Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Masked Booby - yeah, you read that right!

If you would have say to me that I would get to see a Masked Booby on the beach this morning, I would have replied: You are out of your mind! Well, wouldn't you know, as I'm waiting for reports from my walkers....one of my turtle buddies sends me a photo asking me what kind of duck it was....WHAT!....I replied quickly: "Where are YOU?" When I found out she was just a few miles away and the bird was still there - I grabbed my supplies with me and I was out the door in a flash.
This is how I found the Masked Booby when I arrived at the beach - comfortably snoozing while people were watching him merely a couple of feet away - apparently they are quite comfortable around humans.

My sea turtle walkers were calling while I was observing the Masked Booby and he seemed to enjoy the sound of my phone which has bird songs/chirps in it.

I just couldn't believe my good fortune - I've been wanting to see one of these for quite some time.

Another birder was present and he was quite knowledgeable - he pointed out the baby feathers on this bird which are molting - "a sub-adult" bird.

I tell you folks, the sunrise never looked as good as it did today.

The Masked Booby had been pruning/cleaning his feathers for some time when all of a sudden he opened up his wings - I thought for sure he was going to take off but we were fortunate to have more time to admire this fellow.




It's a big Gulf out there, which is basically his breakfast, lunch and dinner table.




Time has elapsed and I need to report to my turtle duties .... I leave hoping that I could have stayed...

One last look with a sigh and at the same time gratefulness for this morning's gift of a lifetime.

 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Bald Eagle and Cooper Hawk

It's the first of September and I can feel the excitement building up in anticipation of migration, it's interesting too that my turtle season is winding down at the same time - perfect!
So, I was just finishing up with a sea turtle nest inventory when a Bald Eagle flew into my sight and landed in an Australian Pine - I ventured closer to get a better view. In the process I also noticed something else way up but couldn't make it out - like a crazy birder, I ran to my car to get my binoculars and camera to come back and get a better look.
Ah! Now I see - a Cooper Hawk watching the Bald Eagle down below.

After a bit I made my way to the other side of the tree to get a better view.

How do you like that? The sun is in my back while I look at the moon with a Bald Eagle above it.

Pretty regal, isn't he?

And before I knew what was happening, the Cooper came down and the Bald Eagle took to the sky with the Cooper in tow. I think this is a great way to start September, don't you?

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Great-crested Flycatcher - a photoshoot

 I was going to share about my morning on the trail but instead I am sharing with you some special intimate moments that I was blessed with...enjoy!






Friday, August 28, 2015

A visit to the Shipley/Pond Apple Trails

Now that turtle season is coming to a screeching halt, I have more time and more energy to spend on the trails and revisit some of my old favorites. It has been several months since I last visited the Shipley & Pond Apple Trail and today seemed to be a good day....so, come and visit with me...

The sun is rising, the colors are changing and the birds are coming alive by the look of wings in the sky.....
A pair of Black-crowned Night Heron flew above me and I wondered where they will spend the day.


Looks like the Dairy Queen Eagles are back in town - this one perched in an Australian Pine while the other 


called from the depth of the Pond Apple Trails....I leisurely made my way down.


I was able to skip and jump over these puddles but when I finished crossing the boardwalk I had to retreat because there was no end in sight as to where a dry walking spot could be.

 However, I was in for a sweet surprise....not one but two Ovenbirds were spotted.

On my way back I also enjoyed watching some of the wild flowers that grows here and there along the trail.

I made it back to the retention pond area and spent some time watching the bird life .... many Anhinga and Little Blue were perched on top of the roped fence area...a Green Heron perched too.



The Bald Eagle was still holding his post.

Some interesting fungi growing on a tree trunk, sharing space with a Christmas Vine.


One of my favorite wild flower: Lance-leaved arrowhead, it blooms from Apr-Dec by ponds, rivers etc.

And the Seagrape tree which permeates the air with the sweet smell of ripe grapes - luring me to taste a few - yum .... sweet and tart, not much to eat since it has a large pit inside but the taste is heavenly.

Suspended above the water was an Orb Weaver - its web catching the sun's rays while sparkling away.
 A family of Red-bellied Woodpecker were busy feeding and learning the ropes - they were fun to watch.

The Bailey Homestead Preserves is still undergoing renovation and preparation for grand opening - perhaps later this year.

On the other side of the trail - many frogs were heard and seen jumping away as I approached, making me smile as I enjoyed their serenade.

The man made pond is ready for wildlife to come.

A deck has been built in front of the pond - looks like a good spot to rock the day away.

The gazebo is filled with information, four benches has been added since I was here last.



It is refreshing to see that 68% of Sanibel Island is preserved and I am proud to call this place: Home, Sweet Home.
Take a look at my E-Bird List and see what I feasted my eyes on.