Sunday, March 17, 2013

Birds of Florida

Spring seems to coming in fits and starts this year.  We will have a couple of warm days followed by cold windy days.  During one of those cold spells at the beginning of March, I was fortunate to spend a couple of days visiting my sister in Florida.

As soon as I arrived, we walked about two miles around the large lake which is a part of Miromar development.   This bird I believe is a Northern Waterthrush and was bouncing all over the rocks that line the lake.  

We went to the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge
on Sanibel Island the next morning where I saw many birds--not as many though as on other visits--maybe the weather was too warm for them to be in the shallow waters.

 White pelicans did not mind the shallows though.
 I enjoyed watching the Anhinga swim and catch fish...

....and then dry its wings in the surrounding trees. 

 The next day, we went to Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve, close to the Ft. Myers airport.    I am so glad that Lee County preserved these lands for all to enjoy (for a nominal fee for parking).

Every pond had turtles that were basking in the sunlight and .....
.... and also small alligators.  I was glad that the boardwalk protected us from the large ones which we did not see thankfully.

 I enjoyed looking at the many wildflowers, especially the native irises....

 ....that grew in the waters.
Also, there were many bromeliads on the trees.

 In two sections of the one mile boardwalk, we saw and mostly heard many warblers.  It was very dark and the birds moved so fast I could only get blurry pictures.  I would love help with the identification of this one.

I also couldn't find this bird in my field guides.  I did identify a gray gnat catcher but he also was moving too fast to get a photo.

While I enjoyed my quick trip visiting Florida, I was glad to get back home to some warm weather.  A few nights ago, I heard spring peepers for the first time.  The spice bush looks ready to bloom any day now too.


  1. I was just out in the lower Keys on a kayak trip. I saw a whole bunch of white ibises. Beautiful birds!

  2. PS your bird in question is the yellow-rumped warbler. They sometimes overwinter in places because they can eat poison ivy berries and other waxy fruits.

  3. Mike Whittemore--thanks for the id. The kayak trip sounds like a great way to see birds.

  4. Don't you love it that someone can always answer a blog question? Sounds like a fun trip. We have the Darling Refuge on our list for the next time we are in Naples. I may have to move it closer to the top of the list, now.

  5. Oh What GREAT places to visit!!!

  6. I love the Ding Darling! Some folks call the Yellow Rumped Warblers "Butter Butts"

  7. Never been to Ding Darling but I've heard excellent things! Check out my blog to read about the cheap but fun kayak trip through the keys. I post mostly southeastern ohio botany topics. Take care!

  8. Yup it's a "butter butt." We spent a week in Fort Myer in early February and visit the same place you did. Ding Darling and Six Mile are wonderful nature preserve. We love them...:)

  9. Ding Darling is on my bucket list.I have heard o much about this place.