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09/22/12
Return to rainy Florida
Filed under: General, Birding & Outdoors, Florida & SE US, Birding "Patches", Bald Eagle Nest, Wild Bird Wednesday, Bird D'pot
Posted by: Ken @ 8:33 am

We returned to our south Florida home one week ago, and it has rained every day. The weather allowed us only two short forays into the wetlands adjacent to our home.

This morning’s sunrise was typical. Light rain was dappling the surface of our lake and a thunderstorm was moving in from the southeast (right) as I took this photo from our patio.

Sunrise HDR 20120922

Local birders have been reporting decent numbers of warblers migrating through our area, so they were my main objective on our first morning out. Along the unpaved road that leads into the wetlands, I got a quick shot of a Great Egret.

Great Egret 20120919

An adult Bald Eagle flew over towards our subdivision from the direction of its nesting area about a mile away in Pembroke Pines.

Bald Eagle HDR 20120919

After Mary Lou and I finished the “aerobic” portion of our walk along the gravel road, I stayed behind at the place that I formerly called the “Fake Hammock.” It is now only the ghost of its former glory days, as all the large trees were cut down by recreational RV users who built a fire pit in the center of the small clump of trees and shrubs.

After an absence of over six weeks, I was disappointed to find that the clear shady area under the canopy where I used to sit and wait for the birds is now in full sunlight with grasses and vines up above my chest. Since I did not have my snake boots I did not venture inside the “hammock.” Instead I birded its margins. The morning light was nearly perfect.

The first warbler to appear was an American Redstart.

American Redstart 2-20120919

American Redstart 20120919

American Redstart 3-20120919

An inquisitive Blue-gray Gnatcatcher approached quite closely.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 2-20120919

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 20120919

Four Brown Thrashers had gathered to feast on the berries of a Trema tree nearby.

Brown Thrasher 20120919

I had trouble identifying this flycatcher as it seemed rather small, suggesting it was an Alder Flycatcher rather than an Eastern Wood-Pewee. However, its peaked head and slight hook at the end of its bill confirmed it was the latter species. Click on the image for more photos and discussion of its identification.

NOT

This male Northern Cardinal has nearly finished its post-breeding molt and looks good in his fresh coat.

Northern Cardinal 20120919
 
On my second visit to the hammock area I saw more warblers. A Northern Parula made its first appearance.

Northern Parula 2-20120919

Northern Parula 20120919

Prairie Warblers provided some splendid views. Here is a male.

Prairie Warbler 20120919

The female Prairie Warbler has more subdued markings, but I liked this pose.

Prairie Warbler 3-20120919

A Northern Waterthrush paid a brief visit. I was lucky to catch it through the foliage.

Northern Waterthrush 20120920

A female Common Yellowthroat was likewise quite elusive.

Common Yellowthroat 20120920

When I was about to leave, I was startled a very loud splash in the nearby canal. I spun around to catch a parting shot of the unsuccessful fisherman, an Osprey.

Osprey 20120919

Not to be overlooked was this Band-winged Dragonlet…

Band-winged Dragonlet (Erythrodiplax umbrata) 20120920

…a Zebra heliconian…

Zebra heliconian 20120920

…and a Halloween Pennant.

Halloween Pennant 20120919

16 Responses to “Return to rainy Florida”

  1. Dan Huseman Says:
    Sir, You have some amazing pictures here, thanks so much for sharing. :) Dan H.
  2. Anni Says:
    Wow….I could barely scroll beyond that sky!!! Breathtaking. All to welcome you back to your winter home!! Just plain wow. And your photo shares….amazing array of beauties!!! From the favorites…birds….to some great dragon fly close up images. Thanks for linking up at the Bird D’Pot meme for this weekend!!! Your photos are always a pleasure to view.
  3. TexWisGirl Says:
    absolutely stunning portraits of these gorgeous little birds! i am SO impressed! :)
  4. NatureFootstep Says:
    great sightings all of them. A nice mixture of species. Could be suitable for my NF Winged Meme. For everything with wings. :) http://nfmemes.blogspot.se/search/label/NF%20Winged
  5. Adam Jones Says:
    So many amazing birds, and all so different to ours in England. I’d love to see some of them some day.
  6. Pat Says:
    Your bird photography is splendid, as usual. The sunrise capture is beyond gorgeous!
  7. Mick Says:
    Great photos of all the birds and winged creatures but that first sunrise photo is magical.
  8. Eileen Says:
    Ken, awesome shots of all the warblers. I am still seeing some here so more are on the way. Love the sunrise shot. Beautiful photos. Happy Birding!
  9. Hanne Bente Says:
    WAU - where some amazing pictures you show, they are beautiful all together. Hanne Bente
  10. Boom & Gary Says:
    Great series and thanks for the ID help. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.
  11. Carole M. Says:
    each one of these bird photographs had me rapt! If you start each morning with sunrises like this one, you’re in one cracker of a spot!!
  12. Neil Says:
    The sunrise was beautiful great photos of the birds.
  13. Stewart M Says:
    Great set of pictures - although I think we all like to see brightly coloured birds, the Gnatcatcher is still a very nice looking bird. Cheers and thanks for linking to WBW. Stewart M - Australia
  14. Danielle Says:
    Such wonderful shots!!!! Welcome back!
  15. ken schneider Says:
    Thank you all for visiting my blog! It is good to be back in Florida despite all the continuing heat and humidity that make it feel like mid-summer.
  16. phil uk Says:
    You got some fabulous shots there Ken which made me all nostalgic for your US warblers which I caught in Ontario years back. Hard to pick my favourite from all of those but the Prairie Warbler is a stunner and so is the Pewee. Tremendous sunrise shot too.

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