Monday, February 29, 2016
Florida, part 2: more birds
Thanks to the wonders of technology, we got continually notified as our flight home was delayed again and again, so we were able to travel more around the Ft. Lauderdale area. We spent a little time on a narrow strip of beach near a small park (Hugh Taylor Birch State Park), where Adam had frequently gone when he lived nearby. There were Sanderlings dashing in and out of the crashing waves, and Brown Pelicans cruising stately on the high wind.
The Sanderlings were another life bird for me--like the Blue-Winged Teal, I'm sure I've seen them before, but they weren't on my list. Cute little guys.
Anyway, I also got great looks at a lot of birds I had seen before, so I'm going to share a few pictures. This Belted Kingfisher was hovering pretty high over Green Cay. I guess she was grabbing insects from the air? This is one of my better bird-in-flight photos.
Most of the familiar birds we saw were at Green Cay. This Green Heron hinted along a marsh edge only twenty feet or so from the boardwalk.
Soras are usually hard to spot (except the one who was stuck in the Loch in Central Park last Fall). This one was pretty confiding.
Snowy Egrets are usually shyer than this, too. I wonder what about Green Cay made these birds all so confiding?
My first Painted Bunting was the famous Prespect Park (Brooklyn) bird earlier in the winter. In south Florida, they're feeder birds.
There's a feeder off the path between the parking lot and the nature center, which the Buntings liked. I saw my first female painted bunting there. While not as gaudy as the males, they are quite pretty birds. I think they are the only all-green birds in the U.S.
This very friendly Boat-Tailed Grackle hung around the Greek restaurant we stopped at the first day, begging food and singing. The waiter told us the bird would steal sugar packets from the tables.
There were Boat-Tailed Grackles all over Green Cay. Here's a nice close shot of a female.
We saw various warblers, as well. Besides this Palm Warbler (one of several), Yellow-Rumped Warblers were thick in the reeds. There were a few Black-and_White Warblers as well, and along the path from the parking lot I spotted a Prairie Warbler.
And in the last minutes of our second trip to Green Cay, we spotted this Nashville Warbler near the parking lot, a local rarity that had been frequently sighted there this winter.
This Red-Shouldered Hawk was one of two hawk species we spotted in Florida (the other were a juvenile and an adult Marsh Harrier). This Red-Shouldered is quite pale, which apparently is a common color morph in south Florida.
Here's a nice close-up of a Pied-Billed Grebe to round things out. I'll have one more Florida post in a couple of days.