Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Scarlet Tanager - A Visit to Six-Mile Cypress Preserve

Sunday, October 16th

With the fall migration in full swing and severe weather blocking their egress out of Florida, there is the promise for good birding today.  Headed out to Six-mile Cypress, were I was expecting to run into other like-minded birders. Arrived about 9 am and almost immediately had hits on Gray Catbird, Northern Cardinal, Yellow-throated Vireo, Black-and-White Warbler, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Prairie Warbler, Pine Warbler, Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers and a marsh hare. Turned out that Jose Padilla was right behind me working on the same mixed flock. He already had an Ovenbird, White-eyed Vireo and had photographed the Wood-Pewee. We both got great looks of a feeding Red-eyed Vireo in the same tree with the yellow-throated vireo.
An Eastern Wood-Pewee

The birding continued to go well with locating a pair of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks near the Pop Ash Pond,  plus American Redstarts (most numerous bird of the day), Great Crested Flycatcher, Tufted Titmice, Downy Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, more Black-and-White Warblers. Continuing on we added Magnolia Warbler, Eastern Phoebe, and then had an Acadian Flycatcher.

Jose contacted Vince McGrath, who was birding with Walt Winton and Stan Damen at the Sanibel Lighthouse, about the acadian and grosbeaks. They had hits on Chestnut-sided Warbler, and both Indigo and Painted Buntings. Vince also had a hit on a Mississippi Kite and a flock of hundreds of Chimney Swifts passing over Sanibel yesterday, while doing a hawk watch. Well they hurried over to look for the acadian.
Birders on the hunt

The trio arrived rather quickly and the hunt was on. But the flycatcher was not to be re-found.  However we continued locating warblers including Northern Waterthrush, Ovenbird, Palm, Tennessee, more Magnolias, Common Yellowthroat  and Northern Parula Warblers.  We were about to wrap things up when a another pair of birders told us about seeing  at least a pair of yellow-billed cuckoos and a bright red male summer tanager.  So it once more around the boardwalk. Of course we missed the summer tanager and the cuckoos, but we did end the day with a Scarlet Tanager. Also can add Chimney Swift, American Kestrel, Wood Stork, Red-shouldered Hawk, Anhinga, Hairy Woodpecker, Blue Jays and White Ibis.

Sow with piglets at 6-Mile

Marsh Rabbit

Water Moccasin
Baby Gator
So we got some good migrants today and this weather could be around for a couple more days.  I would also add that I had birded Six-mile Cypress almost daily since the end of September with occasional visits to Sanibel Lighthouse and Caloosahatchee Creeks Preserve. Some of the migrants I had been successful with month included Verry, Swainson's Thrush, Short-tailed Hawk, Black-throated Green Warbler, Summer Tanager, Canada Warbler, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Northern Harrier and Sharp-shinned Hawk. So far the fall migration has been much better for us then the past spring migration.

1 comment:

  1. These are great photos and I enjoyed the comments. Thank you for sharing your photos!