Sunday, April 14, 2013

Neighborhood Birds

Finally, a little time to hit all my local lakes in one loop again. First stop, Lake Davis. Water levels have dropped a lot over these past few dry months. Now, the once submerged lake bottom along the shore are covered in ground cover with some pretty little yellow flowers.

Yellow Flower

The Cypress trees are green again and the inner branches are still hosting many Palm Warblers.

Palm Warbler

One would think that with as much foot traffic there is around Lake Davis that Wood Ducks would stop being so nervous. Maybe that is why there are plenty of them, though. Maybe the dogs are their problem.

Wood Duck

Off to the church and to check the vanishing retention pond. I have been driving straight passed this spot for a while. Mergansers were gone and other ducks left a couple months ago to hang out in real lakes so I didn't think it warrented my time but I felt a need to check it today. As soon as I got out of the van I noticed a Red-shouldered Hawk up on the fence.

Red-shouldered Hawk

The bird flew off to the retention pond just as another juvenile flew to the fence. I walked around to the left and the bird flew farther down looking for something but posed for a few moments. Must have been looking through the mud judging by the dirty feet.

Red-shouldered Hawk

Finally scanning the muck of the retention pond I was pleasantly surprised to see a new bird. A Black-necked Stilt.

Black-necked Stilt

There were a pair of Black-necked Stilts here last year so perhaps it was the same pair. I was about to leave but I heard a Yellowlegs fly in. Why? The hawks were chasing it. They made 3 shots but missed every time.

Black-necked Stilt

Over at Greenwood Wetlands I was looking for any other young birds. While I was looking about someone asked if I had seen the gator? Wha? I have not seen an American Alligator in the wetlands in my 20 years going through there. But up on the far shore...

American Alligator

A gorgeous Great Blue Heron was standing not far from the gator.

Great Blue Heron

Off to the right, a Tricolored Heron swooped in and hunted under the Cypress trees.

Tricolored Heron

Up in the other Cypress trees, more Palm Warblers. I found no other warblers other than Palms today. Weird.

Palm Warbler

Not a bad hour all within a few miles of home. Could use some more migrants, though.

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