Friday, 27 March 2015

A Foggy Morning of Birding

We met our birding group at the SPI Birding Center this morning. It was very foggy. We spotted several interesting species.

I had to enhance most of my photos because the fog was very evident in the originals. The colours are more saturated than normal.

Stepping out of the Birding Center, this green heron flew onto the branch of this dead tree right in front of us.

 I think it was just shifting its stance here.
Nearby, the papa gator and a great blue heron were having a staring match.
In this photo, is the same great blue heron, a tricolour heron (hard to see but it is reflected in the water) and the green heron in the dead tree. A pretty cool combination in one shot.

Near the usual place where we have previously spotted a Wilson's snipe, we spotted this one (possibly the same one?) right out in the open.
It seemed really intent on feeding and really didn't seem to pay much attention to us at all.
This is the first time I've seen a purple gallinule here.
It gave us quite a good show before hunkering down in the reeds.
 We spotted several clapper rails
Then another green heron flew by and landed on the railing. We saw at least 5 or 6 different ones today.
It then flew down and spent at least the next 45 minutes in this position by the water.
The water was very clear - clear enough to see this blue crab on the bottom.
Two black-necked stilts were evident today. A few days ago we saw a pair mating, then performing a very interesting synchronized pas de deux after the act.
I just had to get a shot of the epaulets of this redwing blackbird as he fluffed his feathers up.
We retraced our steps to return to the Birding Center and encountered this least bittern. I had seen it earlier from above for about 1/2 a second just ducking under the boardwalk and mistook it for a clapper rail.
This was the best I could do getting a picture of a common yellowthroat.
 We then spotted what we think is the resident long-billed curlew.
Back at the pond in front of the Birding Center, papa gator had exited the water and was snoozing on the bank beside it.
Two flocks of white ibis flew in - one landing on the mangroves in the background and the other on the flat to the west of the mangrove. There were approximately 50 in each flock.  Also in this photo are the remaining 5 redheads (3 male and 2 female), a yellow-crowned night heron, nestled in the mangrove to the left of the flock of white ibis, a wigeon or two, a couple of laughing gulls, etc.
I counted 57 white ibis in this photo.
Other birds we spotted that I didn't get photos of were: many moorhens and coots, soras, a marsh wren, roseate spoonbills, blue-wing teal, mottled ducks, cormorants, willets, little blue herons, sandwich and royal terns, and a broad-winged hawk.

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