Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Swallow-tailed Kites are Back

Sunday, March 5th

Currently my weekend starts at 6 AM on Sunday morning, which I kicked-off today with some birding in  Lehigh Acres.

Swallow-tailed Kite
As I was driving away from the plant, was able to spot my first Swallow-tailed Kite of the day, as it was foraging along side of the road. I always look forward to the return of the Kites after there long flight South America. They will be arriving in the American Southeast to begin their nesting season, and will be heading back to were wintering homes starting at the end of July.

Along the way to Lehigh, I made a small detour through some back roads at the airport to look for Wood Ducks ( found ten, but no pics), but came across this roosting Swallow-tailed Kite.  Saw an addition three kettling further down the road. That was five for the day.

Gray-headed Swamphen
By 8:45 I had reached my destination at Harns Marsh.  The water level has been falling and the wading bird numbers are on the rise. Large numbers of Great Egrets, Wood Storks, Tricolored Herons and more.  There were also a large number of birders on hand.  Most folks from out-of-state enjoying our Florida winter.

Still have a lot of waterfowl present. Not a great variety - Ring-necked Ducks, American Coots, Blue-winged and Green-winged Teal and Mottled Ducks.

Only spotted a single female Snail Kite, but lots of Limpkins. We also found  a few Pied-billed Grebes, Anhingas, Cormorants, Grackles, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Killdeer, Common Gallinules, Grey-headed Swamphens, Wilson's Snipe, Sandhill Crane, Tree Swallows, Savannah Sparrows and Robins.

Roseate Spoonbill

Misses included Northern Harrier and Purple Gallinule.

From here, checked out the Florida Scrub Jay spot on 47th Street West, were an individual jay was quite accommodating.

Checked a couple of Red-headed Woodpecker spots in the area, but came up empty. Then up to Alva to see what was happening at the Whites' feeders. Found the their yard much busier with birders than birds. Now its time to head home.

Florida Scrub Jay in Lehigh Acres

Green-winged Duck

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