Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Springtime at Point Ybel Lighthouse

Tuesday, April 15th

Our local hot spot, in Lee County, for Spring Migration, is the Sanibel Lighthouse. The location is on the southern point, Point Ybel, of Sanibel Island at the lighthouse park. Weather conditions determine how active the location can be for migrant observations. Blocking weather conditions can provide us with rewarding opportunities to see some interesting species. However, the optimum weather conditions, such as a strong tail winds, for the birds will push them past us as they rush to be on territory first.

So far we have had a few good days here to observe at least a sampling of species are passing through. The most productive observations seem to be Eastern Kingbirds and Orchard Orioles. Gray Kingbirds are starting to show up along with Indigo Buntings and Blue Grosbeaks. We're seeing a few Western Kingbirds and a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher as well.

As for warblers, the wintering Palm and Yellow-rumped Warblers have thinned out considerably. One of the most popular migrant warblers showing up are the beautiful Hooded and Prothonotary Warblers. Kentucky, Blue-winged, Worm-eating, Blackpoll, Black-and-white, Prairie, Cape May and Tennessee are being seen. More variety of warblers should increase as the spring season progresses.

It is possible to find Yellow-throated, Red-eyed, White-eyed and Blue-headed Vireos all in a single visit. Black-whiskered Vireo is a real possibility as well. Nearby Ding Darling NWR usually have a few pairs every summer. Other species being seen include Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Summer Tanager, Cliff Swallow, Baltimore Oriole, Painted Bunting, Chimney Swift and Wood Thrush.

Some expected species include Swanson's Thrush, American Red Starts, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Magnolia Warblers, Eastern Wood-pewee and others. It can be a crap-shoot as to wither the birds will show or not.  But is fun when they do.

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