Thursday, September 18, 2014

Baby it's hot!

Do you know how hot it can get in Florida during the month of September?

 This hot!
Now I hope that you are smiling - I can assure you that anytime I feel myself being down and feeling sorry for myself, I pull out my recent memories of my grandson and everything else falls into place.
You see, just recently my camera went into a coma and had to be sent to the hospital to be revived, in the meantime I capture what I can with my IPhone - so, bear with me while I patiently wait for my third eye to return while hoping that migration will hold off till it comes back to me.
In the meantime - it's life as close to normal as possible.
A Lesser Black-backed Gull was spotted recently in my walking zone - he was mightily hungry, so it seems, because he managed to eat a fish that was as long as he is.

this was his last morsel....down the hatch in one swoop. Yikes.

On the following morning and in the same area, a Whimbrel landed real close to me - what a nice surprise!

The light on that morning was just so incredible and it made me ache for my regular camera.....I reminded myself that this is happening for a reason and that this too shall pass.


Camera or no camera - it's a beautiful sunrise taking place in paradise and I am blessed. Thank you.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A box of chocolate - how sweet it is!

I've started to refer to my birding and turtle patrolling days as "A box of chocolate" (Forest Gump) - because as you head out to the trail, you just never know what you're gonna get - one thing that is certain though, is that it is very sweet indeed. 
Today was composed of premium chocolate, take a look.
As I was making my way toward Island Inn Road, I slowly passed Bailey's keeping my eyes open for the Gray Kingbird - and there it was, his partner wasn't too far away.

I made my way into the Sanibel Garden Preserves and spotted this bird, at first I wasn't sure what I was looking at because of the feathers - now I see that it was a juvenile Mockingbird - at least this is what I think it is.

I wondered what was in store for me as I listened to all the 'chips' around me, trying to identify what I was hearing - tried as I may to spot who was singing....I love those challenges, sometimes I am rewarded with a good view.

A few lady Red-bellied Woodpeckers were seen around the preserve, hanging in and out of the nesting boxes.

A tree filled with Mourning Doves.

"Time to move on", said the Marsh Rabbit - he has claimed this spot as his own.

At the end of the path, I saw a dark bird -not really knowing what I was looking at until I raised my binoculars - and, oh my!, what a nice surprise - A Blue Grossbeak taking a break during his migration path.


I stepped across the way and meandered on - looking for more surprises, at last I returned to the edge of the Sanibel Garden Preserve along Sanibel Blvd.

The Pileated Woodpecker was quite busy chipping away.

The Red Cardinal watched him with interest.

The Pileated and Red Cardinal sharing the tree with a Mockingbird.

And here, folks, is my premium piece of chocolate - A Mangrove Cuckoo. I was following "chips" and my eyes rested on this for a second, when I realized what I was looking at - I don't know if he sensed it or not but I was totally beside myself with excitement - I wanted to capture it with my camera and at the same time wanted to watch him with my binoculars - he didn't stay long and luckily for me I have a couple photos to show for.  

Wow, wow and more wow! I am singing Alleluia to myself while my eyes swelled from the excitement.

After he flew across the way I meandered back into the preserve and 5 minutes later I heard church bells ringing - I though.....how appropriate!

A Prairie Warbler was feasting on bugs and spiders - he was happy too even though he looks "tired".


I reached the end of the preserve and crossed over to the Bailey Tract.

The regulars were in their common location - such as this Tricolored Heron,

The Common Gallinule - keeping his safe distance

showing me which end is up.

The Kingfisher was flying and singing - and as expected, perched as far away as he could from me - yet tantalizing me with some looks.

Snowy Egret.

Anhinga drying out as I made my way back. What a beautiful and rewarding day this was - plenty to see.....I will be back. My E-Bird List for today
 

Friday, September 12, 2014

TGIF (F for fall)

It's a beautiful day in Florida this morning, the air is slightly cooler and a little breeze is present - I think I'll go to the Bailey Tract - what a great way to start the day!
Come with me and see who blessed me with their presence.

The regulars are here - Snowy and Little Blue

The Ovenbird - doing some very unusual things.....such as perching on higher grounds and out in the open.



The Black and White Warbler (female) on the other hand was being more predictable by creeping along the trunk and the branches while doing some upside down acrobatics in search of breakfast.


The Green Heron came out of its hiding spot - sweet!

The Mangrove Head Pond is very quiet - devoid of activities....soon the fowls will arrive, the water level will drop and the wading birds will feast.


The only pair of Mottled Duck at the Bailey Tract lately.

The Tricolored Heron in his usual spot - which is where a Sora has been spotted a few days ago, I searched and searched but no luck today.

Take a look at those two - A juvenile Snowy Egret on the left (yellow lore) and a juvenile Little Blue on the right (blueish lore). The Snowy's legs will darken with age and the yellow feet will be more pronounced, the Little Blue's legs will remain blueish/green in color. It's not very often that two juvenile like this can be compared so easily.

A Yellow-crowned Night Heron - waved me on until the next time.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Ovenbird - check!

This morning, after my turtle patrol, I had the opportunity to meet up with a couple of gals from my birding club - Dotty and Marie. Our mission - find the Ovenbirds at the Bailey Tract.
Mission accomplished.
Several sweet little Ovenbirds were spotted and heard on several occasions this morning.


This Great Crested Flycatcher gave us ample time for photography.

These Mottled Ducks were ruling the ponds this morning - traveling on the dirt path ..... waddle, waddle to get from one to the other.

How sweet is it? Eastern Kingbird traveling in groups of 12 - some stopped to take a breather.


A bit later and after hearing from Dotty that the tides were low at Ding Darling - I decided to take a drive up and see what was happening.....seems like I arrived just in time to see this Roseate after it swallowed a ....? canary?

He did clear his throat after a while, smiling with delight.


Off the Mangrove Overlook - a Horseshoe Crab was seen traveling against the current. 
Well, friends, another great day of birding - leaving me hungry for more. My E-Bird List for today at the Bailey Tract and Ding Darling Wildlife Drive http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S19791969