Rosyfinch Ramblings
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January 2012
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Views From the boardwalk at Chapel Trail Nature Center
Filed under: General, Birding & Outdoors, Florida & SE US, Birding "Patches", Bald Eagle Nest
Posted by: Ken @ 12:07 pm

During the busy holiday season we made time for brief birding stops at nearby Chapel Trail Nature Preserve in Pembroke Pines, Florida.

One sunny morning just before Christmas, the Sandhill Crane greeted us in the parking lot.

Sandhill Crane 20120108

The crane permitted me to take a close-up as it preened.

Sandhill Crane preening 20111213

A Northern Mockingbird stood out against the blue sky.

Northern Mockingbird 20120108

Red-bellied Woodpeckers were courting in a Melaleuca tree.

Red-bellied Woodpeckers 20120108

The male exhibited his bright red cap.

Red-bellied Woodpecker male 20120108

The female’s cap is just as bright, but does not extend down her forehead.

Red-bellied Woodpecker female 20120108

This Tricolored Heron roosted in a very small tree next to the boardwalk.

Tricolored Heron 20120108

A Little Blue Heron perched on the rail of the canoe dock.

Little Blue Heron 3-20111230

The heron then assumed some interesting postures before flying off

Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea ) 20111230

Little Blue Heron 2-20111230

Little Blue Heron 6-20111230

This morning, on our way back home from running chores we stopped by again before checking on the Bald Eagle nest that is about a mile away. The sky was fully overcast and there was the threat of rain, so we did not walk the full length of the boardwalk. The crane was not in the parking lot this time. We worry about its welfare, as it has a habit of walking across the busy street in front of the nature center. Peering down from a small tree in the lot, a Blue Jay’s colors seemed to be more vivid in the subdued light.

Blue Jay 20120113

Just under the entrance bridge, a Green Heron stood motionless in the shallow water. It was still there when we left a half hour later.

Green Heron 2-20120113

Along the shore of the first lake, two immature Purple Swamphens foraged on dry ground.

Purple Swamphen immature 20120113

The adult Swamphen was picking through the floating vegetation.

Purple Swamphen adult 20120113

We encountered a flock of Yellow-rumped Warblers and several Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. The gnatcatchers were in perpetual motion. I took many pictures of bare branches and blurred wings.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 20120113

One gnatcatcher stood still long enough for me to capture it on a maple twig. The cypress trees in the background have turned mostly to reddish brown and should lose their needles within the next few weeks.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher on maple 2-20120113

A Soft-shelled Turtle with beautiful eyes swam by.

Soft-shelled Tuttle 20111230

At the eagle nest, we again found an adult incubating deep in the nest, barely in sight. The first egg was laid on December 11 and is expected to hatch 35 days later, on January 15th.  

A Great Egret was fishing in the canal in front of the nest.

Great Egret 20111222


Great Egret 2-20111222