Monday, December 21, 2009

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary - Day of the Hawks

Last Wednesday (yes, I'm behind in my blogs) Beth, Warren, Bill and I headed out early to Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, managed by the National Audubon Society. Bill and I are members - so it is a "must" visit for all of our visitors, friends and family. It was not difficult to talk them into going - it was Beth and Warren who first introduced us to Corkscrew this time last year.

Early on our walk on the boardwalk, we encountered this Red-shouldered Hawk sitting on the railing just ahead of us.

We saw several more along the way...

Just look at those markings! Isn't he beautiful!

Bill took this picture of a Yellow-crowned Night Heron while I scurried back to the information center to use the restroom. During the breeding season, the top of his head will be yellow instead of white.

One of the things I really like about Corkscrew are the naturalists who walk the boardwalk and point out things of interest and help with identification. It was one of these volunteers who identified this as a Great Crested Flycatcher.

Another shot of the Flycatcher.

The swamp is a peaceful place to walk - so beautiful and full of life. There is no such thing as a dead tree stump because other life forms quickly take it over. These are Resurrection Ferns.

A Great (white) Egret hunting in the Alligator Flags.

Usually the moths and butterflies do not stay still long enough for me to take their picture - but this one cooperated.

There were lots of little birds flitting around. It was just pure luck that I actually got a picture of this Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. The naturalists named several other birds in the area - including some Warblers, but I did not get pictures and I would not recognize them again. I need them to sit for awhile so I can study their markings - but that doesn't happen.

Like my previous visits to Corkscrew, I am captivated by the air-plants. They attached to the trees - but do not hurt the trees. They get all of their nourishment from the air and rain and just use the tree as an anchor.

We see lots and lots of brown anoles - but Warren spotted this bright green anole by the side of the boardwalk.

Bill took this picture of a stink bug. Yuck!

After visiting Corkscrew, we took Beth and Warren to the Naples Pier to see the boats.

One of the many resident Brown Pelicans.

I'm hurrying to finish this entry as Beth and I are taking one last trip before they leave tomorrow. We are going shelling at Lover's Key. We've been to Harns Marsh, Sanibel, Ding Darling and Fort Myers Beach and I have more pictures to share. Maybe later - but now I gotta go!

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