Friday, August 5, 2016

Early Migration At The Everglades Ag Area

A spectacular destination for the observation of migrating shorebirds is within the Everglades Agricultural Area adjacent to Belle Glade, Florida.


The Black-crowned Night-Heron above (image 1) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.

The Everglades agricultural fields encompass about 700,000 acres which are predominately planted with sugarcane. Preceding crop rotation the fields are flooded to control pests, with rice typically grown offering a conditioning of the soil as a side benefit. Sod fields are also prevalent with vegetables grown in winter months.


The Black-bellied Whistling-Duck above (image 2) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.


The Cattle Egret above (image 3) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.


The Glossy Ibis with juvenile above (image 4) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.


The Yellow-crowned Night-Heron above (image 5) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.


The Black-necked Stilt above (image 6) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.


The Black-necked Stilt above (image 7) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.


The Black-necked Stilt above (image 8) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.

A mid-summer visit to the EAA offered very distant views of a very large inaccessible flooded field at the intersection of Browns Farm Road and County Road 880 known as Six Mile Bend. Navigator Tom Obrock and I arrived here shortly after sunrise. A Red-shouldered Hawk was seen with what appeared a blackbird in its talons.


The juvenile Glossy Ibis above (image 9) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.


The Solitary Sandpiper above (image 10) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.


The Black-necked Stilt above (image 11) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.


The juvenile White Ibis above (image 12) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.


The Killdeer above (image 13) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.


The Fulvous Whistling-Duck above (image 14) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.


The Fulvous Whistling-Duck above (image 15) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.

We next traveled south on Browns Farm Road for about ten miles to a side road we had explored last year. Images #1 through #20 were captured in this area. There was a very good variety and number of birds seen here. However, there were were unfortunately no flooded fields.


The Gull-billed Tern above (image 16) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.


The Gull-billed Tern above (image 17) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.


The Black-bellied Whistling-Duck above (image 18) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.


The juvenile Glossy Ibis above (image 19) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.


The Barn Swallow above (image 20) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.


The Red-winged Blackbird above (image 21) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.


The Red-winged Blackbird above (image 22) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.

Tom and I continued back to Six Mile Bend where the flooded field observed earlier had become accessible. Images #21 through #38 represent what was seen in very small part with nearly 30 bird species tallied. Most were still too far to be photographed even marginally.


The Wood Stork above (image 23) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.


The Wilson's Phalarope above (image 24) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.


The Wilson's Phalarope above (image 25) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.


The Wilson's Phalarope above (image 26) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.


The Stilt Sandpiper above (image 27) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.


The Black-necked Stilt above (image 28) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.


The Mourning Dove above (image 29) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.

While the Stilt Sandpiper was the best species seen at the flooded field, we also had an impressive number of Wilson's Phalarope with five at relatively close range and two remaining at a great distance. With very good fortune, an Upland Sandpiper may show up in the sod fields in early autumn.


The Semipalmated Sandpiper above (image 30) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.


The Black Tern above (image 31) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.


The Roseate Spoonbill above (image 32) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.


The Wilson's Phalarope above (image 33) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.


The Stilt Sandpiper with Wilson's Phalarope above (image 34) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.


The Stilt Sandpiper with Semipalmated Sandpiper above (image 35) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.


The Stilt Sandpiper above (image 36) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.

Our next stop was Belle Glade Marina with hopes of observing a Shiny Cowbird and Orchard Oriole reported earlier. The oriole was missed while Tom got a photo of an unexpected Great White Heron. With it well after noon we opted to postpone a trip along Miami Canal Road.


The Black Tern above (image 37) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.


The Wilson's Phalarope above (image 38) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in August 2016.


The Red-shouldered Hawk above (image 39) was photographed at Belle Glade Marina in August 2016.

Please be sure to be reminded about this weekly Southwest Florida Wildlife Blog with the email gadget located at the top of the page.


The Shiny Cowbird above (image 40) was photographed at Belle Glade Marina in August 2016.


The Common Nighthawk above (image 41) was photographed at Belle Glade Marina in August 2016.

6 comments:

  1. Loved # 39 of the Red-shouldered Hawk! It's amazing to see the perfect pattern of the brown and cream colors of his underside. Great photo Bob!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Adele. If you knew the circumstances of that shot, you would get a good laugh. Of all the images presented this week, only #16 representing the fast flying Gull-billed Tern is uncropped.

      Delete
  2. Awesome pics as always.
    You've got a typo there on #5: Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, not Black-crowned.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a marvelous assortment of choice species Bob! I have only witnessed Gull-billed Tern in the Old World. The phalaropes were amazing! I would've imagined you might have encountered more nighthawks roosting at this time in the area ....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Hemant. The GBTE is quite rarely seen along the Gulf Coast while present at Siesta Key Beach in late June. Black and Common Tern have been reported at Carlos Pointe this month. There were plenty of nighthawks on the wires in the EAA. I have a tendency to avoid those shots while seeking a more "natural" view. In the case of the Barn Swallow image (#20), there was a third bird that seemed of another species. It unfortunately took flight before I could capture its spirit and thus identify it.

      Delete