Friday, August 29, 2014

Bunche Beach Rewards . . . Again: Part I

My wildlife buds Tom Obrock and Hemant Kishan have had success in finding Whimbrel in preceding weeks at Little Estero Lagoon.


The American Oystercatcher above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in August 2014.

While I thought I might travel down to that great wildlife venue for the opportunity to see Whimbrel, I was compelled to re-visit Bunche Beach Preserve which remains my favorite venue.


The American Oystercatcher above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in August 2014.


The American Oystercatcher above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in August 2014.


The American Oystercatcher above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in August 2014.

The late afternoon trip to the beach offered a change in the weather with the wind from the north. This allowed a disruption in the thunderstorms that have otherwise been observed at any time of day this past summer. Weatherspark can be a resource to see when a storm has taken place with a related drop in temperature in the Fort Myers area.


The American Oystercatcher above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in August 2014.


The American Oystercatcher above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in August 2014.


The Laughing Gull above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in August 2014.

A Lehigh Acres resident's life was ended last month with his failure to take shelter from a lightning storm at Fort Myers Beach. Tom has reminded me of these conditions and eventualities a few times in the past. Good advice is that if you can hear thunder be sure to take shelter.


The American Oystercatcher above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in August 2014.


The Royal Tern above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in August 2014.


The Royal Tern above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in August 2014.

More than five weeks had passed since my last visit to Bunche while missing the nesting activity this season at Little Estero and Tigertail Beach Lagoon, the latter two known well for such favorable conditions.


The Royal Tern above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in August 2014.


The Royal Tern above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in August 2014.


The Laughing Gull above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in August 2014.

Wilson's Plover nest at Bunche Beach, but are far and well protected from the parking areas during their nesting season. I don't think I included the image captured of Loggerhead Turtle observed on my last visit to Bunche due to its poor quality. There is too much foot traffic with a shallow shoreline at times for viable turtle nesting conditions, not to mention a low dune.


The Laughing Gull above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in August 2014.


The Sandwich Tern above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in August 2014.


The Roseate Spoonbill above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in August 2014.

After settling down I was torn between observing an American Oystercatcher that is not always observed at Bunche that went into a feeding mode after watching it for a short while, and a flock of Roseate Spoonbill that are not always so accommodating either.


The Roseate Spoonbill above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in August 2014.


The wildlife photographer above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in August 2014.


The Roseate Spoonbill above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in August 2014.

As is typical, the birds at Bunche appeared almost completely unaware of my presence and approached closely. A fellow wildlife photographer expressed the complete joy of the experience before us.


The Roseate Spoonbill above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in August 2014.


The Roseate Spoonbill above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in August 2014.


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

I ultimately chose to stay with the spoonbills as they would not require me to move from my stationary position. This flock of birds primarily consisted of immature birds which were occasionally giving me the eye with a skittish hurried nature.


The Roseate Spoonbill above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in August 2014.


The Roseate Spoonbill above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in August 2014.


The Roseate Spoonbill above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in August 2014.

The number of birds observed at the favorably low tide was impressively large with a good representation of all the birds species that should be expected. I kept a keen lookout for American Avocet which is a possibility at Bunche as well.


The Roseate Spoonbill above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in August 2014.


The Roseate Spoonbill above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in August 2014.


The Laughing Gull above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in August 2014.

The chorus of calls from the juvenile Royal Terns was almost hypnotic as I waited for additional wildlife to arrive on the scene.


The Roseate Spoonbill above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in August 2014.


The Roseate Spoonbill above was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in August 2014.

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Red-headed Woodpecker Family: Part II

Select images of aves wildlife are presented in this article concluding observations made at the stupendous property east of Harns Marsh Preserve with continued emphasis on abundant Red-headed Woodpecker.


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

Sunrise visits to Joel and the woodpecker habitat in Lehigh Acres occurred on 8 and 11 August 2014 with some additional images from the 8th included here. On both visits the birds were very active within the first few hours of arrival when things then began to settle down significantly.


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


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

This is a venue where I am not content to find a particular observation point to settle down at for an extended period. The Red-headed Woodpeckers were confirmed to be in high numbers with further study of the species while actively walking the habitat.


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.

When swallows began to make their reappearance on my second visit here, I was much more attentive to determine which species I was observing. On the first day I must admit I was unsure of the species seen. The swallows flew closer on the second visit which allowed a few diagnostic pictures of them.


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

After an identification exercise hitting the books it was a treat to conclude that I photographed a "1st sighting" for me in a Bank Swallow. This is likely the species of swallow seen on the previous visit to Joel as I recall dismissing the bird as any other species.


The Bank Swallow 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 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 Woodpeckers were again observed in all directions. While adult Red-headed Woodpeckers are similar in appearance, it was determined that several members of this group could be readily identified through distinct levels of maturity including at least one individual that may be in its second year.


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.

Birding by ear was especially rewarding here as the unmistakable call of several Tufted Titmouse that I always associate with a New England winter experienced in my youth were heard. The winter part was clearly absent with the sunrise temperate near 80 degrees Fahrenheit.


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


The Northern Cardinal 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 Rock Dove above was photographed at Joel (Lehigh Acres) in August 2014.

Late in the second day's visit a Red-headed Woodpecker was observed preening on top of a snag as a pair of Mourning Dove flew to an adjacent tree. The woodpecker was in no way tolerant of the doves near its nest hole, and immediately drove them off.


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 Mourning 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.

Also nearby was a lone Rock Dove which I found interestingly tolerated by the woodpeckers. A Northern Bobwhite needless to say was a HUGE boon for its sighting on the first visit here offering my sixth visual observation of the secretive species, while accommodating only my second set of images of the quail as of this writing.


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

Certain to be enjoyed at any time of year, a return visit to this place is assured.


The Rock Dove above was photographed at Joel (Lehigh Acres) in August 2014.

Please also see A Red-headed Woodpecker Family: Part I