Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Migration through S.W.Florida

I haven't been posting much lately, especially since my camera went into a coma. I've been out on the field with my binoculars and observing the migrants as they go through while keeping track of my findings. I find it hard not to be able to keep photograph documentation and have also realized that I missed sharing my days with you all. So, with much further ado - as they say - I am here today to share what I have seen out there while using my stock photos. Thanks for bearing with me while I patiently wait for my camera to come back to life.

Magnolias were spotted this past week - beautiful bird with bright yellow, striking black and a big black block under its tail - the perfect clue for identification.
This female American Redstart as well as many others were seen at the Six Mile Cypress Slough.

Cuckoos were seen too! The Black Billed and the Yellow Billed. The Yellow-billed has been a regular at the slough for a week now.

Reports of the Prothonotary has been reported - the last time I saw one was this past spring migration. A stunning bird if I must say so.

Ovenbirds - everywhere I go.....Bailey Tract, Sanibel Garden Preserve, Lighthouse, Ding Darling Caloosa Trail and Six Mile Cypress.

The Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers are singing their hearts out and if I'm lucky I get to see them too.

Do you recognize this "identification" spot? This is the Magnolia Warbler.

A Prairie Warbler - This little guy has dark circles under his eyes and I can identify with that :)

The acrobatic Black And White Warbler - always a great sighting as they buzzz around while climbing up/down/upside down along the limbs and trunks.

Here's a sweet Ovenbird with all its identifying features in clear view - even though it likes to hide in deep foliage - sometimes I get lucky.

A Female Chestnut-sided Warbler without any chestnut color on its side - but note the lime green above, very striking indeed. I photographed it at the Lighthouse earlier this year and got to see it yesterday at the Six Mile Cypress Slough. My photos have helped me to identify what I am seeing this fall, I don't know about you, but for me as a new birder - it's not always easy to recognize a bird that I've seen only once before.....some are easier, some not so much.

Another Black and White - creeping sideways - don't you wish you could do that too?

A Red-Eyed Vireo - they are quite plentiful at the Six Mile Cypress slough and also on the Caloosa Trail at Ding Darling.

Now, this is a bird that is easily spotted and identified - A Summer Tanager. Seen yesterday at the Slough.

A Yellow-throated Vireo, look at the yellow eye ring too.

Kingbirds have been plentiful around Sanibel - they were one of my first fall migrants to spot - coming in drove across the island. I've seen them at the Lighthouse, Bailey Tract, Sanibel Garden Preserve and this weekend they were at my house! They are seldom alone.

The White-eyed Vireo - well named, I think.

The Tuffed Titmouse as regular resident at the Six Mile Cypress slough and since they were so very present while I was there, it seems fitting to include them. I found out too that since they are so vocal - they tend to attract others, so when you hear the Titmouse, look around - you may very well be surprise to see who else is hanging around - looking to see what the commotion is all about.

A Downy Woodpecker - the smallest of them all - woodpecker-wise. This one is a male - telltale sign is the red spot on its head.

Of course, It wouldn't be fair not to include this little fellow who often belts out a beautiful serenade across the slough - who would have thought such a little bird could sing so loudly? Don't let the size fool you.

The Summer Tanager waved me on yesterday - it surely brought a smile on my face. I love migration and all the excitement that goes with it.

My E-bird List for the Six Mile Cypress Slough - I'm pretty sure that it is missing a few species since I couldn't identify them all, but either way - it was a great day - take advantage of the fall migration because you won't be able to see a lot of those birds until the spring. http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S19981160

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