Friday, December 19, 2014

Feature: Oil Well Road Duck Pond Part I

It was with good fortune that I chose not to allow another year to pass before my first trip to the seasonally flooded Naples Oil Well Road tomato field in late 2014.


The scene above (image 1) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.

I'm not quite sure the most popular name for this venue while Naples Oil Well Road Duck Pond seems best suited to ensure all know what is being referred to. Adding "tomato field" to the name seems inappropriate especially if the farm operator decides to plant another type of crop.


The American Avocet above (image 2) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.


The Roseate Spoonbill above (image 3) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.


The Bald Eagle above (image 4) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.


The juvenile Black-crowned Night-Heron above (image 5) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.


The American Avocet above (image 6) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.

The Naples Oil Well Road wildlife mecca was on my mind after reading reports of Snow Goose seen there for many days, and through the inquiry about it by wildlife blogger Hemant Kishan visiting from Michigan.


The Cattle Egret above (image 7) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.


The Wood Stork above (image 8) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.


The Wood Stork above (image 9) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.


The Wood Stork above (image 10) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.


The Palm Warbler above (image 11) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.

This remarkable venue attracts winged wildlife from late Summer to late Fall, or late August to early December. This year the farmland was reported by southwest Florida wildlife observer Arthur Sissman as replete of water with the land freshly cultivated on 9 December.


The Long-billed Dowitcher above (image 12) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.


The Mottled Duck above (image 13) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.


The Green-winged Teal above (image 14) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.


The Northern Shoveler above (image 15) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.


The Blue-winged Teal above (image 16) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.

My arrival about 30 minutes before sunrise on 2 December led to an unexpected level of astonishment in the scene that was unfolding before me in twilight. Not familiar with the venue, I had established an observation point on the north side of the "pond."


The Blue-winged Teal above (image 17) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.


The Boat-tailed Grackle above (image 18) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.


The Northern Pintail above (image 19) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.


The Northern Pintail above (image 20) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.


The Northern Pintail above (image 21) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.

I learned shortly after sunrise that the property is off limits there. I made my way back to Oil Well Road for further observations which were equally enjoyable. For a slightly closer view of the action I chose to climb the perimeter berm.


The Glossy Ibis above (image 22) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.


The Eastern Phoebe above (image 23) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.


The Blue-winged Teal above (image 24) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.


The Short-billed Dowitcher above (image 25) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.


The Blue-winged Teal with Green-winged Teal above (image 26) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.

Although a sole Painted Bunting was seen with a flight directly in front of me, the numbers of birds seen overall were staggering. The venue reminded me a bit of STA5 with the wildlife at the pond contained in a much smaller space.


The Blue-winged Teal with Green-winged Teal above (image 27) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.


The Northern Shoveler above (image 28) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.


The Greater Yellowlegs above (image 29) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.


The Mottled Duck above (image 30) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.


The Blue-winged Teal with Green-winged Teal above (image 31) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.

Arthur Sissman's checklist of birds at the pond on 29 November 2014 and 9 December 2014 can be seen respectively here and here.


The Green-winged Teal above (image 32) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.


The Roseate Spoonbill above (image 33) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.


The juvenile Snowy Egret above (image 34) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.


The Lesser Yellowlegs above (image 35) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.


The scene above (image 36) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.

An effort is made here to document with imagery what can be expected to be seen at the Naples Oil Well Road Duck Pond. With the large number of pictures taken on the morning of my visit, time has allowed a beginning to this article.


The Roseate Spoonbill with prey above (image 37) was photographed at Oil Well Road in December 2014.

It's time to take a breath as I reflect on the very memorable experience.

Friday, December 12, 2014

No Thanksgiving Turkey At Harns

The Thanksgiving holiday has become a tradition of sorts to soak in the wildlife of southwest Florida.


The Sandhill Crane above (image 1) was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in November 2014.

This year was no different. A sunrise arrival was made at Harns Marsh Preserve.


The Wood Stork above (image 2) was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in November 2014.


The immature Little Blue Heron above (image 3) was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in November 2014.


The Limpkin above (image 4) was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in November 2014.


The Sandhill Crane above (image 5) was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in November 2014.


The Snail Kite above (image 6) was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in November 2014.

More waterfowl are being seen this year than last at Harns as the water level of the water reclamation area is apparently favored.


The Roseate Spoonbill above (image 7) was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in November 2014.


The American Coot above (image 8) was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in November 2014.


The Ring-necked Duck above (image 9) was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in November 2014.


The Ring-necked Duck above (image 10) was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in November 2014.


The Killdeer above (image 11) was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in November 2014.

There were no surprises with views of species that should be expected at this time of year.


The Ring-necked Duck above (image 12) was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in November 2014.


The Ring-necked Duck above (image 13) was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in November 2014.


The Sandhill Crane above (image 14) was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in November 2014.

The American Coot above (image 15) was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in November 2014.


The Ring-necked Duck above (image 16) was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in November 2014.

Northern Harrier and Snail Kite were typically distant with a Bald Eagle on the scene as well.


The Sandhill Crane above (image 17) was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in November 2014.


The Sandhill Crane above (image 18) was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in November 2014.


The Sandhill Crane above (image 19) was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in November 2014.


The Sandhill Crane above (image 20) was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in November 2014.


The Sandhill Crane above (image 21) was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in November 2014.

It was a treat to meet up with Tom Wymelenberg. Ron Bishop was also seen at Harns this day. Tom Obrock has advised that Ron may permanently be leaving the area.


The Sandhill Crane above (image 22) was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in November 2014.


The White Ibis above (image 23) was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in November 2014.


The Palm Warbler above (image 24) was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in November 2014.


The Tree Swallow above (image 25) was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in November 2014.


The Anhinga above (image 26) was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in November 2014.

There was a small chance that wild turkeys would be seen as they have been before at Harns.


The Bald Eagle above (image 27) was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in November 2014.


The Northern Harrier above (image 28) was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in November 2014.


The Black Vulture above (image 29) was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in November 2014.


The Tree Swallow above (image 30) was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in November 2014.


The Mottled Duck above (image 31) was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in November 2014.

With the absence of the turkeys from view this day, they evidently had appointments that they had to keep.


The Black Vulture above (image 32) was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in November 2014.

Meeting with bud Frank Constantin the day of this writing, he showed a stunning pic of the cranes at Harns Marsh from his trip on 11 December.