park in Tampa as well as visit my daughter who has recently moved up that way. So we had a full day ahead.
Cockroach Bay Road
My younger daughter, Katie, and I head out early making the first stop at the Ruskin location. And just as reported, at the first impoundment encountered we did find four active Gull-Billed Terns working the pond. A LIFER!!
This location also held a large number of Cattle Egrets and European Starlings, due to the sod farms across the road. We also found several Black-Belled Whisting Ducks with at least a dozen ducklings. Other family groups include a family of Moorhens and a Black-Necked Stilt with three babies. The following is a list for this location - (26) Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Mottled Duck, Anhinga, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron, Cattle Egret, White Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Black Vulture, Osprey, Common Moorhen, Killdeer, Black-necked Stilt, Laughing Gull, Gull-billed Tern, Mourning Dove, Fish Crow, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, Boat-tailed Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird
Lettuce Lake Park
A couple of Limpkins were seen including this fellow enjoying a stroll on the boardwalk
I don't know why, but one of my favorite birds are the little Black Terns. I first encountered a few as they made there brief stops at Bunche Beach around Labor Day on their fall migrations the past couple of years. We see them in there more drab plumage. Last year I was successful in briefing seeing a fly-over of a pair of Black Terns in breeding plumage, while visiting in northern Illinois. This afternoon, I was able to see, from a distance at Gandy Beach (a part of the Gandy Road Causeway), at least three in breeding plumage. A couple of others were seen to have molted already. Unfortunately, all the black plumage birds were scared off by beach traffic and did not return. So no useful photos. Other terns seen included Least Terns, Royal Terns, Sandwich Terns and Black Skimmers. Brown Pelicans, Laughing Gulls and a Willet were also present. Dolphins too.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
So far, for July, I have hit hit most of my usual sites - Bunche Beach, Alva, Six-Mile Cypress Slough, Harne's Marsh and the fields and ponds along Domestic Street. To this date I have a count of 79 species for the month.