Sunday, May 21, 2017

Life on the Beach

Sunday May 21st

Recently made several visits to see whats happening along our shore line. Many of the shorebirds have already left for the the far North to nest, but some nest here as well. Some of these shorebirds, too young yet for nesting, will remain in the area for the summer.

Wilson's Plover

Local populations of Wilson' Plover, Snowy Plovers, American Oystercatcher nest on the beach on our barrier islands - Sanibel, Captiva, Cayo Costa and Estero Islands and Lovers Key.

Least Terns are arriving from their pelagic haunts to nest at their growing colony at Carlos Point on Estero Island.  They will be joined next month by Black Skimmers for their own nesting season.

Wilson's Plover are nesting at Ft Myers Beach

 Sea Turtle nesting season has also begun. Hopefully we'll see a good hatch this year.
To learn more on the subject visit Turtle Time.

We usually see Black Bellied Plovers  in their less impressive winter  molt
They have now molted into their more colorful breeding molt

Male Sanderling in breeding molt

Sanderling in alternate or breeding molt

Least Terns have arrived to nest at Carlos Point on Ft Myers Beach


Fiddler Crab found at Bunche Beach
Believe it is an Atlantic Sand Fiddler Crab

Fiddler Crab

Snowy Plover Chick

American Oystercatcher

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Last Hurrah

Sunday May 7th

Ruby Throated Hummingbird seen at Bowditch Point Park

Locally, the start of May heralds the waning of the Spring Bird Migration. So far we have been experiencing an unexceptionally low movement of neotropic birds. The prevailing winds have been pushing the migrating birds away from southwest Florida more toward the more western landfalls on the Gulf Coast. But just this past Friday the weather pattern had changed, pushing birds our way. Thus creating our Last Hurrah.

Female Rose Breasted Grosbeak

 I personally was able to find a few these new arrivals, but many birders who visited the Sanibel Lighthouse Park, Freedom Park in Naples and down on Marco Island,  had a great day.  Many warblers, thrushes, vireos, grosbeaks, buntings, cuckoos, bobolinks, tanager species, as well as, lots of hungry Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds were om hand. It wasn't Magee Marsh, but a very satisfying occasion.

Ruby Throated Hummingbird
Indigo Buntings singing from the trees

Black-and-White Warbler

Ruby Throated Hummingbird