A View of Bird Rookery Swamp- Wading Birds before the boardwalk

Bird Rookery Swamp observations
Saturday, December 5
6:30 am1:05 pm

“Cloudy skies and light rain all morning should have made sightings rather slim, and it did for butterflies, dragonflies, mammals, and herps. However, it was a great day for birds with 42 species seen and identified.

A 6:30 start in the parking lot caught a lot of the early birds flying in and out from their night time roosts. We were up to 25 species before we reached the start of the boardwalk.

The large flocks of White Ibis and other waders including three Roseate Spoonbills; Wood Storks; Little Blue, Great Blue, Black-crowned Night and Tri-colored Herons; Great and Snowy Egrets all flew in within 15 minutes of each other. A Barred Owl called from deeper in the cypress while Goldfinches, Common Yellowthroats, Cardinals, a House Wren, and Palm Warblers were active in the shrubby vegetation to the west orosp_1205f the parking lot and gravel path.

A quartet of Pied-billed Grebes swam, dove, and preened in the canal beside the gravel path while Red-shouldered Hawks and a trio of Double-crested Cormorants flew over. It was a great way to begin the day.

One pocket of small birds a little later included a Black-and-white Warbler, a Yellow-throated Warbler, several Yellow-rumped Warblers, lots of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, and a few woodpeckers. The most unexpected avian sighting was a Cooper’s Hawk that flew over while we were watching a pair of Red-shouldered Hawks.

The only mammals we saw were a Raccoon and a River Otter, plus several Gray Squirrels. Due to the inclement weather, we could only find 18 gators. Other herps were a Red-bellied Turtle and Green and Brown Anoles.

Butterflies were limited because of the weather, too. We only found eight species. The Long-tailed Skipper in the photo was one of two seen. White Peacocks were again the most common with 47 individuals counted, followed by 11 Barred Yellows.

Even with the rain and cloudy skies, visitors still came. Most were bicyclists, but one early jogger did the entire 12-mile loop. Walkers didn’t appear until late morning and early afternoon. Ida was in her pond but floating in the back next to the raft”.

skppr_long-tailed_1205
BIRDS
Pied-billed Grebe – 4
Anhinga – 10
Double-crested Cormorant – 3
Great Blue Heron – 6
Great Egret – 15
Snowy Egret – 2
Little Blue Heron – 11
Tri-colored Heron – 4
Green Heron – 4
Black-crowned Night Heron – 13
White Ibis – 81
Roseate Spoonbill – 3
Wood Stork – 3
Black Vulture – 19
Turkey Vulture – 48
Red-shouldered Hawk – 13
Cooper’s Hawk – 1
Mourning Dove – 26
Common Ground Dove – 2
Barred Owl – 1
Belted Kingfisher – 6
Red-bellied Woodpecker – 16
Downy Woodpecker – 4
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – 1
Pileated Woodpecker – 3
Eastern Phoebe – 8
Great-crested Flycatcher – 5
Tree Swallow – 1
Carolina Wren – 9
House Wren – 2
Tufted Titmouse – 2
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – 9
American Robin – 3
Gray Catbird – 21
Blue-headed Vireo – 2
Black-and-white Warbler – 1
Yellow-throated Warbler – 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler – 5
Palm Warbler – 12
Common Yellowthroat – 5
Northern Cardinal – 8
Common Grackle – 23
American Goldfinch – 2

BUTTERFLIES
Tiger Swallowtail – 1
White Peacock – 47
Viceroy – 2
Barred Yellow – 11
Fiery Skipper – 1
Long-tailed Skipper – 2
Brazilian Skipper – 7
Tropical Checker – 4

DRAGONFLIES/DAMSELFLIES
Eastern Pondhawk – 12
Needham’s Skimmer – 6

MAMMALS
Gray Squirrel – 1
River Otter – 1
Raccoon – 1

REPTILES/AMPHIBIANS
Alligator – 18
Brown Anole – 11
Green Anole – 2
Red-bellied Turtle – 1

By Dick Brewer
http://www.dickbrewer.org/CREW.html

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