Monday, December 7, 2009

Harns Marsh with the Caloosa Bird Club

Today, bright and early, Bill and I joined the Caloosa Bird Club at Harns Marsh for one of their regular Monday field trips. I was disorganized - didn't have the right map, forgot my birder hat and didn't have time to make lunch. We were already late, which is unusual for me and unheard of for Bill. We still got there in time to head out on foot around the various lakes.

We've seen several Wood Storks around Fort Myers and now that we've had so much rain, maybe they will stay through the mating season. They need lots of fresh fish to raise a family.

The birds must have known that lots of old people were coming today as the buzzards were out in force. I love to watch them glide on the thermals high in the sky. There are two kinds of Vultures - the more common Turkey Vulture with the red head and the Black Vulture. The black and silver under the wings indicates this is a Turkey Vulture. Black Vultures have pale white at their wing tips.

This was a pleasant surprise - Sandhill Cranes! We saw maybe five in a small group up ahead, just off the trail. I wish my sister had been with us as one of her goals this trip is to see a Sandhill Crane. Another goal is to see the Burrowing Owls in Cape Coral - and I think we can make sure both of those goals are met before she heads back to her beach house in North Carolina for Christmas.

One lonely Roseate Spoonbill! We could see the bright pink across the lake and high in a tree - even without binoculars.

Mottled Ducks are found only in Florida and along the Gulf Coast - in either fresh or salt water marshes. We have a couple of regulars that visit the lake behind our condo.

We saw several Limpkins and heard the "kareeow, kareeow" screams of even more. This one was high in a pine tree.

We saw every variety of heron, ibis and egret. This is a Great Egret.

There were lots and lots of black and white Coots swimming on the ponds.

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