Monday, January 2, 2017

A Lee County Blitz

Monday, January 2nd

Started a long day at day break from the parking area at Harn's Marsh Preserve.  Its a new year. A time for renewal.  A time to start a new list. Today will be a Lee County Blitz or a Big Day, to count as many bird species as possible in a day.  I did mine solo, which probably cost me a few ticks.
Ring-necked Duck
But at Harns Marsh, I ran into Meg Rouse, China Bont and Dick the photographer and together we had some good sightings. Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, Purple Gallinules, Gray-headed Swamphens, Swamp Sparrow.
Florida Scrub Jay
From here I left the group and sought out the Florida Scrub Jays that can be found at 47th Street West in Lehigh Acres.

Then onto the pond on Homestead Road in Lehigh, were I added a Crested Caracara, Roseate Spoonbill, Least Sandpipers a Greater and a Lesser Yellowlegs.

Next was the Red-headed Woodpecker colony on Wellington Road in Lehigh, but I haven't spotted any of the woodpeckers here for some time. But I did find a  Sharp-shinned Hawk.
Sharp-Shinned Hawk

The White's feeders in Alva can be a great spot to find buntings, goldfinches and White-winged Doves. But not for me today. And the nearby Red-headed Woodpecker colony on Parkinson Road only revealed an American Kestrel.  No woodpeckers.

Maybe at the Caloosahatchee Regional Park there'll be a Red-headed Woodpecker or maybe a White-eyed Vireo.  Nope.  Moving on

Then I tried the Caloosahatchee Creek Park and again no woodpeckers or any thing else.

Finally at Pop Ash Creek Preserve there was a Red-headed Woodpecker.  Not much else.

Onto Cape Coral were I made a stop to see Bald Eagles at the Famous Pritchett Eagles Nest, as seen on the national news. Then to the Great Horned Owls nest on SW 22th Ct and the Monk Parakeet nests at the ball fields on Pelican Boulevard. But all through Cape Coral I never spotted a Burrowing Owl, which is unusual.
Great Horned Owl

Onto Ft Myers and found several Nanday Parakeets on Tufts Street. Then onto a spot along the river to look for any scaups. No ducks though.

Its starting to get late and I've missed the low tide, but headed over to Bunche Beach anyway.  The place was packed with folks enjoying a holiday outing. No point in even trying this venue. Missed a lot of birds by being late here.

Wrapped up the day with a walk on the board walk at Six-mileCypress Slough Preserve.  Again not many birds on hand. A long trying day with too many miles on the car. Looks like I hit on 79 birds. Short of the 100 count goal for the day.  My friends Dave and Eary were far more aggressive and managed a Lee County Big Day count of 134 species.
Nanday Parakeets

Day's Bird List (79) -

Black-crowned Night-heron
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Muscovy Duck, Wood Duck, Mottled Duck, Mallard x Mottled Duck (hybrid), Blue-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Pied-billed Grebe, Wood Stork,  Magnificent Frigatebird, Double-crested Cormorant, Anhinga, Brown Pelican, Least Bittern, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Cattle Egret, Black-crowned Night-Heron, White Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Black Vulture,  Turkey Vulture,  Osprey,  Snail Kite,  Northern Harrier,  Sharp-shinned Hawk,  Bald Eagle,  Red-shouldered Hawk,  Purple Gallinule,  Gray-headed Swamphen,   Common Gallinule, American Coot, Limpkin, Sandhill Crane,  Killdeer, Least Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Laughing Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Great Horned Owl, Belted Kingfisher, Red-headed Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Crested Caracara, American Kestrel, Monk Parakeet, Nanday Parakeet, Eastern Phoebe, Loggerhead Shrike, Blue Jay, Florida Scrub-Jay, American Crow, Fish Crow, Tree Swallow,  Carolina Wren,  Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, American Robin, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Common Yellowthroat, Palm Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Savannah Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, Eastern Meadowlark, Common Grackle, Boat-tailed Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird and House Sparrow

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