Thursday, October 23, 2014

Bailey, Bowman and Gulf Pines too.

What a fun day this turned out to be! It all started with a short stop at the Bailey Tract to catch sight of a Swamp Sparrow within the preserve - sweet, let's go!
A Red-Shouldered Hawk was keeping a close eye on its surrounding.

The House Wren is always heard before it is seen.

What a nice find - a White-Eyed Vireo right out in the open.

A new friendship perhaps....a Red Cardinal and a Common Ground Dove.

A female Common Yellow Throat.

A Tricolored Heron by the blooming Goldenrod. At last I did get to see the Swamp Sparrow however I have no photo to show, maybe better luck next time.

Further up the island, I went to the Gulf Pines subdivision where a reported pair of Eagles have been seen sitting on their nest.

Some of the story behind the platform is that in year's past, the Eagles had set up their nest in an Australian Pine which was rapidly declining - some dedicated folks erected a post/platform next to it and it is being used successfully.

Next was Bowman's Beach - where I sat with my friend Connie for a much needed catch up chat - of course opportunities came up for some bird snap shots.

This is a common sighting within the Royal Tern family - where the juvenile will persist in begging for food and attention.

Some Willets and Short-billed Dowitchers were strolling the beach too. This scene made me think of my sandpiper friend leaving this earthly place, may you rest in peace were one of a kind and will be truly missed.

A Ruddy Turnstone was very cozy in a small depression within the sandy beach.

Later on, I made another visit to the Bailey Tract - hoping to catch sight of a Bittern that was reported earlier today - this one eluded me. In the meantime, I caught sight of 3 female Blue-winged Teal - first time back this fall.

In another pond, the Mottled Ducks were spotted.

Ummm, I thought I had taken the photo of a House Wren, now I'm not so sure.

Along the Airplane Canal - a Gulf Fritillary.

Even here in Florida, we are blessed with beautiful fall colors.

A Little Blue Heron.

A very attentive Great Egret.

Last but not least, a bright male Common Yellow Throat among the sea of sticks. There has been many challenges of late to capture these little feather friends as they swiftly fly in between branches while feeding in a frenzy.....I don't give up easily and will continue to try, I will be returning for more.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Hawk Watch

The Audubon of Southwest Florida had their Hawk Watch this morning, its location was on Sanibel Island by the lighthouse. A nice crowd gathered up for the event on this beautiful and clear day. As I waited for things to unfold, I strolled a bit along the path nearby and was able to catch sight of a House Wren - its voice preceding its sight.
There it is singing its heart out.

After a short and sweet welcome by Jim Rodenfels - the field trip coordinator, we were introduced to our one and only birder extraordinaire - Vince McGraph. Vince led us to the base of the Lighthouse where we stood for several hours with our eyes glued to the sky - hoping, waiting and watching some of the hawks that came through - Kestrels, Merlin and Sharpie, as well as many migrants and some of our local feathered friends.

A female Indigo Bunting landed very close to where we were - giving everyone a great view.

An Eastern Wood-Pewee came shortly after, also staying for a bit for everyone to see.

Another Indigo Bunting as well as many others came through where we were - a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher flew by many times and that was probably one of the most favorite from the sound of the crowd - I wish that I had been able to capture it to show you - as it was a gorgeous flycatcher. 
All in all, it was a great morning - what's not to love about birding and being surrounded with friends who love to bird!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ding Darling - and the Roseates

Fall is here - and low tide is happening at Ding - time to make a visit. The gates open at 7:30a.m. and there's always a line waiting for it to open and today was no different. 
A juvenile White Ibis

An adult White Ibis - I love their blue eyes.

The sunrise was casting a special glow on the Roseate Spoonbills, a beautiful sight to greet the day.

A Spotted Sandpiper taking the view in or perhaps just trying to hide from me.

The No-seeums were really bad this morning and after a while I gave up and sought shelter in my car and took photos through my windows - the result was a slightly different tint.....took me a while to figure out why they were looking different.

Ding Darling is such a special place, you just never know what you're going to see - and so many different species hang out together too! Reports of the White Pelicans came in the other day but this morning I couldn't find any.

A quick walk on the Calussa Shell Mound trail before leaving provided me with a Carolina Wren in full view above my head,

A Blue-Grey Gnatcatcher buzzing by and

an Ovenbird checking me out.

Quite the acrobat this Blue-Grey Gnatcatcher, I never tire of watching them.

Make sure to check this little trail, it always holds nice surprises.
My E-Bird List for today