Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Some Birding in Mid-July

Tuesday, July 18th

The summertime doldrums will be  ending in the coming weeks as when we will start seeing birds migrating back to our local venues. But we still can find interesting birds here in mid-July.

Sometimes I'll check-out Lee and Domestic Streets in the Alico Industrial Area in San Carlos Park in early morning. I'm always looking for any Burrowing Owls and the other day I spotted several atop a privacy wall at the Alginol research property on Lee Road.  The lighting was terrible for photography, but I managed to get a very interesting pic just the same. Other notable birds here included a very large number of Mourning Doves, a few Eastern Meadowlarks and a pair of Red-Tailed Hawks.

Yesterday, I was finally able to get out to Bunche Beach during a favorable low tide. It was interesting to find seven Yellow-crowned Night-herons, six of them juveniles, taking advantage to the large numbers of fiddler crabs on the beach. Spotted a pair of Spotted Sandpipers, the first seen in weeks, and a very early Pectoral Sandpiper. Other sightings included a Magnificent Frigatebird, several Willets, Marbled Godwits, Black-bellied Plovers, Wilson's Plovers, Semipalmated Plovers, Short-billed Dowitchers, Sanderlings, Western and Least Sandpipers, a pair of Reddish Egrets and a lone American Oystercatcher.  Also spotted Laughing Gulls, Least, Sandwich and Royal Terns, Black Skimmers and a few Brown Pelicans. Was keen on finding any returning Piping Plovers, but none seen. They should be back soon.

Fiddler Crab on Bunche Beach

Marbled Godwit

Pectoral Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper

Wilson's Plover

Purple Gallinule

Gray-headed Swamphen

Tricolored Heron
Today Bob Pelkey and I made an early run out to Harns Marsh in Lehigh Acres. This venue has been the go-to spot in our area for Snail Kites and Limpkins. But today in the two hours we spent here, no Snail Kites were seen. They are continuing to become more difficult to see at Harns. Its believed to be a food issue. The managers of the property, it appears, are keeping water level high which doesn't help the Apple Snails in there reproductive cycles. So the kites have been going elsewhere for food.

We did see several Sandhill Cranes, Tricolored Herons, Great Egrets, Limpkins, Mottled Ducks, Vultures, Least Bitterns, Gray-headed Swamphens and Purple Gallinules. One interesting observation was a distant call of what sounded like an Eastern Phoebe. Never found the source of the call, but Phoebes are not expected for a couple of months yet. 

After Harns we checked out the Red-headed Woodpecker colony on Wellington Road in Lehigh Acres, were we spotted at least five, probably more of the woodpeckers, plus sighting of several Northern Bobwhites. This woodpecker colony should continue to be productive until the snags are eventually removed for development or just rot away. This particular location of snags was created by a brush fire that occasionally erupt in the area.

So there are always interesting birds
Red-headed Woodpecker

A Juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker


  1. Hey Tom, I like your new blog look.

  2. Bob Pelkey took over on prepping the banner for me. Nice job.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Love the silhouetted owlshot...
    Wonderful image!

    Alan. AC