|Horned Grebe at Sanibel Lighthouse|
Missed out on lots of birding lately and even, reluctantly, had to cancel participating in the Tropical Audubon Society's Exotic Bird Tour this Saturday in Miami. Had looked forward to this event for months. I had Bob Pelkey physiced up for it too
But today I managed to take some time to bird on Sanibel Island. Started at Ding Darling NWR. The tide was very low and we had a lot of wading birds on hand. Most common were White Ibis, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets and a lot of Little Blue Herons. Counted about a dozen Roseate Spoonsbills and nine Yellow-crowned Nightherons. Had several Great Blue Herons, included a Great White Heron. Reddish and Tricolored Herons were on-hand. American White Pelicans were plentiful and several Laughing Gulls were busy harassing any wader to get it's newly caught meal. Lots of Dunlins, Short-billed Dowitchers, Willets and Sanderlings. Located three Spotted Sandpipers and only was able to identify a couple of Least Sandpipers. Double-crested Cormorants were much more numerous than Anhingas today. Ospreys were were numerous and had a Red-shouldered Hawk too. Found a couple of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, a couple of Yellow-rumped Warblers and a Prairie Warbler too. No red-breasted mergansers had been yet here this season.
|Juvenile Yellow-crowned Nightheron|
|Great Egrets, White Ibis, Snowy Egrets and a Little Blue Heron|
Next I stopped at the Sanibel Lighthouse with the idea of perhaps locating indigo or painted buntings. But actually there were virtually no birds around aside from the beach. But the beach was active. Brown Pelicans, Forster's and Sandwich Terns, Red-breasted Mergansers and an unexpected Horned Grebe were feeding with feet of the shore. Several Ring-billed and Herring Gulls were here too. This was only the second sighting of a horned grebe and the first for Lee County. This makes 198 birds for Lee County for the year. Just need two more.
|Sandwich Tern and Sanderling|