Friday, July 18, 2014

Summer Wind At Bunche Beach Preserve

Reports have been trickling in that migratory bird species are returning to the southwest Florida area.


The Bald Eagle above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in July 2014.

A Black-bellied Plover in breeding or at least alternate plumage was hoped to be seen this week, but I had no such luck in observing the species at all during a sunrise visit to Bunche Beach Preserve on 14 July 2014.


The Great Blue Heron above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in July 2014.


The Western Sandpiper above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in July 2014.


The Great Blue Heron above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in July 2014.


The Short-billed Dowitcher above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in July 2014.

It was coincidentally fourteen weeks since my last visit to this venue. A lack of opportunities to visit Bunche at other times had ideal winds from the east or west often coinciding with the tide and sun offering great photography conditions.


The Least Sandpiper above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in July 2014.


The Willet above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in July 2014.


The Willet above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in July 2014.


The Least Tern above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in July 2014.

This visit to unquestionably one of the best wildlife habitats in Florida occurred on a day when I had to work so the visit was comparatively brief lasting less than a couple of hours.


The Wilson's Plover above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in July 2014.


The Fiddler Crab above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in July 2014.


The Fiddler Crab above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in July 2014.


The immature Little Blue Heron above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in July 2014.

There was barely a whisper of a breeze on the unplanned day of my visit though I enjoyed the time immensely as always. In very low light, a Roseate Spoonbill made a pass ahead of the Bald Eagle seen.


The immature Little Blue Heron above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in July 2014.


The immature Little Blue Heron above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in July 2014.


The immature Little Blue Heron above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in July 2014.


The immature Little Blue Heron above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in July 2014.

Initially, a small flock of what I believe to have been Mottled Duck which are becoming more frequently seen here made a flight path across San Carlos Bay toward Bowditch Point.


The immature Little Blue Heron above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in July 2014.


The immature Little Blue Heron with adult above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in July 2014.


The immature Little Blue Heron with adult above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in July 2014.


The immature Little Blue Heron above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in July 2014.

The interaction between an immature Little Blue Heron and an apparent intolerant adult occurred ideally directly in front of me. The adult heron did not appear until the juvenile had successfully captured prey.


The immature Little Blue Heron above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in July 2014.


The immature Little Blue Heron above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in July 2014.


The immature Little Blue Heron above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in July 2014.


The Western Sandpiper above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in July 2014.

It was on this visit to Bunche Beach that I had a revelation. Frank Constantin had questioned me the size difference of two shorebirds that we were observing last year. Although I told him that both birds were Willets, I believe the explanation is that some were eastern and others western though I didn't pay close enough attention to them on this most recent trip to the beach.


The Marbled Godwit above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in July 2014.


The Boat-tailed Grackle above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in July 2014.

The highlight of the visit was seeing Wes Dirks who was making his routine observations walking the miles long length of the beach.


The Willet above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in July 2014.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Miami And Florida Keys June Wildlife Tour: Part V

The trek home to conclude an annual wildlife tour including the Florida Keys with Tom Obrock was leisurely through Miami-Dade County on 11 June 2014.


The Barn Owl above was photographed near Lucky Hammock in June 2014.

My first sighting of Shiny Cowbird was made at Key West Country Club to end the day the night before while I almost neglected to include its image in the blog.


The Shiny Cowbird above was photographed at Vaca Key in June 2014.


The Swan Goose above was photographed at Baptist Hospital of Miami in June 2014.


The Mitred Parakeet above was photographed at Baptist Hospital of Miami in June 2014.

My first sighting of a Barn Owl which was roadkill (ironically for the bird near Lucky Hammock) will unfortunately be thought of on every future trip to this beautiful place. With good fortune I'll have another Barn Owl observation.


The Mitred Parakeet above was photographed at Baptist Hospital of Miami in June 2014.


The European Starling above was photographed at Baptist Hospital of Miami in June 2014.


The Chimney Swift above was photographed at Baptist Hospital of Miami in June 2014.

In my haste to get a gander of White-tailed Kite near the entrance to Everglades National Park we drove to this area first on the final day of the trip. Tom advised visiting here later in the morning when the thermals would offer a possibility of seeing the species in flight.


The Fish Crow above was photographed at Baptist Hospital of Miami in June 2014.


The House Sparrow above was photographed at Baptist Hospital of Miami in June 2014.


The House Sparrow above was photographed at Baptist Hospital of Miami in June 2014.

Since I had only observed White-tailed Kite once before, it would not have been a problem for me to wait as long as necessary, within reason, for another view of them. As the rainy season has become just that, we continued to Baptist Hospital of Miami with the clock ticking.


The Mitred Parakeet above was photographed at Baptist Hospital of Miami in June 2014.


The Mitred Parakeet above was photographed at Baptist Hospital of Miami in June 2014.


The Fish Crow above was photographed at Baptist Hospital of Miami in June 2014.

Upon arrival to the hospital where wildlife is abundant, a large flock of Mitred Parakeet worked the grounds. It was a treat for me to see Chimney Swift which I have not had enough chances to document. I spent the greatest time here watching them.


The House Sparrow above was photographed at Baptist Hospital of Miami in June 2014.


The Red-masked Parakeet above was photographed at the University of Miami in June 2014.


The Red-masked Parakeet above was photographed at the University of Miami in June 2014.

Tom and I then chose to look for the Red-whiskered Bulbul which remains a nemesis bird for me even after this trip. Though I prefer to photograph birds in flight or at rest in a natural setting, I would have been excited to see the species on a wire.


The Red-masked Parakeet above was photographed at the University of Miami in June 2014.


The Red-masked Parakeet above was photographed at the University of Miami in June 2014.


The Red-masked Parakeet above was photographed at the University of Miami in June 2014.

We continued on to the University of Miami for other exotics. It was a treat to have my first sighting of Red-masked Parakeet. It was interesting to see how they were so camouflaged in the trees. If the birds did not take flight, I would have never noticed them.


The Red-masked Parakeet above was photographed at the University of Miami in June 2014.


The Cave Swallow above was photographed at the Snapper Canal in June 2014.


The Cave Swallow above was photographed at the Snapper Canal in June 2014.

Our last stop before the deluge was at the Snapper Canal where Cave Swallows have been reported. One in a hurry would have missed the species as they were not immediately present.


The Cave Swallow above was photographed at the Snapper Canal in June 2014.


The Cave Swallow above was photographed at the Snapper Canal in June 2014.

You may see Tom's account of this trip here.


The Cave Swallow above was photographed at the Snapper Canal in June 2014.

Please also see: Miami And Florida Keys June Wildlife Tour Part I
Please also see: Miami And Florida Keys June Wildlife Tour Part II
Please also see: Miami And Florida Keys June Wildlife Tour Part III
Please also see: Miami And Florida Keys June Wildlife Tour Part IV