Sunday, October 3, 2010

Snail Kites - Harns Marsh

Playing with the idea of beating my October count of last year of 160 species. This was my second highest monthly count so far and was accomplished with some very good migration hits. To help this year is a trip this weekend to attend my daughters wedding in Idaho. Having never been to to the Northwest, and I am expecting opportunity for gaining a few lifers and counts on western species both in eastern Washington and the panhandle of Idaho. Still will need those migrants though.

To start things off, I hit a couple of hot spots after work Sunday morning.  Started with the Barred Owl at work and added Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, an Eastern Bluebird, Downy Woodpecker, Red-shouldered Hawk and White-eyed Vireo, along the access roads as I was leaving work.

Crested Caracara

Headed to Glades County were I was able to add Cattle Egrets, a Florida Scrub Jay several Sandhill Cranes, a lone Roseate Spoonbill, Snowy Egrets and Great Egrets.  Found a Bald Eagle resting in a snag, a couple of singing Eastern Meadowlarks, a dozen American Crows and three Crested Caracara. Had an American Kestral being harassed by an American Crow. Missed on wild turkeys though.

 Came back toward home through Alva, were I had a couple of Red-headed Woodpeckers, Loggerhead Shrike, a singing Eastern Meadowlark, a Fish Crow and several American Kestrals. Lots of Mourning Doves, but a search for a white-winged dove was a miss.

 My last stop was at Harns Marsh in Lehigh Acres, which is always a good spot for Snail Kites and Limpkins, to which I found six of each.  Both species relied on the Apple Snail populations in the marsh. Also found a family of Pied-billed Grebes with three youngsters, a trio of Mottled Ducks a pair of FOS Blue-winged Teal. The waders included Glossy Ibis, White Ibis, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Great Blue Heron, Little Blue Heron and Tricolred Herons.  Had a pair of Palm Warblers, Red-Bellied Woodpecker and a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. Hoped for a first-of season northern harrier, but seen yet.

No migrants of note seen on this trip. A day count was only 46 species, but saw several good local Florida specialities like the scrub jay, snail kites and limpkins. So to date have along way to go.

Snail Kite at Harns Marsh

Kite taking flight

Apple Snail Shell
My Day List - (46)
Mottled Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebe, Anhinga, Great Blue Heron, Snowy Egret, Cattle Egret, Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron, Roseate Spoonbill, Tricolored Heron, White Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Wood Stork, Red-shouldered Hawk, Osprey, Snail Kite, Black Vulture, Bald Eagle, Crested Caracara, American Kestrel, Common Moorhen, Limpkin, Sandhill Crane, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Barred Owl, Belted Kingfisher, Downy Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Red-headed Woodpecker, White-eyed Vireo, Blue Jay, Florida Scrub-Jay, Eastern Bluebird, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, American Crow, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Palm Warbler, Northern Cardinal, Common Grackle, Boat-tailed Grackle, Eastern Meadowlark, Red-winged Blackbird


  1. The water level is very high this year at Harns Marsh. I've wondered how such conditions may have impacted the food chain while the apple snails don't appear to be the out of control invasive species as read about.

  2. Wow, the Crested Caracara is crazy-looking!