Pelicans at Dusk

Today on my way home from work I decided to stop by the Cutler Wetlands in Cutler Bay, FL.  It was close to dusk.  A trio of American White Pelicans was getting ready to settle down for the night.  They lined up in a row and gave me an opportunity to snap this quick photo.

American White Peilcans

Birding the Everglades – Tricolored Heron

Herons are large majestic birds that thrive in South Florida and are abundant throughout the Everglades.  They are bold, long-legged wading birds that gracefully stalk their prey through the shallows. One of my favorite herons is the Tricolored Heron, a medium-sized heron, sooty gray with a tinge of purple, white trimming and hints of rusty pink.  I watched this one a few weeks ago as he fished in the Everglades, marveling at his uncanny ability to concentrate on the task at hand.  I decided that, unlike me, herons do not suffer from ADD.

Tricolored Heron steps gracefully through the shallows.
Spreading wings to reveal a white body underneath.
Taking some time to reflect.

Getting Back Out There!

February was a busy month.  With a lot going on at my job and at home I didn’t have time to get out into nature, but this weekend I finally had a chance.  I was rewarded with two new species for my life list and three for my year list. I watched my first Snail Kite skimming over the river of sawgrass in the Chekika area of the Everglades.  Later I saw my first Painted Bunting at Castellow Hammock Park in South Miami-Dade County.  She was a beautiful yellow-green.  I also watched some White-winged doves cautiously enjoying a meal at one of the bird feeders at Castellow.  These were a first for 2011. All in all it was a rather light birding day.  I noticed that Lake Chekika was a lot dryer than it was during my previous visits, and am wondering if the South Florida birding season is  beginning to wind down.  Nevertheless I saw some new birds and was able to get some shots of species I hadn’t been able to photograph in the past.

European Starling peeking out from the birdhouse he has claimed for himself.

White-winged Dove perched on a bird feeder eying me cautiously.  Notice the bright blue eye-ring.

Belted Kingfisher – one of my favorites.  I finally got one to sit still enough for a photo.

Female Painted Bunting with seed.