Tuesday, 14 March 2017

March 14 A Spectacular Morning of Birding on SPI

Skip and I went to the Birding Centre this morning. It's the first really nice and sunny day since last Friday. We were hoping the birds would be as happy to be out and about as we were.

One of the first birds we saw was this ring-necked duck - a lifer for me. Woo Hoo!
Out towards the flats we spotted a vermilion flycatcher
I think it's singing here but we didn't hear it.
The resident long-billed curlew was also nearby.
I took so many photos of this guy. The distinctive white strip across its bill was the real diagnostic.
The female red-breasted merganser also ventured very close to the boardwalk we were on.

Farther along, we saw the little blue heron fly in, then start working.
Another (ahem) shot. It's so neat and trim. Almost like it's wearing a tuxedo.
I took a bunch of photos of the osprey overhead but only a couple were remotely worth posting.

The sun was shining perfectly on the blue wing spot of this mottled duck that was bathing.
We saw the mama alligator in the usual spot.
Nearby was a young one.

During Spring Break, there are always a few planes advertising something appropriate. In this case, a kind of vodka made in America. They fly around and around and around for hours.
The red-eared sliders were surprisingly close to the mama gator. She didn't seem to care.
Mr. and Mrs. Blue-wing Teal and others of their ilk are constantly working along the shoreline of the freshwater ponds.

We finally found the green heron along the last boardwalk.
We hadn't seen it the last few times we'd been here.
We thought this was a yellowlegs, but another birder told us it was a pectoral sandpiper. Yay! Another lifer for me.
Papa Gator was across from the last birding blind.
Surprisingly, what we call the 'teenage' gator was not that far away. We saw 4 gators of all different sizes today.
The aptly-named black-bellied whistling ducks were camping out in the long reeds.
I was able to get quite close to this black-necked stilt.

Out by the parking lot, there is an excellent butterfly garden. There were lots of Great Southern White butterflies.

Skip spotted this White-Striped Longtail.

The bees really love the little daisy-like flowers.
This butterfly was black with just a white edge to its wings.
I think it's either some type of cloudywing or duskywing. More research is needed. It liked the yellow centres of those little daisies, too.
We spotted 35 different species of birds, two of them lifers for me, and several butterflies.


  1. I have really enjoyed all your bird posts, ( and the biscornu as well) , looks like a great place to spend part of the winter.

  2. Brilliant bird photos - I am so envious - then I saw the alligators...hmmm...