Sunday, March 1, 2015

Church Road in Hendry Co

A great northern friend, whom I've introduced birding to (Hi Larissa) is visiting me and I thought: "What a great opportunity to return to Church Road!". My intents were to spot Cara Cara, Scissor-tailed Flycatchers and Kingbirds.....well, as birding goes - sometimes anything goes.
When I entered Church Road I was looking on the power lines and off-mindedly saying:"Dove, Dove, DEER!" LOL, I was not expecting that - a White-tailed Deer was coming at me and then entertained us by darting right, left, right, left....until it found a clearing into the bushes.
Well, that is how it all started.....come along and see what else we were exposed to.
Far in the distance I could see Wild Turkeys strutting along the back fence, had it not been for my camera (Canon SX50), I would not be able to share this image with you.

Near those Orange Groves that lines Church Road are numerous trees, twigs and bushes where the birds can be located - not always well photographed - such as this Yellow-rumped Warbler .... these guys seemed to have a ball crossing the street back and forth while visiting the trees. 
Our recently returned celebrity - the Swallow-tailed Kite - several were spotted flying overhead and dipping down for meals on the fly.

A Sparrow! I was really surprised to see a sparrow high in a tree and right away I thought to myself: "I don't think I've seen this guy before". So, with excitement, I took a bunch of photos and at my first opportunity, I checked my book to find its identity....

A Lark Sparrow! How very sweet that is.

He was soon joined by a Savannah Sparrow - also in the trees!

 The Red-shouldered Hawks were numerous this morning and easily spotted among the twigs and flying loudly.
 Another Savannah Sparrow.....sweet!
 Finally....a pair of Cara Cara was spotted flying overhead - the only ones in sight this morning.
A Kestrel - watching for prey and catching them successfully.
 An Eastern Phoebe getting ready to gobble down his fat and juicy spider.
The Red-shouldered hawk doing more watching than catching. Take note of the "red" in the shoulders, quite visible here.
 After a bit, we drove further along Church Road while still looking for some Kingbirds - in the process I saw a Robin....nice!
 Shortly after, we saw and heard the Towhees - I love these guys.

Aha! A burst of color such as this can only be a male Painted Bunting - seen very well through Binoculars, not so much with the camera lens.
A female Painted Bunting on the other hand graced us with her presence, somewhat in the open - not without having me scratching my head with her orange and yellow hues - some folks indicated that it was a young male. In any event, several Buntings were present and brightened our day.
It is true that we didn't get to see Kingbirds during this outing, however we were blessed with many sightings of great feathered friends. My E-Bird list for this day....43 species in all.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Pond Apple Trail w/SanCap Audubon Group

The SanCap Audubon Bird Walk is becoming quite a popular event on Saturdays - after all, what is not to like! The leaders have great personalities, a sense of humor and great addition, everyone has a common interest while spending time in our beautiful sunny state. Come and join me today and be a witness to our sightings.
I arrived early and opted to park behind the Chamber of Commerce - on my way to meet up the group I saw those 3 Pileated Woodpeckers slowly awaking.

The day is looking promising already.

The known Australian Pine by the Dairy Queen, which used to be a nesting platform for an Eagle pair is quiet this morning.

I've slowly made it to the Retention Pond area - quite a few Wood Storks are here already.
In addition, I am seeing a large group by the maintenance garage - over 50 enthusiastic birders!

An immature Black-Crowned Night Heron....Kevin pointed out how the bill has not quite reached the 'adult' stage yet.

Killdeers - there were 5 of them today, 3 are in this frame.

A young Brown Pelican.

This Wood Stork might have been sleeping - his eyes were closed....hard to tell unless you look really closely.

This one, on the other hand, was wide awake and keeping his eyes on me.

Birds come and go so quickly around here!

Others like to dive, swim and do acrobatic moves with their catch.

Amazingly, the Anhinga stabs his fish underwater, comes up to the surface where he carefully turns and flips the fish so that it goes down the hatch head first.

We were entertained just by watching him - he was quite the fisherman and enjoyed a hearty fish breakfast.

The fish seemed to say: "Ooooh no!", while the Anhinga saids " Ah YES!"

By the way - with so many of these guys today - we decided to call it the "Stork Day".

Toward the end, an Anhinga lady proudly showed us her strapless dress....

and she wears it well, if I must say so myself.

A Cormorant with its striking emerald eyes.

After a while, I re-entered the trail leading me back to my wheels - I was glad to see that the Bald Eagle was perched in his old stomping limb.

Regal and majestic.....what a great way to end the day!

 My E-Bird List for today.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Sanibel Community Park Trail - The Frannie's Preserve Extension

I've been meaning to check on this new trail off the main beaten path of Periwinkle Way - well, today was the day....come and see....

The entrance is toward the back of the playground, before you proceed check the map out.

The Frannie's preserve extension is outlined here - for today I chose the blue trail surrounding the water ponds.

Most of the paths are pretty much easy to follow, however the trails are not marked.
One of the first ponds.

First sign of wildlife - a White Ibis.
Several Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and Palm Warblers were heard and seen.

This trail was a bit muddy and after a bit the trail was hard to spot - will have to return at a later time.

Another pond and another trail.

This trail was a flitter of Zebra Longwings....making it somewhat magical.

A few more White Ibis and....

a River Otter with its fish.

A Kingfisher was quite busy and vocal around this pond.

Not too far, a Red-shouldered Hawk with its keen eye.

The trails circle around the pond, a different view of those White Ibis.

I have a feeling that this location could become a hot spot - it is a natural habitat, away from the noises and hustles, plenty of water and insects. I will return and report again in the near future.....after all....I still have the Frannie's Extension trail to venture unto.