Jan. 18: Off again to Corkscrew Swamp, since it is the best birding we’ve found since we got here. Temp last night was 9C! High today 17C! Yay! Had to wear a jacket! Unfortunately we missed the Brown-headed Nuthatches again, though we met people who’d just seen them – DRAT!
It was still a nice day to go out birding & Bill managed to capture the yellow rump of a Yellow-rumped Warbler! (That’s hard to do because when they sit it doesn’t show!)
Had the closest look we’ve ever had at a Pileated Woodpecker. About 12 feet Away – he just worked & worked that wood!
At the open swamp area we spied a Little Blue Heron as well as a Yellow-crowned Night Heron.
We also enjoy all the different flora.
The Catbirds are calling – as you can see from the tongue action on this one! Not much else new, but a great day nonetheless.
Jan. 19: Back again to Corkscrew. If you wonder how it got its name:
“Back in the olden days when they used to come up out of the salt water into what is now know as the Imperial River to get fresh water for their boats — they didn’t have any wells in those days — they’d have to take a cask and come up into the headwaters of that creek to get the fresh rain water, and it was so twisty that they called it Corkscrew Creek, or Corkscrew River, at that time. Actually, the headwaters of that was what is now known as Corkscrew Swamp.”
We continue to get terribly itchy bites from the no-see-ums despite 40% DEET insect spray applied to bare skin, then clothing overtop – yikes!
The Cypress trees develop “knees” which stick up everywhere in the swamp. If they’re close together, like these, debris fall on top of them & eventually a fern or something else can grow there.
We’ve seen lots of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers. This male (which has the red on its head) was eating the red berries on this bush. Sort of like a Xmas card.
We got much closer to a Great Crested Flycatcher this time. A lovely fellow & they’re singing everywhere!
We came across several flocks of birds as we walked (though we once again missed our nuthatches). This Black-and-white Warbler was amongst Cedar Waxwing, Amer. Robin, Nashville Warbler, Pine Warbler, Blue-headed Vireo, & Yellow-rumpled Warblers.
A bit of action from the darling little Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.
The American Bittern was once again on display with hoards of people crowding the boardwalk. Their guide was trying to tell everyone how lucky they were to see one, when people who’ve been birding for many, many years have only seen one once or twice! (I don’t think the general public who aren’t birders will appreciate how much a birder wants to see something which is hard to see). It was really remarkable!
We noticed 4 Wood Storks flying over – here are a couple of them. As I mentioned, they nest here & have a protected area away from the public.
Back at the feeders at the entrance building we found the ubiquitous N. Cardinal…
Male & female Common Ground Doves…
And can’t leave without another couple of male Painted Buntings.
Jan. 20: – It is my beautiful niece, Katherine’s birthday today – she is 25! We send her love & hope she has a very happy birthday & a great year.
Here she is – not the greatest photo, but the best I could find in my archives. Wow eh?!
We moved to Fort Myers today – just an hour north of where we were in Naples. The weather continues to be much cooler at night & not so hot during the day – hallelujah! We’re watching Australian Open tennis in our off-hours, being big tennis fans. Tomorrow we start to check our places in this area for birds. We hope they don’t have all these insects here (fat chance!). Met a fellow from Dutchess, AB (just north of Brooks) – 1st Albertan we’ve seen! He said he hasn’t had any difficulty w/ insect bites, so we’re hopeful!
Jan. 21: Off to Saibel Island for the driving tour. This is a one-way tour with a wide road which allows cars wanting to stop to pull over on the right. There are Everglades all throughout & views out to the water. We started at low tide (7:45 AM) in order to see if we could find any new shorebirds. We didn’t, but did see a nice variety of stuff.
Group of American White Pelicans. The kind that we get in Calgary, though they’ve not yet developed nose protuberances which they need in their spring mating rituals!
Two very large alligators were sunning very close to the road. Warning signs said “do not get within 20 feet of these wild alligators – they can move very fast”. Yet, people were lined up taking photos about 10 feet away! Thank goodness for Bill’s big lens.
Snowy Egrets are both beautiful & comical. Such gorgeous plumes but they accidentally walked through some yellow paint!
Reddish Egret finding a snack.
A HUGE flock of Tree Swallows swarmed above the water at one point.
At last we got a closer look at some Mottled Ducks.
Flowers blooming everywhere. So enjoyable when we have pleasant temps. As far as we know (late in the evening – no bites today!