Monday, March 14, 2016

Florida close-ups

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Tricolored Heron, Green Cay

To return to Florida once more, the best thing about the Green Cay wetlands park is that the birds were often right up close to the boardwalk--sometimes even on it, like this Tricolored Heron.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Tricolored Heron, Green Cay

And also the territorial Limpkin I mentioned in my first Florida post:

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Limpkin, Green Cay

Those birds had no real fear of people.

We made two trips to Green Cay. On Presidents' Day we had wanted to see the nearby Wakodahatchee park, another man-made wetlands area somewhat older than Green Cay, but it has very little parking (Probably better to try it on a non-holiday weekday). Since rain was threatening, we decided not to wait and headed back to the more capacious Green Cay.

The rains did come while we were there, sometimes quite heavily, though many of the birds weren't bothered much by it, especially the waders. You can see some rain in the Tricolored Heron photos.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Boat-Tailed Grackle, Green Cay

Smaller birds avoided the rain more, but even some of the Grackles stayed out in the open.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Boat-Tailed Grackle, Green Cay

When the rain stopped, they all came back out. Here's a tree full of Grackles in the clearing storm:

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Tree full of Grackles, Green Cay

There were some very visible large nests near the boardwalks, including this Great Blue Heron nest:

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Great Blue Heron nest, Green Cay

And a coupel of trees right next to that had several Anhinga nests.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Anhinga nest, Green Cay

There were a lot of Anhingas. I didn't see any come up on the boardwalks, but they got pretty close. I like this subadult, who looked very punk.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Anhinga, Green Cay

Their feet are pretty amazing:

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Anhinga, Green Cay

I still can't believe how close the American Bitterns got to the boardwalk.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; American Bittern, Green Cay

Aren't they supposed to be really skittish?

The Spoonbills were a bit more standoffish, but still pretty close.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Roseate Spoonbill, Green Cay

And here's one more Tricolored Heron portrait to finish off:

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Tricolored Heron, Green Cay

And that's it for Florida. I'll be back soon with Spring's early arrivals here in New York City.

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