Friday, April 27, 2012

Harns Marsh and Snail Kites

Well, this one isn't hard to identify!  I can't remember a year when I haven't spotted a Bald Eagle down in S. Florida and this year was no exception.  I missed him the first time around as I was taking the picture below.  Thanks to my lesson from Lillian Stokes, I was able to get many decent pictures of the eagle even though he was a great distance from us.
The south end of the marsh was filled with an enormous number of Roseate Spoonbills, Wood Storks, White Ibis and Glossy Ibis among the egrets and herons.  All of a sudden they all took to the sky.  Bill and Gail told me that the reason was that an eagle had visited (the one I missed).  So the next time the birds all took off, I looked for the eagle which resulted in the above picture. The sky was just a riot of pink, black and white.
These pictures were all taken in this southern end of the marsh.  The upper left shows a group of snowy egrets -- more than I have seen elsewhere together.  On the lower right is first a  Great Egret taking off with a Snowy Egret next to it and then a Glossy Ibis and a White Ibis.

The bottom left is a snowy egret taking off in the early  morning sun and the upper right is a group of wood storks with some Roseate Spoonbills in the background (of varying ages).

 I had particularly wanted to get some decent pictures of the Glossy Ibis we had seen quite a bit of with its summer plumage which is just spectacular.  My pictures from the winter show an very shiny blue black bird but this is how they look during the mating season -- this nice rich brown with the green highlights.
Again, the Glossy Ibis.

There were a lot of Tri-Color Herons at the Marsh.  They have a very blue bill this time of year.
This was a low flying Wood Stork.  They are are certainly a striking bird.

Gail and Bill insisted that I had seen a Limpkin before on other visits but I don't remember him if I did.   Well, I checked and I had seen one but only a bit of one and from a great distance.  So these are the first time I had seen the whole bird! They are very noisy birds and there were a lot of them this visit although at a bit of a distance.  There were more when we first arrived just as the sun was rising.  
Here is one of the Limpkins taking off.

I still haven't gotten a Black Necked Stilt picture that I am totally satisfied with but I do like his very pink legs here.  This is the first year I have seen this bird down here.
This is a Greater Yellowlegs although neither Gail nor I are ever quite sure we have guessed right about it being a Greater or Lesser.

Another shot of the eagle as he was gliding overhead scaring the other birds!
Last but certainly not least is the Snail Kite, a raptor  which has a very limited range in Florida and feeds on the Apple Snails which you see scattered all around with the Ram's Horn Snails.  I had seen them before but not in the number that we saw in this visit to another part of the marsh area.  They were all quite distant though!

1 comment:

Joan said...

I usually read your blog for your quilt posts, but had to comment on this one. That picture of all the birds taking off is just fabulous!