Today I had originally planned to return to Ft DeSoto with the hopes that spring migration has begun. However reports were not good. No birds and a lot of mosquitoes. So I'll skip it today. Hopefully next week will be an improvement and I already plan on joining Bob Pelkey at that time.
One sad but 'circle-of-life' event that was related by one of the volunteers to some of the visitors happened the other day when a mother wood duck enter the pond we were standing by with five ducklings in tow. This is when a black-crowned night-heron attached and grabbed a baby duck for a meal. This reminds me of observing yellow-crowned night-herons patrolling the least tern nesting area on Ft Myers Beach in search of a carelessly guarded tern chick.
Other species encountered at Corkscrew Swamp included Tufted Titmouse, Great Crested Flycatcher, Carolina Wren, a Swallow-tailed Kite, Downy Woodpecker, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, a Swamp Sparrow and White-eyed Vireos.
Another visitor I ran into was Vince Lucas, a very active birder, e-bird coordinator for Collier County and on a Big Year for Collier County. He gave directions to a residence in Immokalee were bird feeders are very active with buntings, white-winged doves and a pair of Pine Siskins. Yesturday he was alerted to a flock of cedar waxwings but missed them by minutes. Cedar Waxwings have not been very numerous this winter season in south Florida.
Following Corkscrew Swamp I did head over to Immoklee for the siskins. Along the way I found a flock of Black-belled Whistling Ducks. Did manage to locate the residence and yes, had a Pine Siskin on the feeder. LIFER!! Also had a large number of Indigo Buntings, a female Painted Buntings and Red-belled Woodpecker, and several White-winged Doves, but no waxwings. After leaving Immokalee came across a road kill location with several Black Vultures and a Crested Caracara. As for the vultures, one or more could be destined to colliade with traffic as they keep flying in low through the fast moving vehicules. I almost had one crash into my windshield. A close call.
|The Red-shouldered Hawk nest|
|Found this signage at the trailhead advising on what to do if a hiker encounters a Florida Panther|