The morning after our short trip up to Palm County and a delightful visit and dinner with old friends and classmates from New Jersey, we headed home by way of Wakodahatchee Wetlands. The day before, we had visited Loxahatchee NWR and Green Cay. We could easily have spent an entire day at each of these three birding hotspots, but we had other commitments that left only about an hour and a half to spare.
Oddly, we had not seen a Purple Gallinule at either of the sites visited the day before, so it was first on our list of target birds. We were greeted with views of several as soon as we started out on the boardwalk.
The Purple Gallinule showed off the long toes that allow it to “walk on water,” as it steps on floating vegetation:
A Tricolored Heron and a gallinule offered contrasting shades of blue and purple:
The drab-plumaged Western subspecies of the Palm Warbler is a very common winter visitor. This one has developed a bright yellow chin patch that signifies the approach of the breeding season:
The yellow bill of the male Mottled Duck contrasts with the orange one of his mate:
A Pied-billed Grebe casts a nice reflection on a windless morning:
Nearly invisible, another of our target birds, a Sora, crept among the water plants:
The Sora paddled across an opening, providing me with the only clear view I could obtain:
In typical fashion, this Yellow-throated Warbler spent most of its time hidden, high among the palm fronds:
When it did come out into the open, the warbler appeared to be intent on displaying its yellow throat: