Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hooded Warbler - Fall Migration

Thursday, September 1st

It's nice to see that migration is happening and new birds are arriving from up north. Spent the better part of today birding sights in Lee County. Was able to tally 76 birds including a few first-of-season. Yesterday I had planned on following up on the good reports in Pinellas County ( lots of cerulean warblers, plus blue winged and golden-winged warblers), but last minute issues cancelled the day. But today was very satisfying and a lot less mileage on the car.

Semipalmated Sandpiper
 Bunche Beach
Started the day with a stop at Bunche Beach, arriving about 8:30am. The tide was low, the weather was comfortable and the birding was just as good as we found this past Sunday. Was able to add a pair of Black Terns and another pair of Forster's Terns in the company of several Sandwich Terns and a couple of Royal Terns.  The count on the Black Skimmers resting on the mud flats have to be about 150 birds.  A lone American Oystercatcher paced the distance of the flats in the company of many Semipalmated Plovers, Sanderlings, Marbled Godwits, Willets, Black-bellied Plovers, Short-billed Dowitchers and Semipalmated Sandpipers. Only located a sole Least Sandpiper, but did find two Spotted Sandpipers, several Wilson's Plovers and just one Piping Plover.
The waders included a Reddish Egret, Snowy Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Little Blue Herons, a Roseate Spoonbill and a pair of White Ibis.  Three Ospreys worked the water for a meal and Barn Swallows worked the beach.

Trail at Caloosahatchee Creeks
Caloosahatchee Creeks Preserve.
Got Caloosahatchee Creeks about 11am and birded the trails and ignored the picnic area, which was so fruitful last week. The birding started out slowly till I came to a spot were I first located a Yellow-throated Warbler and quickly added a FOS male Hooded Warbler, an Eastern Wood-Pewee, a female Northern Parula, a Red-eyed Vireo ( finally) and a Great Crested Flycatcher. Later came on another mixed flock and hit on a Prairie Warbler, FOS Worm Eating Warbler, a FOS Prothonotary Warbler, a bright male American Redstart, a Pileated Woodpecker and a pair of calling White-eyed Vireos.Other birds found included Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers, Blue Jays ( one was really trying to mimic a hawk), American Crow and Northern Mockingbirds.

Alva and the Franklin Locks
Next  headed east toward Alva in hopes of adding carcara, wild turkey and white-winged doves. Did get a Red-headed Woodpecker near Alva. At the locks was able to add a pair of Limpkin and several exotics in House Sparrows, Rock Pigeons and Eurasian Collared Doves.

Harn's Marsh
Arrived about 2pm and found that it was not very birdy today. Even grackles and Red-winged Blackbirds were very low in numbers. Was greeted by a Bald Eagle roosting alongside the lake. Two of the Florida specialities found here were very quite.  Only found three Limpkins and one male Snail Kite. Saw only one Common Gallinule and the about similar numbers for Great Egret, Little Egret, Roseate Spoonbill, Little Blue Heron, Tricolred Heron, White Ibis, etc. Did find the Sandhill Crane family and the only ducks were present were several Mottled Ducks. Also found a Spotted Sandpiper.  Originally tryed to turn it into a solitary sandpiper, but the dancing gave it away.  Barn and Bank Swallows showed up as I was heading back to the car.

Eastern Kingbird
South Lee County - Domestic and Lee Streets.
The ponds on Domestic Street can be very active in the winter months with various ducks and coots, but currently only an Anhinga was present.  Recently the pastures along Lee Street had been active with two burrowing owl families. But today they were not to be located.  What was located were about a hundred Mourning Doves, a juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk and a trio of Eastern Kingbirds.  Finally a flock of about a dozen Purple Martins arrived.  Have not seen this many martins at one time for a while.

Was a good day.  Got some good birds with the migrants arriving.

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