Birding Florida February 25th-March 3rd

GREG Wacodhatchee 2-25-18 (1 of 1)

I was able to spend 7 full and simply amazing days birding and traipsing about south-central Florida at the invite of my good friend Judy Rapp who joined me on this adventure. and what a fantastic adventure it was! My primary impetus in choosing late February/earl March to go to Florida was to photograph the displaying egrets and herons who are engaged in mating rituals and nesting at this time. The picture above is exactly what I was hoping to see. Another benefit beyond the breathtaking scenes I was able to  bear witness to through my lens  was I go t to escape the Wisconsin winter weather!

I was able to come up with 4 life birds during this trip: Nanday Parakeet, Egyptian Goose, Muscovy Duck, Fork-tailed Flycatcher and Purple Swamphen (Gray-headed Swamphen). In addition, I reacquainted myself with old friends such as the Snail Kite, Purple Gallinule, Little Blue Heron, Snowy Egret, Tri-colored heron, Painted Bunting and more.

Because I have 8 days worth of pictures, I will just create posts covering every day or two and locations of where I took photo’s.

February 24  Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee NWR

Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee NWR 2-24-18 (1 of 11)
Eastern Gray Squirrel
Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee NWR 2-24-18 (3 of 11)
Muscovy Duck, an introduced bird that was a lifer nonetheless!
Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee NWR 2-24-18 (4 of 11)
A beautiful Red-shouldered Hawk gave some great looks.

Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee NWR 2-24-18 (6 of 11)

Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee NWR 2-24-18 (8 of 11)
Eastern Amberwing
Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee NWR 2-24-18 (10 of 11)
Looking out over the Everglades near sunset
Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee NWR 2-24-18 (11 of 11)
Sunset
Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee NWR 2-24-18 (2 of 11)
A male Ring-necked Duck that lives n a small pond near Judy’s house

 

February 25 Wakodahatchee Wetlands and Green Cay Preserve

I have been on many fantastic boardwalks in various parts of the country but there is nothing that compares to being on the three-quarter mile boardwalk at Wakodahatchee during the nesting season for  many wetland birds such as the Wood Stork, Great Egret, Cattle Egret, Tri-colored Heron, Little Blue Heron, Green Heron, Great Blue Heron and American Anhinga. It was an amazing spectacle to behold. The clumps of shrubs found throughout the pond areas become the nesting grounds for all of these birds. I was provided an up close and personal look at the whole nesting process , from stick gathering and mating displays to rearing and fledging young…and all at extremely close range.

Alligator Wacodhatchee 2-25-18 (1 of 1)
A very large American Alligator. I have only seen one other gator even approaching this size and that was in San Padre Island, Texas. This fella was around 12 feet long and had to be 600+ pounds.
Little Blue Wakodahatchee Wetlands 2-25-18 (1 of 1)
A beautiful Tri-colored Heron in full breeding plummage
Osprey Wacodhatchee 2-25-18 (1 of 1)
An Osprey searches for fish in the pond area
Wacodhatchee 2-25-18 (1 of 1)
A family of American Anhingas take umbrage to a Wood Stork trying to land and take sticks from their nest
Cormorant with fish 2-25-18 (1 of 1)
A Double-breasted Cormorant surfaces with an impressive catch
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (4 of 131)
Boat-tailed Grackle
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (5 of 131)
Cattle Egret
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (6 of 131)
Great Blue Heron
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (7 of 131)
Cattle Egret
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (8 of 131)
Great Blue Heron Fledgling begs for food (also in the next 7 pictures)

Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (9 of 131)Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (10 of 131)Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (11 of 131)Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (12 of 131)Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (13 of 131)Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (14 of 131)Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (15 of 131)

Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (16 of 131)
A Double-crested Cormorant sits above its nest
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (17 of 131)
Wood Stork carrying nesting material
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (18 of 131)
Great Blue Heron on the nest
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (19 of 131)
Great Blue Heron
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (20 of 131)
A young alligator hoping a fledgling will fall out if its nest
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (21 of 131)
Nesting Great Egret
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (22 of 131)
American Anhinga (also in next two pictures)

Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (23 of 131)Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (24 of 131)

Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (25 of 131)
Displaying Great Egret
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (26 of 131)
Displaying Great Egret
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (27 of 131)
Great Egret that had been displaying on its next gathering nesting material. You can see the display plumes are still partially erect
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (28 of 131)
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (29 of 131)
Black-bellied Whistling Duck
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (30 of 131)
Black-bellied Whistling Duck
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (31 of 131)
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (32 of 131)
Double-crested Cormorant
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (33 of 131)
Wood Stork
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (35 of 131)
Wood Stork
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (36 of 131)
Cattle Egret (next three pictures as well)

Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (37 of 131)Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (38 of 131)Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (39 of 131)

Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (40 of 131)
Do-crested Cormorant family (next 4 pictures as well)

Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (41 of 131)Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (42 of 131)Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (43 of 131)Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (44 of 131)

Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (45 of 131)
Wood Stork
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (46 of 131)
Wood Stork and American Anhingas
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (47 of 131)
Wood Stork and American Anhingas
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (48 of 131)
Wood Stork
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (49 of 131)
Wood Stork
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (50 of 131)
Wood Stork
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (51 of 131)
American Anhinga with personality
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (52 of 131)
Great Blue Heron feeds its young (next 3 pictures as well)

Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (53 of 131)Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (54 of 131)

Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (55 of 131)
American Anhinga dries its wings
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (56 of 131)
American Alligator
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (57 of 131)
Tri-colored Heron
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (58 of 131)
Green Iguana
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (59 of 131)
Tri-colored Heron
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (60 of 131)
Wood Stork
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (61 of 131)
Mottled Duck
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (63 of 131)
Great Egret
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (80 of 131)
American Alligator
Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (79 of 131)
Wood Stork (next 4 images as well)

Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (78 of 131)Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (77 of 131)Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (76 of 131)Wacodahatchee Wetlands and Blue Cay Preserve 2-25-18 (75 of 131)

 

 

 

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