Saturday, 7 April 2018

Weekend Birding During the Migration

People are flocking to the island to see the birds. The paths are trampled down. On the plus side, there are lots of eyes spotting birds and telling us what they are seeing.

Getting out of the car the young, male orchard oriole was nearby.
One of the avid birders we've been seeing these past few days has a 600mm camera and spotted two peregrine falcons on the railing of water tower, several hundred metres away. See them? One is beside a communication device under the letter 'M' and the other is over to our right.
I went over to the boardwalk but didn't get the greatest shot. I hoped I'd get a better on from the base of the water tower beside the parking lot later.
 We took another look for the least bittern. It was right out in the open.
Near the bottlebrush trees, I spotted a red admiral butterfly under a grapefruit. I'm guessing some of the juice had run down the branch.
High up we heard the Couch's kingbird.
Moments later, it flew off and came back with a queen butterfly.
Fortunately for the butterfly and unfortunately for the kingbird, the queen got away.

We then went next door to the Birding and Nature Center. In the drained pond in the parking circle we spotted this little guy. We didn't know what it was until we checked the board inside. It's a Louisiana waterthrush.

Louisiana waterthrush
Out in the butterfly garden beside the deck, the anole flashed its dewlap at me.
 On closer inspection, we could see that it was shedding its skin. Silly me. I didn't even realize lizard-types shed their skin.

Great southern white butterfly
White peacock butterfly
One of the big alligators was out taking it easy.
There wasn't anything new to see.

Back at the parking lot, I spotted some anoles in the butterfly houses. Here was one.
Now, much closer to the water tower, I got some half-decent shots of the peregrine falcon. It appears that its left leg or foot is injured.
We have seen peregrines here other years but didn't see one at all last year and this is the first sighting this year. I'm glad we finally saw it before our holiday is over.
The weather is changing. Another cold front is rolling in and the wind is shifting, which should stop the birds. We're going back out later this afternoon.

We need to see more warblers.

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