Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bobolinks and Pelicans - a visit to Harn's Marsh

Tuesday, May 3rd

I wasn't able to get out for some birding till the afternoon.  Headed over to Harn's Marsh in Lehigh Acres with the idea of seeing if any migrating Bobolinks could be found.  Had a seen a flock there a year ago.  Plus last week I had see a flock of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks close to the parking area.  Maybe they were still around.

First checked out the activity of at the Harn's Marsh School entrance. Counted at least eight Snail Kites, most were juveniles. Limpkins were everywhere. Also present were the usual waders including Little Blue Herons, Glossy Ibis, Snowy Egrets and a Sandhill Crane. The nearby cypress stand provided a pair of Northern Parula and a Yellow-throated Warbler
Limpkins were very numerous
At the 38th Street entrance, the water level at the marsh has become much lower lately, exposing a growing amount of the muddy bottom. This developed into two good birding experiences.  First was that were several shore birds, including Least Sandpipers, Lesser Yellowlegs, Killdeers a Semipalmated Plover and a Pectoral Sandpiper were located.  If I had a scope, might have found more.  Secondly, there was a huge concentration of wading birds in one corner of the marsh, including Wood Storks, Roseate Spoonbills, Glossy and White Ibis, at least a hundred Great Egrets, attracted to the concentration  of their prey.
Bobolinks would not allow a close enough approach for a good picture
 My big surprise is the presence of at least five American White Pelicans.  Had not ever seen them there before.  Probably a group of juveniles not interested it migration to the breeding grounds.
Wood Storks

Roseate Spoonbill
 Present was a family of Sandhill Cranes with a pair of colts. And as for the Boblinks, I did find a flock of of sixteen moving between the the brush alongside the road and cattails in the marsh.
Sandhill Crane family

Was surprised to find American White Pelicans

A great many birds were concentrating in the shrinking pools
My Day's List (38) - Mottled Duck, Pied-billed Grebe, American White Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant, Anhinga, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron, Green Heron, White Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Wood Stork, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Snail Kite, Common Moorhen, Limpkin, Sandhill Crane, Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, Black-necked Stilt, Lesser Yellowlegs, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Least Tern, Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Carolina Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Northern Parula, Yellow-throated Warbler, Northern Cardinal, Bobolink, Red-winged Blackbird, Boat-tailed Grackle

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