Memorial Day at Cutler Wetlands

I spent an overcast Memorial Day morning at the Cutler Wetlands.  A light breeze was enjoyed by me and the birds alike.  I watched the usual cast of Ibises, Sandpipers and Moorhens feeding in and along the shallow waters and of course I snapped a few photographs.

Western Sandpiper (Calidris mauri)

Western Sandpipers feeding along the water’s edge.

A group of White Ibises took to the sky in unison.

Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor)

This Tricolor faces into the wind and displays its beautiful plumage.

Nice Catch!

Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)

A pair of Common Moorhens cautiously picking through the puddles.

Birding the Everglades: Chekika State Recreation Area

Chekika State Recreation Area is another great birding location just a few minutes from the suburban sprawl in southern Miami-Dade County, FL.  Until last weekend I never knew it existed, despite growing up less than thirty minutes away.  Chekika is part of Everglades National Park and is open to the public between December and May.  The Chekika facility includes a small pond, a hammock with a hiking trail and a large lawn suitable for picnics. It is surrounded by sprawling fields of sawgrass. My short visit there on Sunday yielded several different bird species, including some firsts for me.

A Killdeer, one of my new favorite birds.

“Hmmm, let’s see if there is anything to eat over here.”  (Little Blue Heron)

“Ummm, Maybe I’ll try somewhere else.” (Little Blue Heron)

I originally identified this as a Red-tailed Hawk, but stand corrected.  It’s a Red-shouldered Hawk.

Red-shouldered Hawk

He watched me closely, but never left his post.

Green Heron, active as usual.

Great Crested Flycatcher

A pair of juvenile Common Moorhens stopped by for a drink.