Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday ~ Feeding in the yard

Eastern Towhee ~ #90 yard bird

Northern Cardinal (female)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wordless Wednesday ~ At the Feeders

Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch 
Blue Jay

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

My yard ~ Butterflies and caterpillars

Eastern Black Swallowtail Cats
Great to arrive home from FL and find that we still have Eastern Black swallowtail cats feeding on the Curly Parsley.  I also have 3 Monarch chrysalis, 2 of which look ready to enclose so perhaps later today will be the time.  I worry that these butterflies will not make it down to Mexico but you can't hurry nature.

When I went out this afternoon 2 of 3 Monarch had enclosed.  I also caught a Black Swallowtail cat walking across the sidewalk to the garden.

Making an escape- Eastern Black Swallowtail cat

Enclosed Monarch butterfly

Monarch wings drying

Wings still drying on both butterflies 

Will this Monarch chrysalis make it until spring?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Felda, FL ~ Okaloacochee Slough State Forest

Common Moorhen
In spite of seeing some great birds along 2 of the trails yesterday at Okaloacochee Slough State Forest we never did get to see any Limpkins.  Today rain was predicted but we decided to drive back to the forest to drive some of the other trails in hopes of seeing a Limpkin.  Unfortunately, luck was not with us so no Limpkins this trip.  We did get good looks at some other birds including an unexpected Common Moorhen.

Black crowned Night Heron
Belted Kingfisher

Red shouldered Hawk

Crested Caracara

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Felda, FL ~ Okaloacochee Slough State Forest

Barred Yellow
Loggerhead Shrike
I was still looking for Limpkins today to round out my week especially as we are not going to visit Marco Island to find the Burrowing Owls this trip. So after reading about the Okaloacochee Slough State Forest, it's 40 miles of driving trails and the fact Limpkins are common here this was where I wanted to visit.  Plus we'd get to drive along Rt 846 where we'd found some great birds a few days ago.  Lots of Loggerhead Shrikes, hawks, Wood Storks, Egrets, Herons were seen.  We stopped along the road at a cattle farm where the Cattle Egrets were present.  The watering hole at the ranch had Yellow Legs, Long-billed Dowitchers, ducks and peeps.  Along the banks of the ditch was a Least Sandpiper foraging.
Least Sandpiper

Eastern Meadowlark

White Ibis take over the pine tree.

Close up tree with Whit Ibis

Friday, November 7, 2014

Bonita Springs, FL ~ Lover's Key State Park ~ More Shorebirds

Royal Tern feeding chick 

Sandwich Terns & Black Skimmers resting on beach
Jenny collects shells while Bernie photograph the birds

Bonita Springs, FL ~ Lover's Key State Park Oceanside

Laughing Gull with lunch

Diving Brown Pelican

Diving Brown Pelican

Brown Pelican diving

Touchdown Brown Pelican

Bonita Springs, FL ~ Lover's Key State Park

After we arrived on Monday we came over to Lover's Key because it is nearby and the day was getting short.  Turned out we only had about 15 minutes until the park closed so we decided a return trip was in order.  So this morning over we came to the park.  We stopped first at the bay side of the park.  Here we saw Palm Warblers feeding, Blue Jays and Mourning Doves.  Down on the beach feeding on the flats were Snowy Egrets, Yellow-crowned Night Herons, American Oystercatcher, Dowitchers and peeps.  For butterflies I saw a Mangrove Skipper which was a life butterfly for me.

Mangrove Skipper

Mangrove Skipper

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Naples, FL ~ Fakahatchee Strand Preserve ~ Janes Scenic Drive

Queen Butterfly
This morning one of the other hikers in Corkscrew Swamp told us about how wonderful Janes Scenic Drive was and so our decision was made to make this our afternoon outing.  It's an 11 mile drive through linear swamp forest.  It is supposed to have great photographic spots/subjects with flowers, butterflies, birds and other wildlife.  We hadn't read about the strand prior to our arrival so had no idea that the roads through the strand is poorly maintained after about the first mile.  The first part is fields and some trees where we saw some butterflies.  Then we went into the other area where the tress are closing in on the road and it becomes more deeply rutted.  We got about 6 miles into the road before coming across another car traveling in the opposite direction.  Upon talking with them we decided to turn back as the hour was getting late and sunset would be arriving within the hour.  We did get to see some birds but none we hadn't already seen.  Again, I was hoping to see Limpkin but none were found.  Someday perhaps we'll be back earlier in the day to see the great sights we had been told were there.

Little Blue Heron

Naples, FL ~ Wildlife along Rt 846

White Peacock Butterfly
After spending about 4 hrs at Corkscrew Swamp we decided to drive down to Janes Scenic Drive - Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve, FL. Our drive took us along Rt 846 and Rt 29.  We were excited to see more butterflies and birds along the way.  bernie spotted the Wood Storks coming in for a landing in the Pine Trees.  I spotted the Tricolored Heron and group of Sandhill Cranes.  We also saw good numbers of Anhinga and Red-tailed Hawks.

Wood Stork
Sandhill Cranes

Tricolored Heron

Naples, Fl ~ Corkscrew Swamp ~ Other animals

American Alligator


Naples, FL ~ Corkscrew Swamp

Ruddy Daggerwing Butterfly
Another high on our list of places to visit was the Corkscrew Swamp.  I have read or heard about it numerous times from my birding friends.  Also one of my target birds for this trip is a Limpkin and they are seen here fairly often.  Easy to find and the roads to it are well marked.  Here we saw a good number of birds, lifer Ruddy Daggerwing Butterfly, turtles, raccoon plus another alligator and snake.

Green Heron
Black & White Warbler

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher