Saturday, September 26, 2009

Random Thoughts II

This past week was one where I disappointingly failed to make a trip to see some wildlife action on the Great Florida Birding Trail. I didn't even make a short trip to any of the dozen venues virtually only a stone's throw from me where there was more than one opportunity to do so.

The juvenile Great Egret above was photographed at San Carlos Bay: Bunche Beach Preserve in April 2009.

I spent a lot of time cleaning things up at this blog site which I've been meaning to do for a while. What I did was hopefully create an improved visual appeal for you by having all "labels" noted in lower case.

I also added color to the description below the images to distinguish them from the body of the posts. In addition, I have added more links and now have all the images uniformly placed within the posts.

The Black Skimmer above was photographed at Tigertail Beach in May 2009.

While this blog entry is uploaded without images within it, many hours in the days ahead will be devoted to adding photography which I hope you find enjoyable. I also added the option for you to listen to some of my favorite music this past week. I hope you find the gadget interesting and consider using the Playlist player yourself.

Tide tables indicate that low tide will be extremely favorable for bird action at Bunche Beach Preserve in the early daylight hours in the first week of October. Take advantage of this if you can.

The Snowy Egret above was photographed at San Carlos Bay: Bunche Beach Preserve in June 2009.

Low tide is the best time to visit Bunche Beach Preserve as the shore and wading birds congregate in great numbers on the flats. It has been a long time now since I've walked east from the parking area as my experience has proven that birds will be much more prolific before the west channel and beyond, although a trip to the east channel should not be overlooked.

It was actually "within" the east channel where I consider some of my better photographs to have been taken at this venue. Based on my experience, wading birds flying from within the mangroves of the preserve into San Carlos Bay from either channel can be expected with equal frequency.

The Reddish Egret above was photographed at San Carlos Bay: Bunche Beach Preserve in June 2009.

Bunche Beach Preserve is currently undergoing major Lee County Land Conservation 20/20 improvements which include facilities and the ability to launch a canoe from within the preserve along waterways that should prove extremely rewarding for wildlife observation.

It will be exciting to see similar improvements at Harns Marsh Preserve in the not too distant future, another must see venue in this corner of the state of Florida. If you visit here prior to the construction of facilities, be forewarned that you are advised to drink a lot of water if you traverse the 578 acre boundary of the preserve which may require a rushed exit after an unexpectedly long visit. Only foot traffic is permitted here although you will likely be passed by construction vehicles.

The Roseate Spoonbill above was photographed at San Carlos Bay: Bunche Beach Preserve in June 2009.

There has been a lot of construction at Lakes Park in Fort Myers, which I don't believe to be disruptive to the birds frequenting the venue. This is a place that you will ideally see waders up close with your canoe or kayak (ideally in the summer when the birds are nesting), or with one of the watercraft available for rent.

Lakes Park should prove ideal for observation of migratory species potentially seen along the park's trails. Significant presence of the park has been made with construction of an entrance to it along Summerlin Road opposite Lakewood Boulevard. It's extremely unfortunate that there appears to be no parking accommodations for this entrance which makes the "highlands" of the park immediately accessible, but is otherwise an ideal entry point for pedestrian traffic (from where, I'm not sure).

The juvenile Osprey above was photographed at Tigertail Beach in June 2009.

Another similar venue to Lakes Park is Eagle Lakes Community Park in Naples which I strongly encourage you to visit if you are perhaps already visiting the much more renowned Tigertail Beach on Marco Island. Upon my relatively few visits to ELCP, the water levels were low due to unseasonably low rainfall, although I was never disappointed with a visit there.

There are numerous wildlife venues within this haven that is southwest Florida. Within it is Tigertail Beach which is also a must see venue in the area. This birding hotspot is interestingly not considered worth visiting during the Least and Black Tern breeding season (May-Aug) while a long walk north along the beach is required to see their breeding grounds. The juveniles will be most prolific in July. Low tide is again the best time to visit as the waders and shorebirds in the lagoon will be abundant. If you're lucky, you will see dozens of Roseate Spoonbill, while their plumage is most striking in the winter months.

The juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk above was photographed at Harns Marsh Preserve in September 2009.

I have not been able to corroborate word I've gotten that there is an early draw down of the waters of Ding Darling NWR. The purpose of which would be to attract more wildlife in the upcoming migration season. This is good news to me and should please wildlife photographer, Artie Morris, who has announced that he will not be visiting the venue in the 2010 season for the first time in nearly a decade. Certainly news too late for him to change his itinerary.

My few visits to DDNWR have never been a disappointment. While five mile Wildlife Drive is very convenient, wherein you may never choose to get out of your car, you may also walk extensively here along the drive or choose to walk or bike Wildlife Trail. You may even launch a canoe into the northeastern portion of the refuge's estuary which is bordered by Pine Island Sound and San Carlos Bay. Don't hurry your travels here. In fact, I recommend you make a second or third drive through the refuge within a day's visit as you will likely have a completely different experience each time. This is another place to attempt to time your visit to low tide.

The Roseate Spoonbill above was photographed at San Carlos Bay: Bunche Beach Preserve in July 2009.

I regret not getting this blog entry posted yesterday as promised. I fell asleep prior to completing the entry due to fatigue from my recent shifts at work. I'm actually amazed that I was able to rest through what was the most impressive electrical storm of this past summer. My ears are still ringing from the thunder.

While I suspect it would be most advisable to write these posts on Blogspot itself (which I currently don't do), where there would be apparent automatic saves of the draft, I was able to save my effort within seconds of a power failure. This was made possible through the experience of losing text numerous times in the past.

The Snowy Egret above was photographed at Little Estero Island Critical Wildlife Area in October 2009.

I also, this past week, spent a lot of time uploading wildlife images to my primary photography site at pbase's data center in North Carolina which coincidentally had a power failure itself. As of this writing, links to pbase you may attempt to utilize in my previous blog entries will fail to function properly as pbase is still trying to get its main data server back online.

I'm optimistic that the fall 2009 bird migration season will be fortuitous in observing many bird species that are rarely or otherwise never seen during the summer months.

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