Friday, June 19, 2015

Birds, Bees, And Rabbits At Little Estero Lagoon: Pt. I

A visit to Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Area at Fort Myers Beach six days before summer allowed what may have been seen in previous weeks and what can be seen in the weeks ahead.


The Marsh Rabbit above (image 1) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.

With full disclosure I didn't see any bees on my trek south from the Wyndham Hotel (formerly a Holiday Inn) and back while attempting to primarily observe shore and wading birds that make southwest Florida home this time of year.


The Wilson's Plover above (image 2) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.


The Wilson's Plover with chicks above (image 3) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.


The Wilson's Plover chick above (image 4) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.


The Wilson's Plover chick above (image 5) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.


The Wilson's Plover with chicks above (image 6) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.

This stretch of beach south of Fort Myers Beach known as Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Area is given protected status for the nesting activity and rest of migrating birds that occurs there.


The Ruddy Turnstone above (image 7) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.


The Wilson's Plover with chick above (image 8) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.


The Wilson's Plover with chicks above (image 9) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.


The Wilson's Plover with chick above (image 10) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.


The Wilson's Plover with chicks above (image 11) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.

The sky was clear with a comfortable breeze on the morning of my visit to the lagoon. The Marsh Rabbit was the first creature encountered while, in fact, there were two of them. So one might expect more in the future.


The Wilson's Plover with chicks above (image 12) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.


The Wilson's Plover with chicks above (image 13) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.


The Great Egret above (image 14) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.


The Mourning Dove above (image 15) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.


The Black Skimmer above (image 16) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.

The birds became very active in flight within fifteen minutes of sunrise at the lagoon nearest the Wyndham Garden Hotel (formerly a Holiday Inn). The Least Terns further south were a target species as this would be the first time I would be observing them extensively this year.


The Brown Pelican above (image 17) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.


The Brown Pelican above (image 18) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.


The American Oystercatcher above (image 19) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.


The American Oystercatcher above (image 20) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.


The American Oystercatcher above (image 21) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.

My first shorebird encounter was with Wilson's Plover successfully raising young. Before I could focus my attention on the ridiculously challenging to photograph Least Terns, I was captivated by the flyby of an American Oystercatcher that buzzed me at very close range as it flew south.


The American Oystercatcher above (image 22) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.


The American Oystercatcher above (image 23) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.


The American Oystercatcher above (image 24) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.


The American Oystercatcher above (image 25) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.


The American Oystercatcher above (image 26) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.

The oystercatcher easily distinguishes itself in appearance from Black Skimmer with the latter ultimately seen as the most prevalent species of the day.


The American Oystercatcher above (image 27) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.


The American Oystercatcher above (image 28) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.


The American Oystercatcher above (image 29) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.


The American Oystercatcher above (image 30) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.


The Mourning Dove above (image 31) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.

The American Oystercatcher is seen in much lower numbers than skimmers in my observations of them along the Gulf Coast. It is hoped that the oystercatchers seen at Little Estero Lagoon CWA are successful in their nesting attempt this season.


The Least Tern above (image 32) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.

There was as expected no shortage of wildlife action all around me for hours.


The Least Tern above (image 33) was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon Critical Wildlife Wildlife Area in June 2015.

Please also see Birds, Bees, And Rabbits At Little Estero Lagoon: Pt. II
Please also see Birds, Bees, And Rabbits At Little Estero Lagoon: Pt. III

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