Monday, September 12, 2016

Ft Myers Beach

Monday, September 12th

American Avocets at Carlos Point

This week the boardwalk at Six-mile Cypress Slough Preserve is closed for maintenance. In August, September and October Six-mile is the default location for fall migration birding. Normally I'd be heading there almost on a daily basis in search of interesting birds, but not today.
Only birds seen in the mangroves were a
 Little Blue Heron and a Snowy Egret.

Instead I birded Bowditch Point Park at the northern tip of Ft Myers Beach, then onto Carlos Point at the southern end of Ft Myers Beach. 

At Bowditch I was interested in any migrants that may resting in the mangroves, but the action was on the beach with the expected Laughing Gulls, Royal Terns and Sandwich Terns, Ruddy Turnstones, Willets, Pelicans, Black Skimmers and Sanderlings. Several late Least Terns and a Forster's Tern were present along with a few Semipalmated Plovers and a Piping Plover

Forster's Tern

Black Skimmers


As I was still interested in locating Oystercatchers so headed to the southern end of Ft Myers Beach and was rewarded with plenty of bird life. Had watched the wires along Estero Boulevard on the drive here looking for any lingering gray kingbirds. No kingbirds, but a couple of Magnificent Frigatebirds were seen soaring over head.

A bathing Piping Plover
So much of the bird life on the beach at Carlos Point were there to scavenge the sea life tossed ashore during the recent tropical storm 
that passed through last week. Dozens of American Oystercatchers and a very large contingent of Ruddy Turnstones were rooting through the detritus. Also present were dozens of Black-bellied Plovers, Brown Pelicans, Western Sandpipers, Sanderling, Willets, Marble Godwits, a few Royal and Sandwich Terns, a lone Least Tern, some Wilson's and Snowy Plovers

Least Tern
Black-bellied Plover

American Oystercatcher
The best birds on the day were a dozen American Avocets sitting in the tidal pool with a couple of Reddish Egrets and a Great Blue Heron, Willets, Godwits, Short-billed Dowitchers and a few peeps.

American Oystercatcher tagged - CRA 29
According to Lindsey Addison at American Oystercatcher Working Group
with Audubon, this is bird 1106-29138. 
First captured and tagged at Ft Fisher State Recreation Area in North Carolina.
 It spent last winter here at  Estero Lagoon and has returned for another winter season.

The pool cleared out when a Cooper's Hawk appeared over head, and the Avocets flew off towards Lovers Key.
American Avocets

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Sawgrass Lake

Tuesday, September 6th

Blackburnian Warbler

Joined with Bob Pelkey to visit a venue neither of us had ever visited. Reports of some hard to find, migrating warblers in SW Florida were intriguing, so we arrived at Sawgrass Lake Park in St Petersburg about 7:15 AM to do some birding.

 Canada, Cerulean, Blue-winged and Golden-winged Warblers were among migrates seen here just yesterday.  Bob and I managed to see a brief view of a female Cerulean Warbler, but we dipped on the rest today. Just the same we had twelve warbler species - Worm-Eating, Black-and-White, Prothonotary, Hooded, American Redstart, Cerulean, Northern Parula, Blackburnian, Yellow, Chestnut-sided, Yellow-throated and Prairie Warblers. Other interesting birds today included a Limpkin, White Ibis, Red-shouldered Hawks, 
Chimney Swifts, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Summer Tanager and  Nanday Parakeets.

Yellow-throated Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler

Worm-eating Warbler

Worm-eating Warbler
Red-bellied Woodpecker

Blackburnian Warbler

Common Gallinule

Florida Gar

Water Primrose