Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sheldon Lake Environmental Center

Sunday morning we headed over to Sheldon Lake, hoping to see the Great Kiskadee that has been hanging out there for months.

We were delighted to see that the recent rains have filled most of the ponds back up to their normal levels and that alligators have returned.

At the very start of the trail we bumped into fellow birders Mark and Sarah Kuzio. I mentioned to them that I was hoping for the Kiskadee. Two minutes later I was walking a few yards behind them when Mark beckoned me to move up to where they were. "Kiskadee," he said pointing to the bushes to one side of the trail. And there it was! Unfortunately, it was gone before I could even get my camera up to eye-level. Still, a great bird to see in our area.

A few minutes later we were all surprised to see a huge flock of White Ibis pass overhead. They went over too fast to count or to take photos but there must have been at least 100 of them.

The rest of the trail was largely empty of birds except for numerous Yellow-rumped Warblers and several Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. The latter sometimes fussed around fairly high in the trees but often came down and foraged within a few feet of us.

The final sighting was of an Anhinga perched on a branch and drying its wings.

When it was dry, it started the curious head waving and croaking routine that perched Anhingas often indulge in.


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