Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Florida sunshine birding

Florida was the first place I ever went to when I was a kid that I felt was exotic. My memory recalls loads of herons and egrets feeding away in the sunshine - pinks, whites and blues. And this morning switched me back into that mode. There'd been some rain overnight but the first couple of hours of light today were perfect - warm, blue Florida light. I headed to a place called Harns Marsh just east of Fort Myers; not in the Florida bird book surprisingly, but plenty of sightings to enjoy.
Sandhill Crane Harns Marsh, Florida 16th Feb 2016
Here are the highlights - male Snail Kite, 8 Sandhill Cranes, ringtail Northern Harrier, several Red-shouldered and Red-tailed Hawks, 15+ Limpkins, loads of Great Egrets, Tricoloured and Little Blue Herons, Blue-winged Teals and Ring-necked Ducks, American Coots, Common Gallinules, Savannah Sparrows, Palm and Myrtle Warblers plus Common Yellowthroat. All standard stuff, but nice enough and good value for a bird starved Brit.
Limpkin Harns Marsh, Florida 16th Feb 2016
Blue-winged Teal Harns Marsh, Florida 16th Feb 2016
Tricoloured Heron Harns Marsh, Florida 16th Feb 2016
I got back to the hotel in Cape Coral mid morning, and after a bite to eat, headed out on bikes round the local area. Undoubted highlight of this was a Yellow-throated Warbler in Rotary Park which had duly disappeared when I went back later with my camera! Other stuff locally included a couple of nice Loggerhead Shrikes, showy Anhingas and Wood Storks plus nice views of loads of Palm and Myrtle Warblers.
Anhinga Cape Coral, Florida 16th Feb 2016
Loggerhead Shrike Cape Coral, Florida 16th Feb 2016
Myrtle Warbler Cape Coral, Florida 16th Feb 2016
Palm Warbler Cape Coral, Florida 16th Feb 2016
The last hour or so of light were spent with the Burrowing Owls - yesterday's bird in the same place but with an attendant youth today, plus a couple of others in the traditional site behind Cape Coral library. Another decent day on this 'non-birding' holiday.

Burrowing Owls Cape Coral, Florida 16th Feb 2016 (adult, top and juvenile, below)

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