I felt like seeing some Ducks today. There are only a couple of places in Palm Beach County that I know of that are reliable for Wood Ducks. Riverbend Park in Jupiter, Okeeheelee in West Palm Beach and Peaceful Waters in Wellington. Since today was a work day I chose the closest, Peaceful Waters and I sure am glad I did.
When going to Peaceful Waters I normally go all the way out to route 441 and then North but today the traffic light had just turned red on Jog so I went North on Jog all the way to Hypoluxo. As I was heading West and was passing Hagen Ranch Road I noticed this very cooperative Burrowing Owl sitting on his perch. God was really looking out today (he actually does every day) … not only with this species but a couple of others nice ones too.
I wasn’t disappointed at Peaceful Waters as I found my Duck easily enough. The Wood Duck wasn’t really in the mood to pose for pictures but I did manage to capture a couple of images before he flew off. I have a whole file of pics titled “rail birds” so I did get a new one today for that file.
Limpkins are one of those birds that birders from all around the country come to Florida to see. Years ago they were pretty tough to find but with the introduction of an exotic species of Apple Snail, finding one requires little more than to drive around watching our many, many miles of canal banks. They have become so numerous that for many locals they are a nuisance do to their cry. If you have never heard a pair of Limpkins calling incessantly to each other it can be quite annoying and unfortunately they do like to call at night so if you live on a lake … well you get the picture!
As I was making my way back to my car I heard the unmistakable sound of a Sandhill Crane. While not quite as loud and annoying as a Limpkins it is still one that once you have heard it you’ll never forget. This one was all by itself which I hope means the mate was on a nest somewhere. Sandhill Cranes mate for life and you rarely see loners so I hope that was the case.
I usually don’t like to take a birds picture if he’s sitting on a sign but I made an exception today as this guy looked like he was directing traffic in to see all of his friends!! Loggerhead Shrikes are really cool birds. If you are not familiar with them their nickname is the “Butcher Bird”. They got this name because they will take whatever food they catch and impale it on a thorn or barbwire and then eat it. Of course they also are a really good looking bird!
I still haven’t completed processing all my pictures from the first couple of days but I’m sure I am over 50 species photographed so far this month and sooner or later I’ll get caught up with an exact number. Until then, thank you so much for visiting and God Bless.