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.
Yesterday I had planned on attending the Audubon of Southwest Florida's Urban Birding Event in downtown Ft Myers. It was supposed to be about the Purple Martins that roost down by the river, but they aren't here yet. The Purple Martins that I had reported on a couple of weeks have disappeared as well. I did not go to the event however because of thunderstorm over downtown at the time and because of an invitation from Bob Pelkey to hit Bunche Beach.
Thunderhead over Ft Myers as seen from Bunche Beach
I did meet up with Bob who was seating half-submerged working on his photography of the birdlife at the beach. As the sun was setting, Bob was waiting on the arrival of Black Skimmers and Black-CrownedNight-Herons, which arrived right on cue. Other species seen included Wilson's and Semipalmated Plovers. A couple of Black-Bellied Plovers, about four Least Terns, a lone Brown Pelican, a few Sanderlings, a single Magnificent Frigatebird, Willets, Marbled Godwits, Short-Billed Dowitchers, an immature Bald Eagle and the usual waders.
I had also checked out Bunche Beach back on Friday the 2nd of July while I had time to burn waiting for my daughter to finish up so business at school. Wish I had brought along a camera. Because I had the good luck to find the Long-Billed Curlew that had just been recently reported on here. The tide was conducive for birding and it was evident that the shorebird migration was underway. Lots of Marble Godwit, Willets, Short-Billed Dowitchers. A fly over Roseate Spoonbill was seen as well as five American Oystercatchers. Singing Prairie Warblers and Northern Cardinals were present and a family of Muscovy Ducks were seen by the roadside near the John Morris Road entrance. Plus all the usual waders. But no peeps yet.
On the Fourth, I checked out Six-Mile Cypress Slough in the afternoon, in between rain storms. Not much happening here. A couple of Anhingas and Great Egrets on the lake. Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers and a Carolina Wren along the boardwalk.
On the fifth I checked out Harnes Marsh and Alva. Only found a single Snail Kite at Harnes Marsh, but did come across at least ten Limpkins including a family with two chicks. Also seen were Pied-Billed Grebes, Mottled Ducks, an Osprey, lots of Boat-tail Grackles and a few waders. At Alva I found Red-headed Woodpecker, Wood Ducks, Loggerhead Shrikes, Crested Caracara, White-Winged Dove, Chimney Swift, American Crows and Swallow-Tailed Kite.
On the tenth I located a pair of Black-necked Stilts working the flooded field at the rest stop at I-75 and Daniels Road. I would mention here that this same location on the third I located a pair of Lesser Yellowlegs. Seems it is early for their return and a check on e-bird did not report any others in the area yet. Later checks on this site have come up empty on the yellowlegs.Lesser Yellowleg
Gray Kingbird in Bonita Beach
Later, again on the tenth, I located a pair of Gray Kingbirds preening and hawking on the wires along Estero Blvd on Bonita Beach.
Other sitings in and around my work place have included Barred Owls, Red-Shouldered Hawks, a White-Eyed Vireo, Fish Crows, Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks, lots of grackles, Cattle Egrets, Cardinals, Red-Bellied Woodpeckers, Mockingbirds, Loggerhead Shrikes, Eastern Bluebirds, Green Herons, Pine Warblers and Blue Jays. On the barred owls, we have had a pair of the owls hanging out at the plant most evening these days, but one recent night there was a trio. Seemed unusual. The Common Nighthawk has not been heard from very often lately. They usually disappear by the end of August.
Closer to home, on Domestic Street, the Burrowing Owl family has fledged. Came across a couple of the young owls sitting on hydrants and fence post with one of the adults keeping watch from the overhead power line. Can not say that I had ever seem a burrowing owl sitting on the wires before. Other birds found here have included Chimney Swifts, Eastern Meadowlarks, a calling Northern Bobwhite. Mockingbirds, Grackles and Loggerhead Shrikes. Plus Mourning Doves and Fish Crows. Not much on the ponds these days. The purple martins have moved along as well.