Friday, March 31, 2017

Six-Mile Cypress Slough

Friday March 31

Cardinal Air Plant or Tillandsia are a common sight

Blue Flag Iris
Six-Mile Cypress Slough Preserve can be a great place to do some birding, but there is more than birds to see. Wild flowers, wetlands flora, butterflies, snakes and lizards, gators and turtles and even fish.  Currently dry conditions are in place till the rainy season begins. The water levels have dropped significantly, concentrating fishes, gators and wading birds to the shrinking ponds and pools. Wild hogs have invaded the dried slough bottom, tearing up the ground in search of food.

Green Anole flashing his dewlap

Feral Hogs have moved into the slough as the waters recede

Alligators have been crowded into the shrinking pools

Florida Gar

an aggressive and invasive species introduced through the tropical fish hobby


Florida Gar with a Florida Flag Fish meal


Big Footed Bug

Pond Cypress,
which is not very common in the slough
Bald Cypress, a predominate tree in the slough,
Some are hundreds of years old

The receding waters have also exposed this small turtle shell

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Spring Time in Cape Coral

Tuesday March 28th

This morning  I spent time birding various location in Cape Coral, starting at the Ball Fields on Pelican Boulevard. From here, began a series of observations of spring time romance amongst the birds.  Basically noted the Monk Parakeets and Fish Crows present collecting nesting materials. At other location noticed the same behavior with Starlings and Blue Jays, plus Downy Woodpeckers and Flickers prepping nest holes.

Pelican Blvd Ball Fields

This Fish Crow spent time adjusting this twig just so.

Monk Parakeets were busy collecting twigs for their huge nests

Working the nest

Burrowing Owl

Rotary Park

A Few Palm Warblers were present

Visited Rotary Park next and found it rather quite. A few waders, Mockingbirds, Palm, Yellow-rumped and Prairie Warblers and Red-bellied Woodpeckers.

Greater Yellowlegs

Charlotte Harbor Buffer Preserve

Northern Flicker prepping her nest hole
On my first visit to Charlotte Harbor Buffer Preserve, encountered Northern Flickers and Downy Woodpeckers actively prepping nest hole, plus Red-bellied Woodpeckers and Blue Jays carrying nesting material. Lots of Eastern Towhees could be heard and with a high tide not much was happening along the shore line.

Downy female checking her nest hole

Red-bellied Woodpecker in breeding colors

Downy Woodpecker inspection nest hole

Banded American Kestrel
This American Kestrel was seen down the road from the entrance. I hadn't ever notice one with a leg band before.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Spring Time at the Beach

Saturday March 25th

Sunrise at Bunche Beach

A sunrise visit to Bunche Beach today to see what's new. Noticing that the shore birds are beginning to molt into their spring-time colors. Mostly we see these winter visitors in there most mundane off-season coloration. They seem to be just getting started. But it won't be long till they reach there breeding molt and head for the arctic or sub-arctic nesting sites.

Black-bellied Plover

Black-bellied Plover

Dunlin nest in the Canadian Arctic
Dunlin Migration


Spotted Sandpiper

Sanderlings still in their winter feathers

Red Knot

Little Blue Heron

Northern Cardinal

Caspian Tern

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Babcock-Webb Wildlife Management Area

Sunday March 19th

White-tailed Deer
The Babcock-Webb property is basically mesic pine flatwoods which hosts three bird species of concern including the Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, Brown-headed Nuthatches and Bachman's Sparrow. Of these three birds the Bachman's can be the most difficult to spot due to its more secretive manners.  However, from March into May the males will post itself on a low limb and sing its heart out. This is why I had traveled to this spot today, to look for some Bachman's.

I arrived at dawn and was rewarded with a pair of Bachman's in song. Couldn't get a photograph as they still proved hard to locate. Also singing this morning were a number of Eastern Towhees, Pine Warblers, Northern Cardinals, Eastern Meadowlarks and Northern Bobwhites.

Eastern Bluebird

Green Heron

Pine Warbler


This Limpkin has collected a fresh-water muscle

Pine Warbler
 Within the first hour I had been successfully in finding the Big Three, but was able to add, a Great Horned Owl, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Common Yellow-throat, Mockingbirds, House Wrens, Palm Warblers, Limpkins, Great Egrets, Eastern Bluebirds, Anhingas, Osprey, Pileated Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Grey Catbirds, Eastern Phoebes, a Great Crested Flycatcher, Northern Flickers, Wilson's Snipe and Tree Swallows.

An Eastern Towhee

Pine Warbler

Pine Warbler

Red-winged Blackbird showing-off his chevrons

This section at, Babcock-Webb, had recently been subjected
to a cleansing prescribed-burn

Great Crested Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher

A Gator laying in wait