Sunday, February 13, 2011

Purple Gallinule - Everglades National Park

Tuesday, February 8th

Finally was able to make a trip over to Dade County and Everglades National Park. The semi-tropical environment of South Florida can offer a great variety of wildlife not found elsewhere in the United States. Ironically, because of my close proximity to all these Florida specialities, I find myself  calculating trips to other places like the Rio Grande Valley or the Maine Coast for their specialities.

Double-crested Cormorant at The Anhinga Trail
Today I was interested in finding purple galluniles, short-tailed hawks, white-tailed kites, common mynas, swainsen's hawks, smooth-billed ani, scissor-tailed flycatchers and others.  Made several stops including Florida City, Homestead and Lucky Hammock outside of the park. These locations were not very fruitful with misses on the scissor-tail flycatcher in Florida City and on the raptors and sparrows at Lucky Hammock. Did get a Limpkin and a Cooper's Hawk in Florida City though. One success at Lucky hammock was locating the Brown-crested Flycatcher being reported there in the company of Great Crested Flycatchers. Also had a hunting Northern Harrier.
White-eyed Vireos were seen or heard at virually every stop made in the park and Lucky Hammock.
The Common Mynas were usually an easy find in Homestead but I had to do a bit of searching today.
Aside from the Anhinga Trail and Flamingo, the stops in the park were a bit disappointing.

Two of a great many Black Vultures on the Anhinga Trail
THE ANHINGA TRAIL - as usual the Anhinga trail was a great location for finding and photographing Florida wildlife with dozens of Alligators and nesting Anhingas. Purple Gallinules were plentiful along with all the usual waders. Missed here was the possibility of locating a rather secrative smooth-billed ani that has been seen on the trail recently.  The award-winning wildlife photographer, Bob Pelkey was invited to come-along today, but had to pass because of work.  He would have spent his entire day on his craft with all of the photographic opportunities the Anhinga Trail offers.

Sunning gators very common on the Anhinga Trail

Female Anhinga on the Aninga trail.  Note the green eye

Nesting Anhingas

Baby Anhingas

Gators will sit below rookeries to await any babies falling from the nest

Purple Gallinule on the Anhinga Trail

A young Wood Stork on the Anhinga Trail

FLAMINGO is the southern terminus of the highway through the park and can offer sightings of lesser nighthawks, short-eared owls and shiny cowbirds. The bay may have various gulls, terns, shorebirds and white pelicans. Today the Eco Pond was quite with only a pair of Great Egrets. Walked the perimeter looking for painted buntings or yellow warblers, but not today. Did sight a soaring Bald Eagle and several Ospreys. I can also add a Red-tailed Hawk, a Broad-winged Hawk, several American Kestrels, a young Red-shouldered Hawk and a Peregrine Falcon in the vacinity. Found a cooperative White-winged Dove and a couple of American Crocodiles were found in the canal by the marina.
Northern Mockingbird at Eco Pond

Young Red-shouldered Hawk at the campgrounds at Flamingo

Juvenile White Ibis at the campgrounds at Flamingo

American Kestrel at the campground at Flamingo

White-winged Dove near the marina at Flamingo

American Crocodile basking in the canal by the marina at Flamingo

Everglades Outpost, operated by Bob Freer, is located outside Everglades National Park in Homestead. Some of their rescues have been features on "Miami Animal Police" on the Animal Plant network, and on the History Channels' "Monster Quest"
My List – ( 61 )

Mottled Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Pied-billed Grebe, Brown Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant, Anhinga, American Bittern, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Cattle Egret, Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron, Green Heron, White Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Wood Stork, Limpkin, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Northern Harrier, Cooper's Hawk, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Red-shouldered Hawk, Broad-winged Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Purple Gallinule, Common Moorhen, American Coot, Killdeer, Laughing Gull, White-winged Dove, Mourning Dove, Common Ground-Dove, Belted Kingfisher, Eastern Phoebe, Great Crested Flycatcher, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Loggerhead Shrike, White-eyed Vireo, Blue Jay, American Crow, Tree Swallow, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Northern Parula Prairie Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Palm Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Northern Cardinal, Eastern Meadowlark, Common Myna,
Red-winged Blackbird, Boat-tailed Grackle

1 comment:

  1. Regretfully I couldn't make the trip with you, Tom. The Northern Harrier, Broad-winged Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, White-winged Dove, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Northern Parula, Prairie Warbler, and Common Myna would all have been exciting first sightings for me. Looking forward to the opportunities at STA 5.