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01/06/09
Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
Filed under: General, Birding & Outdoors, Florida & SE US
Posted by: Ken @ 3:53 pm

Last evening, a Green Heron was sitting atop the cocoplum hedge off our back patio, hunting anoles. It probably was the same one who got all “huffy puffy” when I disturbed it on the patio two days before:

Green Heron In Cocoplum Cropped

I had taken the colors of the cocoplum’s new red shoots quite for granted, until I viewed my photos. The afternoon sun gave them and the bird a luminescent quality.

Alarmed, the Green Heron suddenly extended its snakelike neck, but held its place and resumed its hunt after I walked back into the house:

Green Heron In Cocoplum 20090105

Yesterday morning, I saw a Bobcat again, at nearly the same spot as the smaller one that I photographed the day before yesterday. I had been on a side trail, photographing gnatcatchers and walked back to the main trail. There, only about 50 feet away, the cat was staring at me intently. When I reached for my camera it was gone in an instant. Its bulk was about twice that of a tomcat, with longer legs. I believe it had been stalking a Common Ground-Dove, which was frozen in one spot for several seconds, only about 10 feet from where the Bobcat stood .

Instead of another Bobcat photo, I got this one of the dove:

Common Ground-Dove 20090105

I wasted many megapixels, trying to catch one of several gnatcatchers in flight. A small flock was actively feeding, dashing here and there, and hover-gleaning insects and spiders in a clump of shrubby trees

Of about 20 photos (mostly of leaves and branches with an occasional gray blur), this is the only one that showed a recognizable Blue-gray Gnatcatcher:

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Hovering 20090105

On Sunday morning, we briefly visited Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, next to the beach in Fort Lauderdale. Despite its urban location, it is a remarkably quiet oasis of dry hammocks, mangrove thickets and lagoons. We saw several Red-shouldered Hawks, striking their usual graceful pose, looking almost shy as they seemingly averted their gaze.

This Red-shouldered Hawk gave us wonderful views:

Red-shouldered Hawk 20090103

I’m still trying for a drop-dead picture of a Red-bellied Woodpecker.

This one kept far away, so its image is heavily cropped:

Red-bellied Woodpecker 20090103

A Tricolored Heron struck a stately pose in a lagoon:

Tricolored Heron 20090103

This huge Golden Silk Orb Weaver had spun its web next to the trail:

Nephila clavipes - Golden Silk Orb Weaver

The Spiny-backed Orb Weaver is very unusual, at least to any new Floridian:

Gasteracantha cancriformis - Spinybacked Orbweaver

One Response to “Hugh Taylor Birch State Park”

  1. Andy Wraithmell Says:
    I love the green heron pics Ken cheers Andy

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