Black-and-White Warbler were all over the shop along the the loop trail off Highway 41 at Big Cypress National Park
Cracking day yesterday! I teamed up Lara, one of the Workaways that I'm working with in the Everglades, and in her 4x4 we made the hour drive to the Everglades National Park, Sharks Valley. On the way we stopped off at one of the many camping grounds along Highway 41. If you didn't know, that sociopath in office, has forced a government shutdown. The longest time in history that it has been shutdown and now into it's forth week, forcing 800,000 federal employees out of work until the shutdown comes to an end! It's all to do with trying to cut funds back to build that wall on the Mexican border that the sociopath so desperately wants. He tweeted 'Everybody knows that the wall will work perfectly (In Israel the Wall works 99.9%)' Lara told me (she cannot stand Trump) the Democrats are also to blame as they have the majority in the US House of Representatives and could open the government up again. .At the same time it's a ploy by Trump and even Republicans are blaming Trump. As a result of the shutdown, all National Parks across the US are free. including camping. as only volunteers manage the parks and have no authority over charging you to visit or stay.
We parked up at the campground and immediately I started phishing and from out of the woodwork, warblers appeared from nowhere in good numbers including, Yellow-throated, Prairie, Yellow-rumped, Pine and Palm Warbler. Also moving through with them were Downy Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, House Wren and Grey Catbird. Returning to the wagon there were Great-crested Flycatcher and Eastern Phoebe.
This is the sign that greeted us as we entered the campsite
Followed by my first ever Alligator
Anhinga are lined up along the rivers
This Osprey was preening in someone's front garden (Top left of image)
We turned off Highway 41 and took a loop trail. A few miles in and we came to a bridge crossing a river and got out to have a brief look around. That brief look turned out to be over an hour as the area was so productive. Already present were White Ibis, Night, Great Blue, Little Blue Heron, Great Egret, Belted Kingfisher and Yellow-rumped Warbler. Again I did some phishing and out came a Northern Parula followed by White-eyed Vireo, Tufted Titmouse, Northern waterthrush and a Black-and-White Warbler. We found out later that the two latter species were most numerous. More phishing and more birds including, Yellowthroat and a stonking male American Redstart.
Little Blue Heron
Altogether we saw 10+Night Heron
We saw up to 15+Black-and-White Warbler next to the road
It was so good to see this cracking male American Redstart as I've only seen females in Costa Rica before
Lara spotted this Cottonmouth Snake next to where we parked the car Thanks to Bobby 'Dazzler' Dawson for the identification
This is the habitat where the ibis, egrets, herons and passerines hung out that we observed.
We moved further down road and pulled over to see what I could attract with a bit of phishing. You never know what's goin to pop up in front of you when you phish but I had no idea that after a minute of making the squeaky sound from my lips on my hand that a Boreal Owl would fly in and land out in the open in front of us!! It showed superbly only meters away until it was flushed by a passing car. However, instead of flying away, it flew low directly in our direction to land on a branch just behind us. Here we left it alone coming away with 'Did that just happen?'
About five mile up road I did that squeaky sound again and would you it, another Boreal Owl came out and landed mid way up a tree just above us!
Barred Owl number 1
The owl was on the left of the pic
Barred Owl number 2
We finished the day off in the evening light with the only Wood Stork of the trip so far