Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Migrants visiting with the locals

Some front was supposed to move in - perhaps tomorrow. In the meantime I took a drive through Ding Darling and later visited the Sanibel Lighthouse - it's always nice to be out there - catching sight of my feathered friends and birding buddies.
This is not a usual sighting along the wildlife drive.

 The Double-crested Cormorant looked like he had swallowed the canary or maybe he's just smiling and happy to see me.

It always feels special to spot the Night Herons and the little ones are really precious.

These guys were hanging out by the Caloosa trail at the end of the wildlife drive.

He waived me on as I passed through the exit door.

Off I went to the lighthouse and I was treated to a lot of Indigo Buntings, often times sitting in a tree by the dozen.

A nice little burst of yellow when the Prairie shows up.
This looks like a female Scarlet Tanager. - If I got this one wrong, please don't be shy to share.

I love this White-eyed Vireo and it feels especially nice to be able to capture those eyes.

The Cowbird - a Shiny female.

 Another great day birding - I hope it holds out for a while longer. My E-Bird lists

Brown-headed or Shiny?

Birding was fun and challenging today - the sun and haze was right in my face as I tried to identify a bird. A seasoned birder was in the area and pointed out that we had a female Shiny Cowbird - you be the judge.
Bill looks thin and pointed which would indicate a Shiny

A pale throat which would point to Brown-headed

Here the plumage looks streaked - pointing to a Brown-headed

Streaked belly again

Here the bill is definitely pointy - like a Shiny

Those wings - definitely rounded which points to a Shiny Cowbird. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fort De Soto - here we go

This day was a day much anticipated - as I had heard about Fort De Soto being one of the best spot for birding, especially during migration. This day also happens to be the last birding trip of the season with the Caloosa Bird Club - this part makes me want to sail through the summer as soon as I can - so, a big sigh as I remind myself to BE in the journey....this too shall pass.
Okay, onward - let me show you what I feasted my eyes and soul on yesterday.
You are probably wondering what we're looking at....well, often times that is how I felt - the birds looked as if they were on steroids, loaded with sugar with a side of adhd.....because as soon as you spotted something - it was moving - fassssst.

My first -ever- sighting of a Scarlet Tanager, so, even a bad photo is a good photo at this moment in time.

A Cedar Waxwing was heard before being spotted - there were many others too but they couldn't be sighted.

A Red Cardinal - sitting on its nest ..... spring is in the air.

A Gray Kingbird.

Too funny that they would choose a parking lot of all places - but then again, they are "laughing" gulls.

A Yellow-throated Warbler, this one granted us many views throughout the park.

Nanday - also known as a Black-hooded Parakeet.

Some of the vistas - so much land, so much to see, so many places and so little time to do it all.

Another view of the Nanday - this one shows the blue in his feathers and the red on the legs.

The beach side provided much to look at from many directions

This Reddish Egret's bright breeding plumage could be spotted from far away.

Wouldn't you want to be there?

Near the Ranger's house, the Murlberry Trees are loaded with fruits and the birds are loving it. Here is an Indigo Bunting getting his fix.

Very sweet! A Baltimore Oriole and my camera is focusing on it - yeah!

I see that there is also a female Orchard Oriole to his right - how cool is that!

"Yum, I love these fruits....I'm gonna get me more of that".

Another Indigo Bunting - feasting away.

Summer Tanager always seem to take my breath away.

Other than this Summer Tanager that took my breath away - were beautiful species that I couldn't get photos of - such as a Red-breasted Grosbeak and a Black-whiskered Vireo.

A lonely Cowbird

A beautiful Cape May Warbler caught the attention of many.

After seeing this Cape May and the Black-whiskered Vireo, we made our way to the picnic tables and fueled our bellies while we exchanged notes about the 80 species that we had seen. The Black-whiskered Vireo was voted the bird of the day....I so wish that I would have been able to show you - I guess you'll have to open your bird id book for that one if you've never seen it.

After saying our goodbyes to the Caloosa members, my friend Gail and I stepped back to the Murlberry Tree to catch sight of whomever we could see. A nice fellow identified this immature male Orchard Oriole for us and I'm thankful for that.

And this, my friend, concludes my visit to Fort De Soto. Another great day spent that I've rested, I'm ready to catch sight of the migrants coming through the Lighthouse of Sanibel.