Saturday, December 29, 2018

Some December Pics

Thursday December 27th

Some interesting birds are around this month.  A smooth-billed Ani has been reported on Sanibel Island and Pine Siskins are being spotted as well.  But were diffidently seeing far fewer waterfowl and other wintering birds seen on the water.  Like loons and horned grebes.  Suspect the our recent problem with red tide may have had a negative effect.

Have prepped a gallery of some of my sightings in the past month.

Male Hooded Merganser photographed 
at first light on the Caloosahatchee River
Male Snail Kite observed along Sunshine Parkway in Lehigh Acres
Male Snail Kite observed along Sunshine Parkway in Lehigh Acres

Roseate Spoonbill taking flight at Harns Marsh

A Florida Banded Water Snake

Pine Warbler

A young Red-shouldered Hawk

Short-billed Dowitcher seen at Bunche Beach

Appears that this Cockleshell Clam is trying to stay
 hydrated during a low tide at Bunch Beach

Florida Scrub Jay seen in Lehigh Acres

White Checkered Skipper
Probably a Whirlabout Skipper

A Rattlebox Moth. 
Been seeing them at Harns Marsh

Florida Red-bellied Turtle basking at Six-mile Cypress Slough Preserve

A Ring-billed Gull doing a bit of crabbing at Bunche Beach

Wilson's Plover at Bunche Beach

Semipalmated Plover at Bunche Beach

Piping Plover at Bunche Beach

Least Sandpiper at Bunche Beach

Carolina Wren at Six-mile Cypress Slough Preserve

This Savannah Sparrow was hanging out at the observation parking area at the airport

Tufted Titmouse busy trying to get something to eat

Tri-colored Heron. They were formerly known as Louisiana Herons

Male Red-bellied Woodpecker

A very young Water Moccasin seen at Six-mile Cypress Slough Preserve

This adult Water Moccasin was on the hunt at Six-mile Cypress Slough Preserve

Dunlin at rest with a flock of Sanderlings on Ft Myers Beach

Foster's Tern seen at Carlos Point on Ft Myers Beach

House Sparrow

Fish Crow seen at Lovers Key

Monk Parakeet seen in Cape Coral, at the Baseball Fields on Pelican Boulevard 

Palm Warbler at Manatee Park 

Sandhill Cranes seen at Harns Marsh

Nanday Parakeet photographed near Manor Park in Ft Myers


American Goldfinch feeding on Elm Tree seeds at Six Mile Cypress Preserve

Yellow-rumped Warbler photographed at Alva Scrub Preserve near Lehigh Acres
Loggerhead Shrike at Estero Bay State Park

The Melaleuca is in bloom. Noted that the melaleuca, Brazilian pepper and Australian pine are making a come back on the Estero State Park at Estero Point

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Manatee Park

Wednesday December 12th

Situated on Palm Beach Boulevard and adjacent to Florida Power and Lights Ft Myers Power Plant is Manatee Park.

Visitors can observe the many West Indian Manatees that will congregate in the power plants discharge channel in the colder days of winter.

The Manatees will gather here to take advantage of the heated waters being discharged from the power plant to the Orange River, when the water temp in the Gulf gets too cold for them. Senior Program Specialist, Laure Carr recently explained to me, that because the manatee lacks the fatty layers we see in other aquatic mammals, they are very sensitive to the cold.

The U.S. Fish and Wild life Service has recently changed their status from Endangered to Threatened as their populations in Florida have improved.

Lots of Scares From Boat Strikes

Today we were able to observe dozens of Manatees in the viewing section at the park and could hear their vocalization through a hydrophone placed in the water. Many of the manatees seen today are scared from boat strikes.  Some can also show up encrusted with barnacles. Laure Carr explained that after a couple of weeks the barnacles fall away because of the fresh water environment.

Florida Power & Light's Ft Myers power plant produces the warm water 
attractive to the West Indies Manatees when the ambient temps get too chilly