Friday, August 15, 2014

A Red-Headed Woodpecker Family: Part I

A short distance east of Harns Marsh Preserve is a habitat ideal for observation of Red-headed Woodpecker and other bird species.


The Red-headed Woodpecker above was photographed at Joel (Lehigh Acres) in August 2014.

This venue was brought to my attention by local Fort Myers wildlife enthusiast, Tom Obrock. It was a treat to visit this place with the company of visiting Michigan birder, Hemant Kishan. Hemant and I arrived shortly after sunrise after realizing we were on the wrong side of the 12th Street canal.


The juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker above was photographed at Joel (Lehigh Acres) in August 2014.


The juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker above was photographed at Joel (Lehigh Acres) in August 2014.


The Red-headed Woodpecker above was photographed at Joel (Lehigh Acres) in August 2014.


The Red-headed Woodpecker above was photographed at Joel (Lehigh Acres) in August 2014.


The Red-headed Woodpecker above was photographed at Joel (Lehigh Acres) in August 2014.


The juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker above was photographed at Joel (Lehigh Acres) in August 2014.

The snags in the relatively small undeveloped area of land in the neighborhood of Joel are an ideal environment for a resplendent family of Red-headed Woodpeckers that is conservatively noted at seven individuals. My report to eBird had the number of birds reported questioned as too many.


The Red-headed Woodpecker above was photographed at Joel (Lehigh Acres) in August 2014.


The juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker above was photographed at Joel (Lehigh Acres) in August 2014.


The Red-headed Woodpecker above was photographed at Joel (Lehigh Acres) in August 2014.


The Red-headed Woodpecker above was photographed at Joel (Lehigh Acres) in August 2014.


The Red-headed Woodpecker above was photographed at Joel (Lehigh Acres) in August 2014.


The Red-headed Woodpecker above was photographed at Joel (Lehigh Acres) in August 2014.

With that noted, I will question information available at eBird. While this first article reflects a relative few images of birds observed on 8 August 2014, the followup visit on 11 August substantiated and improved on observations made.


The Red-headed Woodpecker above was photographed at Joel (Lehigh Acres) in August 2014.


The Red-headed Woodpecker above was photographed at Joel (Lehigh Acres) in August 2014.


The Red-headed Woodpecker above was photographed at Joel (Lehigh Acres) in August 2014.


The Red-headed Woodpecker above was photographed at Joel (Lehigh Acres) in August 2014.


The Red-headed Woodpecker above was photographed at Joel (Lehigh Acres) in August 2014.


The Red-headed Woodpecker above was photographed at Joel (Lehigh Acres) in August 2014.

There was mating or attempted such behavior of Red-headed Woodpeckers observed on several occasions on the 8th. A pair of Mourning Dove were "in the mood" as well. It was unexpected to observe a Northern Flicker which is one of my favorite woodland birds.


The White-winged Dove above was photographed at Joel (Lehigh Acres) in August 2014.


The Red-headed Woodpecker above was photographed at Joel (Lehigh Acres) in August 2014.


The Red-headed Woodpecker above was photographed at Joel (Lehigh Acres) in August 2014.


The Red-headed Woodpecker above was photographed at Joel (Lehigh Acres) in August 2014.


The Northern Mockingbird above was photographed at Joel (Lehigh Acres) in August 2014.


The Red-bellied Woodpecker above was photographed at Joel (Lehigh Acres) in August 2014.

This venue is a must stop in the early morning if you are in the area with much more offered in the next edition of this story.


The Northern Flicker above was photographed at Joel (Lehigh Acres) in August 2014.

Friday, August 8, 2014

A Most Memorable Birding Event

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park remains a stronghold for the southern peninsular Florida range of Mississippi Kite which was the target species of observation this week.

The Northern Cardinal above was photographed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in July 2014.

After coordinating time off from work to travel with birding bud Tom Obrock we made a 0400 departure from Fort Myers to arrive at La Chua Trail in Macanopy at 0800 on 29 July 2014. Similar to last year we had to drive through a thunderstorm remnant in the Tampa Bay area just before sunrise.


The Great Crested Flycatcher above was photographed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in July 2014.


The Great Blue Heron above was photographed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in July 2014.


The Red-winged Blackbird above was photographed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in July 2014.


The Red-winged Blackbird above was photographed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in July 2014.


The Red-winged Blackbird above was photographed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in July 2014.


The dragonfly above was photographed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in July 2014.


The Black-bellied Whistling-Duck above was photographed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in July 2014.

Wildlife in the parking area of the La Chua Trail was not abundant visually or audibly with the sun still low on the horizon. Tom and I made our way onto the trail where I was compelled to get to the sink sooner than him.


The Cattle Egret above was photographed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in July 2014.


The American Lotus Flower above was photographed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in July 2014.


The American Lotus Flower above was photographed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in July 2014.


The Black-bellied Whistling-Duck above was photographed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in July 2014.


The Anhinga above was photographed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in July 2014.


The Anhinga above was photographed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in July 2014.


The Green Heron above was photographed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in July 2014.

The extreme height of the water level observed at Alachua Sink had me concerned that the wet season water may not be draining into the Floridan Aquifer as it should. If there is a problem in this regard, a lake may be the result that could last for decades.


The Green Heron above was photographed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in July 2014.


The Red-winged Blackbird above was photographed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in July 2014.


The Red-winged Blackbird above was photographed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in July 2014.


The juvenile Common Gallinule above was photographed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in July 2014.


The Green Heron above was photographed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in July 2014.


The butterfly above was photographed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in July 2014.


The Pied-billed Grebe above was photographed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in July 2014.

Although it was relatively cool to start the day, the humidity level was particularly brutal on this visit. On the way back after passing within mere feet of an alligator that I had not seen until stopping briefly to look behind me I had to stop to rest.


The juvenile Common Gallinule above was photographed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in July 2014.


The juvenile Common Gallinule above was photographed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in July 2014.


The Mississippi Kite above was photographed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in July 2014.


The Mississippi Kite above was photographed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in July 2014.


The Red-shouldered Hawk above was photographed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in July 2014.


The Mississippi Kite above was photographed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in July 2014.


The Mississippi Kite above was photographed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in July 2014.

Tom and I made our way to the live oak tree adjacent to the Alachua Sink and waited for the Mississippi Kite. With good fortune a pair of the birds arrived at 1038 making a flyby from the northeast to the south.


The Mississippi Kite above was photographed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in July 2014.


The Mississippi Kite above was photographed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in July 2014.


The Red-tailed Hawk above was photographed at Powerline Road in July 2014.


The Red-tailed Hawk above was photographed at Powerline Road in July 2014.

There was a particular aerobatic maneuver on the part of one of the Mississippi Kites where the bird flew to the ground directly in front of us and then towards us that will have me always remember this trip that later included a stop at Powerline Road.


The Swallow-tailed Kite above was photographed at Powerline Road in July 2014.