Thursday, July 21, 2011

Snowy Plover - at Little Estero Lagoon

Friday, June 24th
Little Estero Lagoon

Visited Little Estero Lagoon on Ft Myers Beach early before it gets too hot. The tide was high, but I still got looks at a lot of birds.  The Least Terns, Wilson's Plovers and Snowy Plovers have taken over a lot more of the beach than they had last year.  The terns had to be in the hundreds and it was evident that they were experiencing a great deal of success.  Noted fledged birds as well as young chicks, birds sitting on nests and  some terns were still courting.

The terns had taken over so much of the beach that it was difficult to get past the nesting area without being dived at and pooped on by terns defending their territory.  Tryed to give them a wide berth, for everyone's sake. As with the terns could to see several Wilson's and Snowy Plover chicks.

Snowy Plover

Snowy chick


Laughing Gull

Least Terns

Snowy Egret

Wilson's Plover

Wilson's Plover

Another species I had not seen here before were a trio of Gull-billed Terns.  Had witnessed two of them fly by when I first arrived and then later sighted three resting at the lagoon with Least Terns, a couple of Royal Terns, Laughing Gulls and several Double Crested Cormorants and Brown Pelicans.  Also seen in the Lagoon was a Whimbrel in the company of several Willets. A small sampling of several species that I did expect to see right now included a lone Dunlin, a couple of Semipalmated Sandpipers, a Short-billed Dowitcher, a couple of Marbled Godwits and some Black-bellied Plovers. There were still a lot of Semipalmated Plovers and Sanderling present and most all of the expected waders, like Reddish Egrets, Snowy Egrets and White Ibis.  The Ospreys are always busy and several yard birds were present including House Sparrows, Mockingbirds, Northern Cardinals, Mourning Doves, Ground Doves, and Eurasian Collared Doves.  Found a couple of Mottled Ducks and a Gray Kingbird up by Estero Parkway, hawking from the wires.

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