Saturday, February 21, 2015

Guided Walk at Corkscrew Swamp

poss. Cooper's Hawk

I saw this hawk on the road in to the sanctuary.  Since it landed right next to me, and the road was tiny, I stopped the car to take a picture.  The only other car behind me was also stopped to photograph a different hawk.

(near feeders; taken through visitor center window)

 Painted Bunting males (taken through window)

 again, outside!

 This was a life bird for me and very thrilling.  I had good looks at both males and females.

 Red-Shouldered Hawk (life bird)

 mating Red-Shouldered Hawks

We walked the entire three hours on a beautiful boardwalk.  It did make me wonder what it was like for those first explorers of this swampy land.

 Red-Bellied Woodpecker

 Pileated Woodpecker

I'm including some habitat photos to give you an idea of what some parts of this property looked like.

I liked how this tree had ferns growing out of on all sides.

 Cypress trees

 fresh Raccoon tracks

One person in our group sat on a bench while we took a side boardwalk.  When we came back to him, he said that a whole family of raccoons had just walked paraded right by him.  We did see one nervous one, who jumped into the water and ran quickly to a spot in the swamp away from humans.

 Black-and-White Warbler

 A wild Dingy Orchid


 Anhinga, carrying out its morning bath 
Aren't those feathers stunning?

 White-Eyed Vireo (life bird)

I forget what kind of vine this was, but it was all through the swamp.

 a beautiful wild Swamp Lily

 White Ibis

A lot of the birds were warming themselves in a spot of sunshine, which was nice for those of us who wanted to take photos.

 Great Egret

 juvenile Black-Crowned Night Heron 
This one may not make it into adulthood because it is foraging very near an alligator.

 Yellow-Crowned Night Heron, enjoying a sunny spot
This bird would make a good cartoon character.


There was an Anhinga calling over and over, and this one was answering.  They have a very strange noise that reminded me of those rattly type noisemakers that you spin on New Year's Eve.

 Little Blue Heron

 Yellow-Crowned Night Heron, napping in the sun

 Northern Parula

 Red-Shouldered Hawk

 Anhinga (male)

Anhingas fish while swimming underwater but have no oil to protect its feathers, so has to air dry.
[Note:  after further research, I discovered that this statement about oil is untrue.]

 Black-Crowned Night Heron

 Florida Red-Belly Cooter turtle

 Anhinga who came up with a catch!

 another wild orchid (the flowers are tiny and yellow)

 another strangling vine

 Cypress knees

Our guide said that Cypress knees grow an inch every ten years, so these are quite old.

 Florida Strap Fern (because the leaves look like straps or belts)

After all these birds, I was still happy to see a few butterflies (all the same species) at the end of the 3-hour walk in the garden in front of the visitor center.

 Zebra Longwing

Bird List (at least what I can recall):

Black-and-White Warbler
Black-Crowned Night Heron
Blue Jay
Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher
Blue-Headed Vireo
Brown-Headed Cowbird
Common Grackle
Downy Woodpecker
Gray Catbird
Great Egret
Little Blue Heron
Mourning Dove
Northern Cardinal
Northern Parula
Painted Bunting
Pileated Woodpecker
Pine Warbler
Red-Bellied Woodpecker
Red-Shouldered Hawk
Snowy Egret
Tri-Colored Heron
White-Eyed Vireo
Yellow-Crowned Night Heron
Yellow-Throated Warbler

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