Thursday, October 26, 2017

Back in Florida

We decided to make a trip to Punta Gorda in October to see if we could extend the summer months just a little bit. Connie's sister moved down here in April and told us that it has been really hot this week. On that advice, I packed shorts, T-shirts and a bathing suit. This morning it was 50 degrees outside. Connie and I headed over to Babcock-Webb NWR before dawn to see what we could see. We had the heater on in the van and we were freezing but we saw some good birds anyway.

I watched this Osprey surveying his surroundings, then take off and catch a fish.

Connie and I found a family of Purple Gallinules feeding on these purple seeds of the Alligator Weed. It was quite comical to watch them try to balance on top of the weeds.

Purple Gallinule
This immature Night Heron was not happy when I showed up to one of the ponds. He squawked and flew to the opposite side.

Night Heron
This Boat-tailed Grackle landed right next to the car and sang his crackly song.

Boat-tailed Grackle
There were quite a few Kingfishers. This one was hanging out on the wire at the entrance.

Belted Kingfisher
I saw some non-avian species too like this squirrel.

And a few gators too.

The most unusual sighting was this Turkey Vulture who decided to lay down in the middle of the dirt road. I drove right up to him before he moved. Funny.

Lazy Days Turkey Vulture
When he finally got up, he didn't fly off. Instead, he stood there watching me while I got out of the van to take this close-up photo. Pretty huh?

I'm ready for my closeup
On our way out, Connie spotted these immature White Ibis up in a pine tree. She tested her camera and actually got a closer photo than this one. I like the composition of mine. 

Of course, a trip around Babcock-Webb wouldn't be complete without seeing a few Loggerhead Shrikes.
Loggerhead Shrike
We will be here for a few more days. I hope we find some other birds.

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