Friday, September 12, 2014

A Noisy Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve

Birding reports this week from the Tampa Bay area not too far to the north have been offering exciting finds of migrating birds including a Red-necked Phalarope at Siesta Key.


The Red-shouldered Hawk above was photographed at Six Mile Cypress Preserve in September 2014.

It would be especially exciting to find that species closer to home here in the Fort Myers area. If the bird lingers, I will certainly make the drive to attempt to see it as it would be a lifer. The phalarope's previously reported sighting in Florida was in the panhandle last year as I recall.


The Blue Jay above was photographed at Six Mile Cypress Preserve in September 2014.


The Red-shouldered Hawk above was photographed at Six Mile Cypress Preserve in September 2014.

With a desire to not travel extensively and make observations in the shade, I made a trip to Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve on 10 September. This is a wonderful place to observe wildlife along an extensive boardwalk although the drone of vehicular traffic can readily be heard.


The Red-shouldered Hawk above was photographed at Six Mile Cypress Preserve in September 2014.


The Red-shouldered Hawk above was photographed at Six Mile Cypress Preserve in September 2014.

On this visit to the boardwalk it was hoped to encounter some warbler activity. Absent an abundance of warblers, I chased a Red-shouldered Hawk that was harassed by a small flock of Blue Jays and Tufted Titmouse. With the hawk chased by them, it was interesting to later observe a RSHA chase a Black Vulture from its perch.


The scene above was photographed at Six Mile Cypress Preserve in September 2014.


The scene above was photographed at Six Mile Cypress Preserve in September 2014.

There were only three species of bird seen at eye level or below this day. Carolina Wren, Northern Cardinal, and a Louisiana Waterthrush. I didn't actually see the latter, but saw Tom Obrock and Ed Combs point at the bird as it flew from east to west near Pop Ash Pond.


The Viceroy butterfly above was photographed at Six Mile Cypress Preserve in September 2014.


The Eastern Pondhawk dragonfly above was photographed at Six Mile Cypress Preserve in September 2014.

Tom had immediately identified the unseen bird by ear as Louisiana Waterthrush. So that was the best bird of the day, and I missed it visually by attempting to get a better angle on the bird as it approached closer to us.


The Eastern Pondhawk dragonfly above was photographed at Six Mile Cypress Preserve in September 2014.


The scene above was photographed at Six Mile Cypress Preserve in September 2014.

I nonetheless enjoyed its melodious call. It reminds me that there were calls from wildlife which were heard frequently. Most of the birds that could be found were very high in the canopy of the trees. The drumming of a Pileated Woodpecker could be heard at a great distance.


The Gulf Fritillary butterfly above was photographed at Six Mile Cypress Preserve in September 2014.


The alligator above was photographed at Six Mile Cypress Preserve in September 2014.

The water level at the slough appeared to be dropping as indicated by the "stains" on the tree trunks. The water was also noted to be moving rapidly to the south where it will ultimately find its way into the Estero Bay Estuary.


The alligator above was photographed at Six Mile Cypress Preserve in September 2014.


The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail above was photographed at Six Mile Cypress Preserve in September 2014.

Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve is a spectacular venue which Tom had noted he was visiting for the fourth day in a row in search of migrants. He informed me that the action along the boardwalk was from his perspective slim this week.


The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly above was photographed at Six Mile Cypress Preserve in September 2014.

The wildlife at Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve was more readily heard than seen with three trips made along the boardwalk on a very enjoyable morning nonetheless.

2 comments:

  1. Hello Bob,
    Love the red-shouldered hawk photographs ! And amazing colored butterflies!
    Have a nice sunday !
    Maria

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  2. Thank you, Maria. I would like to note that I observed a butterfly land on the flower in the sixth image above. I would devote another half hour of observation to find the two subjects not meet again. The Zebra Longwing was present though favored a bush that required another perspective from the camera for its documentation.

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