Monday, November 17, 2014

The Flooded Tomato Field on Oil Well Road

Monday, November 10th

Lately a particular tomato field along Oil Well Road in Collier County, floods for a few weeks from late October till about mid-December.  This temporary waterfowl oasis has produced excellent water fowl observations in the past and today is no exception.  So today I tried out my new spotting scoping scope and found first-of-the-year sightings, for me, of American Avocets and Gadwalls.
Rosette Spoonbills

Arriving about 9:30 in the morning, note that dawn or just before dusk are best times for viewing, I still managed to find lots of awesome birds. Such as Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, Mottled Ducks, American Coots and a pair of American Wigeons. The fly-over Bald Eagles would put these flocks to flight every few minutes, thus rearranging the individuals I'm checking. As counted over eighty Rosette Spoonbills and just a couple of American White Pelicans.  Others seen included both night-herons, Greater Yellowlegs Snipe, Common Gallinules, Red-shouldered Hawks, Red-tailed Hawk, Ospreys, Palm Warblers and a Prairie Warbler. 
Gadwall hen

A couple of years ago Vince Lucas introduced several of us to this location and since then we have also found Ruddy Duck, Green-winged Teal, a Cinnamon Teal, Wood Duck and Black-belled Whistling-ducks.  So it would be worth a return visit before the field dries up.
Blue-winged Teal

Snowy Egrets and Pied-billed Grebes

Northern Shovelers

American Avocets

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