Birding the Point – Black-and-White Warbler

In addition to its scenic ocean vistas, Black Point Marina also features a row of mangroves that provides shelter for smaller perching birds.  As fall changes to winter many different species make their way into South Florida, such as this little Black-and-White Warbler.  He taunted me with his “we see, we see, we see, we see” song for at least ten minutes before I finally spotted him.  Then he posed for a couple photos before disappearing  back into mangroves.

What’s peeking out at me from behind that branch?

A Black-and-White Warbler

Birding the Point – Terns and Gulls

This is the second post in a series of posts from my birding adventures at Black Point Marina in southern Miami-Dade County, Florida.  On a recent visit I was able to get a great shot of a lineup of Royal Terns.  I also captured images of a couple of gulls in flight.

Royal Terns lined up at the point.

Royal Tern in Flight

Herring Gull (2nd Winter) in Flight

I’m going to need some help with this one.  What do you think this is?

Birding the Point – Great Egret

One of my favorite birding spots in southern Miami-Dade County is Biscayne National Park at Black Point Marina. I like this spot because there are shore birds, wading birds, raptors and songbirds. I also like it because it is only a five minute drive from my home. The north side of the marina is part of Biscayne National Park and features a nice walking path that varies in length depending on the tide. This post will be one of a series of posts of photos from Black Point. Enjoy these photos of a beautiful Great Egret I had a chance to observe on a recent visit.

(Click on photos to enlarge.)

This magnificent Great Egret was fishing the shallows.

Long-legged Beauty

Tracking the Fish.

Strike!

Drying off to try again.

Birding the Everglades: Anhinga Trail

I invited my dad to join me on my latest birding expedition. My dad is a great appreciator of nature, and is probably the biggest reason why I have grown to have such a love for birds and nature. During my childhood my dad would always stop to notice the little treasures that exist in nature. That sensibility somehow made through my thick-headed and distracted adolescence and now it is instilled in this adult version of me. The two of us had a wonderful time enjoying what nature had to offer.

We decided to venture down to the southern end of Everglades National Park.  We found ourselves tackling the Anhinga Trail and the Gumbo Limbo Trail, which are both just a couple miles inside the main park entrance in the Royal Palm State Park section. Every time I make out to the Everglades I find it incomprehensible that the sprawling suburbs of a major city are no more than a fifteen minute drive away. Once you get out there you are immersed into a completely different world. The “river of grass” dotted with hammocks and pinewoods extends farther than the eye can see. Birds and other wildlife that rarely or never venture into to the nearby neighborhoods thrive, although their continued existence is threatened by South Florida’s increasing growth.

Thanks to the recent generosity of a very good friend my ability to capture digital images of my birding experiences has been greatly upgraded. Here are a few of the many wonderful birds we saw. Click on the photos to enlarge them.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Eastern Wood Pewee

Anhinga (Breeding Plumage)

Double-crested Cormorant

Red-shouldered Hawk

Purple Gallinule

Green Heron

Western Cattle Egret

Western Cattle Egret

Western Cattle Egrets are a common sight along South Florida Highways  Today one decided to wait for me on top of my car.  This western variety of the Cattle Egret is found throughout the Americas and is a year round resident in Florida.  Also know as Cow Birds, Cattle Egrets are beneficial to large mammals, such as cows, as they help control pests and parasites.

Loggerhead Shrike

Loggerhead Shrike

This is a Loggerhead Shrike. I have been watching him for the last few weeks stationed on the various wooden posts that ring the fields down the street from my home.  The Loggerhead is a small bird, gray and white, with a black hooked beak and a black mask across his face.  Believe it or not, this little guy is a predator.  He feeds on insects, lizards, mice and other birds.  His strong hooked beak allows him to rip his prey to shreds.  I imagine that other birds and small animals in the neighborhood tell their young to beware of the bird in the black mask.

Here are a couple more shots…

Loggerhead Shrike
Loggerhead Shrike