Monday, October 31, 2011

Sharp-shinned Hawks - Visits to Babcock-Webb and Harns Marsh

Wednesday, October 26th

Typical habitat at babcock-Webb
After spending so much time lately chasing the fall migration I took some time to visit a couple of my favorite spots. Spent the mourning visiting Babcock-Webb Wildlife Management Area in Charlotte County.  Started with locating a pair of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers.  The most common birds were Common Grackles followed by White Ibis, Pied-billed Grebes, Eastern Meadowlarks, Belted Kingfishers and Pine Warblers.  Other warblers included a lot of Palm Warblers, a few Common Yellowthroats and a sole Prairie Warbler. Was able to add a FOS Wilson's Snipe, a Bald Eagle, Common Ground Doves, an Eastern Phoebe, Loggerhead Shrike, a Yellow-throated Vireo, a single Eastern Bluebird , at least four Eastern Towhees, several chattering House Wrens.  Found several Northern Mockingbirds, a couple of Brown Thrashers, plus several Northern Cardinals.
While making a final stab at locating any nuthatches or bobwhites, which I dipped on, I was surprised to find a Broad-winged Hawk and then a Sharp-shinned Hawk flew past my car. Both hawks are migrants. Some of the them may stay for the winter, but mostly they are heading south.
Juvenile White Ibis, was part of a large flock of juveniles

Pied-billed Grebe

Great Blue Heron at Webb Lake

Later in the day I headed over to Harn's Marsh in Lee County.  The water level was still high so waders were not very numerous.  Did get Great Blue Herons, a couple of Limpkins Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Tricolored Herons, a single Glossy Ibis, a dozen Cattle Egrets and no white ibis.  American Coots have arrived and had a couple of Common Gallinule, another Wilson's Snipe, a trio of Least Sandpipers and a single Killdeer. The usual Turkey and Black Vultures are present and did find only two Snail Kites today. But the migrant hawks were present here too, including another Broad-winged Hawk, a Merlin, a Kestrel and a Sharp-shinned Hawk.  Had a couple of Savannah Sparrows in the company of a couple of Palm Warblers and a flock of Tree Swallows passed over just as I was leaving. As for ducks I counted twenty Mottled Ducks and a trio of Blue-winged Teal.  Won't be long and the variety of ducks will be increasing soon.
Least Sandpiper at Harn's Marsh

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