Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day!

When September rolls around, it signifies to me that fall is near which means cooler weather and MORE birds! Let them all come down.
I headed to the Bailey Tract this morning for a leisurely stroll and was rewarded with the presence of my feathered friends.....take a look....
What a nice surprise to have 4 Roseate Spoonbills fly over my head and land right in front of me.

The Tricolored Heron had first dibs in the pond and was happily feeding.

Several Little Blues were present too - juveniles, immature and adults.


Mother and daughter perhaps - the Roseate on the right is a much younger bird with its pale pink feathers.


It made me smile to watch this Snowy Egret while it was stirring the mud with his yellow feet - trying to lure some little fishes his way.....

he looked intensely focused while doing so.

A Mocking bird with a deformed bill - in my short 2 years of birding, I've seen this on 3 occasions now.

A Mourning Dove leisurely taking in the view until a Red-shouldered Hawk was heard....

then his posture changed and he became a lot more alert.

Then he relaxed again, seemingly smiling with relief.

A juvenile Little Blue Heron


The Bailey's local Osprey - chilling.


A juvenile Common Gallinule getting ready to test the waters....

ahhh.....this wasn't so bad after all.

A Eurasian Collared Dove - chilling too.

The Little Blue Heron waved me on as I left his surroundings. What a great way to start Labor Day! 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

It's warming up

I saw a huge decline in the species of bird lately and I can taste the turn around that is now taking place. Quite a few of the shorebirds have been making their comeback and I welcome them wholeheartedly.
I started my day by doing turtle patrol and on my way back I was rewarded with a beautiful sunrise.

As I turned the corner, I was pleasantly surprised to catch sight of the Swallow Tailed Kites - this pair was found floating and taking advantage of the air movements. It was an unusual sight because these birds leave our island sometime in July to spend their winters in Brazil.

A young Least Tern resting after feeding.

A Black-bellied Plover slowly losing his black belly feathers as he gets ready for winter.

A Ruddy Turnstone - as the name implies, this ruddy colored bird flicks shells and stones while looking for food. This bird is special to me because it correspond with the start of my birding interest.

An adult and immature Royal Tern - the immature can often be seen begging for food/attention for long period of times - the next time you see them, spend time observing this behavior as it is quite entertaining.

Here are two Least Terns with a Ruddy Turnstone - this gives you an idea as to how small those Terns are.

Stay tuned, it is gearing up as migration takes place and more birds are showing up - I look forward to their arrival and the cooling of our temperatures too.
 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Tern in question

I was out doing turtle patrol when I saw a Tern that was definitely looking different than the rest of the bunch. I noticed that it was bigger than a Least and smaller than a Sandwich. Of interest was the fact that the bill was black, slender and a bit decurved. The part (lore) before the cap was white with black striation. The dark black cap extended down to the nape. Also, I noticed the legs were very delicate looking and had a red/maroon-ish color. I was using my cell phone and zooming in to get the photo while staying a bit away so as not to scare it off. The actual color of the bird was paler than it appears in the photo. Also, please note the shadow of the tail in the sand which seems to extend past the wings making me think that it might be a Roseate.




 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Loggerhead to sea

Let's clap for CROW

I have several things that I am quite passionate about and one of those are the sea turtles. I volunteer and help with protection and seldom get to see the turtles - so today was a very special day. As volunteers for SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) we were invited to witness the release of "Cora" a Loggerhead sea turtle who had been found 6 weeks ago with deep laceration and a broken bone in her flipper, most likely due to interaction with fishing gear. CROW (care and rehabilitation of wildlife) worked their magic, Cora healed nicely and was strong enough to be released back to the ocean. Come and visit with me as we let her go.
Everyone is eager to see and patiently waiting as we line up while providing ample room for her to move.


Cora was carried a little bit closer to the gulf while keeping her eyes covered to keep her tranquil.


"This is your moment Cora" - time to let you go and let you be in your natural environment.


She was quite a trooper as she propelled herself forward - all 150lbs+.



Some more encouragement and a little coaxing, she seemed to be a bit disoriented, however her swimming skills, her ability to breathe and resurface on her own was/is very strong.


She was seen at a distance coming up for air - looking good!

And off she went as she waved us farewell.