I didn’t think they were there at first. I expected to see a whole flock of them sitting prettily on the mulberry branches. But movement in the trees caught my eye eventually, and yes, they were there, but flitting from place to place. It was a perfect day, 75 degrees, so standing in the sun wasn’t an issue, but the wind whipping those branches around certainly was an issue. I wish these pictures were better, but I’m glad to have had a chance to see them at all.
We are so lucky to have such wonderful birds as permanent residents of the area, but we so enjoy the variety of birds that stop off on their yearly migration to escape the winter weather. I suppose that’s what most of us who live here have done also. We’re all birds of a feather.
I spy, with my little eye, movement in the shrubbery. I search with my fully extended zoom lens, and ask myself if I really saw a little eye looking out of that shrubbery. And I did! A baby black crowned night heron. A prize ‘catch’, since we all know they are tucked away in there, but finding them is the trick. And then mom is somehow there also, so I set the camera to take bursts of photos and thought I would have lots of pictures of baby heron chicks and their mom to choose from. But there was only one, and I suppose I ought to be happy to have gotten one at least.
Not bedtime for us however. We headed to Ford’s Garage for a beer and some apps. Nice day…
Cape Coral is a 3 hour trip from home, which explains why we have talked about driving there before, but we were trying to ensure the best timing to see the burrowing owls with their chicks. April through June is what we have seen in print, but seeing chicks turning up on photographers Facebook feeds sent us off on our journey. Ordinarily I’d have been perfectly happy to see one of the owls at all, but setting your heart on seeing a chick is asking for disappointment. Maybe it was bad luck, or maybe it’s just that we don’t have any ‘inside’ information on places to look.
We stopped at a park to eat our lunch and talked with a resident who was shooting hoops on the playground. I asked if he knew any good spots to see the owls and he said they are ‘everywhere’. And yes, the marked off nests for the burrows were easy to spot as we drove around, but we didn’t see any owls there. He said that Hurricane Ian had hit the area hard, and the burrows were abandoned because they were wet. But now, he said, they are starting to see the owls returning. He noticed two owls that had returned, one on each side of the road, on his dog walks. He said that after a while they had joined forces and were now at the same burrow. Maybe that is good news. And I have to hope that his observations hold true, that the owls are returning. And soon all the nesting sites will be occupied by these cute little birds.
When we left home our destination wasn’t the Myakka River State Park, but it was only a half hour away from our destination, and after driving an hour and a half to get there it was a shame not to stop by. There are spoonies there after all, and I see the most beautiful photos of them online. In those photos they are landing, or taking off, or just flying overhead. But none of that was going on when we got there. You can see them from the parking lot, and the path to walk to get a closer vantage point is not too long. But what was going on, or not going on, is evident in the feature photo. Maybe it was the fact that we were there in the afternoon, possibly siesta time.
As always it was a fun way to spend the day. And we have to take advantage of the weather while it’s still a relatively cool 80 degrees or so. Hot in the sun if you just stand there, but in the shade it just can’t be beat!
We had such a fun day at the B a few weeks ago, but I was a little disappointed that we didn’t see the painted buntings. On this trip we saw a cameraman sitting and watching, and sometimes shooting, in the garden area. I was pretty sure he was photographing buntings, but was afraid to approach for fear the trike would scare them off. It was right at the start of the day, and when I first get the trike out it seems to have a bit of a knock that goes away after a bit. But then he motioned us over and said that they weren’t shy at all.
We are so lucky to have this great place to go to see wildlife. And each time we go back we see different birds, and sometimes animals, and so we return again, and again.
Well, almost that time again. The time when our drive to Clearwater for our Tuesday night photography club meeting coincides with the sunset. That means that as we make the long trip down Edgewater Drive I will be shooting photos out the car window with my iPhone. The last time I did that the sunset was fabulous, and I held the phone out the window a bit further and didn’t see myself in the side mirror, or I could crop myself out of the picture. This time we were a bit early for the really great color to have developed quite yet, and I was reluctant to hold my brand new iPhone 14 Pro Max far enough out the window to get myself out of the picture. Maybe I ought to sit in the back seat next time. Nice evening, fun meeting.