Thursday, April 19, 2012

Harns Marsh

Harns Marsh in Lehigh Acres is one of our favorite birding venues here in SW Florida - but we never know what we'll see.

This time of year, the water level is low - but we saw lots and lots of birds.

The Wood Storks spent the morning with their heads in the water looking for fish.

Wood Storks are huge birds with ugly heads and beautiful bodies.

These twins were moving from one pond to another.

We always see lots of Tricolored Herons. They are small - about the size of the Little Blue Herons, but have white on their necks and chests.

One of my favorite South Florida birds - Roseate Spoonbills.

Beautiful, beautiful birds with unusual bills.

We saw more Limpkin than we've ever seen in one place.

They were nesting.

This is an immature White Ibis. He will turn all white within the year. That's a noisy female Grackle in the background.

Snowy Egret, Great Egret and Roseate Spoonbill.

Everywhere we looked we saw lots of birds - all trying to get their share of the items on the day's menu. The dark birds are Glossy Ibis.

The Great Egret are about the same size as the Great Blue Heron.

While we were there, what must have been an Eco-Safari arrived to see the birds. They didn't stay very long - but took lots of pictures.

Great Egret

The Glossy Ibis wore colors that I've never seen before - full mating plumage.

The Cattle Egret are clowns. Notice the pink blush on his head and chest - mating colors.

This Wood Stork seems to be having an angry discussion with his friend - but he's just coming in for a landing.

A Little Blue Heron - notice the bright blue beak typical of mating season.

It was a special treat to see Black-necked Stilts.

We got to Harns Marsh shortly after sunrise and this photographer was already there. His name is Dave. Bill commented to him that we hadn't seen any Snail Kites. This is usually the place to see these rare birds. Well Dave, a regular, told us we needed to head down Sunshine, turn on 25th and look for the school. He told us to turn onto the dirt road and go back to the other side of the Marsh to see the Kites. We followed his directions and our adventure (!) will be in my next blog. Stay tuned.

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