Thursday, July 19, 2018


Thursday July 19

Gull-billed Tern

Today I made the hour and a half drive from Ft Myers over to the Everglades Ag Area south of Belle Glade.  Seemed a bit early yet to be checking out the flooded sugar cane fields, but I noticed a few intriguing postings on eBird. 

Black Tern

Arrived in the area of Brown's Farm Road around 8:30 and started with the swallow colony at the intersection of 880 and Brown's Farm Road.  the swallows weren't all that accommodating but was able to pull out one, for sure Cave Swallow, from among all the similarly looking Cliff Swallows.

The flooded fields adjacent to the swallows were very active with a large concentration of Black-necked Stilts.  Dozens of Black Terns were foraging and resting here along with Gull-billed Terns, Least Terns, Caspian Terns, Short-billed Dowitchers and maybe a few Long-billed Dowitchers too. Other species present included Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, Least Sandpipers, a Spotted Sandpiper, Black-bellied Plovers, plus Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs.

Black Tern

Common Nighthawk
Drove several miles along Brown's Farm Road and did encounter a nice couple of fields that werejust starting to be flooded. Slightly different mix of birds here.  Because the water wasn't very deep yet, it was attractive to nearly a hundred  Glossy Ibis, a couple a dozen Mottled Ducks, a few Common Gallinules and lots more Black-necked Stilts.  Both Yellowlegs, Dowitchers, Least Sandpipers and Laughing Gulls were also present. 
Had to be more than a hundred Black-necked Stilts today

Had hoped to add Fulvous Whistling Ducks, Wood Storks, wintering American White Pelicans, Pectoral Sandpipers and Stilt Sandpipers, but dipped on these.  Its a bit early on these sandpipers but no totally out of the question. But we should see numbers of them soon along with American Avocets and Wilson's Phalaropes

Caspian Tern

Least Tern

Black-bellied Whistling Duck
Additional sighting along Brown's Farm Road included a great many Brown-headed Cowbirds, Red-winged Blackbirds, Both Grackles, Eastern Meadowlarks, Common Nighthawks, Green Herons, White Ibis, Purple Martins and Barn Swallows.

On the drive over and back noticed a few Swallow-tailed Kites soaring mostly near LaBelle, plus a Crested Caracara and several Sandhill Cranes.


Least Sandpiper

Gull-billed Tern

Black Tern

Gull-billed Tern

Brown-headed Cowbird

Red-shouldered Hawk

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Down to the Beach

Tuesday July 17th

Roseate Spoonbills at Carlos Point
Last week I headed to the beach to do some birding. The tide was too high at Bunche Beach, so I opted to do my birding on Ft Myers Beach. Namely at Carlos Point to check out the seabird nurseries.
I did make a stop first along John Morris Road at Bunche Beach to make my umpteenth try to spot the resident  Mangrove Cuckoos. I've dipped on dozens of tries but finally I heard and SAW the cuckoo. Woo Hoo!!
Black Skimmers are nesting at Carlos Point

Snowy Plover
The beach was hot and sunny. The numbers of nesting Least Terms have dropped and hundreds of Black Skimmers are now nesting here. Lots of Snowy Plovers with chicks. It was sad to observe a Laughing Gull take and consume a Least Tern chick. The baby terns are extremely vulnerable to predation while the adults are out foraging.

Some birds are arriving back from their arctic nesting grounds including Marbled Godwits, Short-billed Dowitchers and Semipalmated Plovers.
Snowy Plover Chick

Least Tern chicks left completely exposed to predation as their parents are foraging

Short-billed Dowitchers are returning from the North still in their breeding colors

Marbled Godwits are also returning from the Far North

Least Terns are still nesting at Carlos Point,
but their numbers are diminishing as their nesting season is wrapping up

Wilson's Plover are resident birds on this beach

Other sightings on the day included Magnificent Frigatebirds, Gray Kingbirds, House Sparrows, Ospreys, Brown Pelicans, Royal Terns, Ruddy Turnstones, Sanderlings, Semipalmated Sandpipers, Willets, Snowy Egrets, Eurasian Collared Doves and more

Friday, July 6, 2018

Some June Pics

Sunday July 1st

Thought I would share some of my observations in June

Spotted this Swallow-tailed Kite at rest at Caloosahatchee Regional Park

Purple Martin hanging around the Franklin Locks
on the Caloosahatchee River in Alva

A young House Sparrow at the Franklin Locks

Red-cockaded Woodpecker at Babcock-Webb WMA

Ring Necked Snake seen at Babcock-Webb WMA

Great Horned Owl seen in Lehigh Acres

Florida Scrub Jay seen in Lehigh Acres

Wood Duck seen in Alva pasture

Purple Gallinule seen at Harns Marsh

Wild Turkey spotted along Church Road

Gray Kingbird seen on Ft Myers Beach

This family of ducks are probably hybrids between mottled and mallard ducks

Buckeye Butterfly

Probably a Needham's Skimmer

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Some Watusi cattle seen on a property near Alva

Sandhill Crane

Nanday Parakeets seen in Fort Myers

Sandhill Family nesting with a very recent hatching in Alva