Thursday July 19
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.
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.
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
|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.