We are blessed in Palm Beach County to have the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge was opened 61 years ago tomorrow on June 8, 1951. The Wildlife Refuge was established to protect and manage the northern Everglades and encompasses an area of about 220-square miles. Much of the refuge is only accessible by watercraft but there is still miles and miles of dikes to explore and a nice visitor center with a boardwalk that goes through an old growth Cypress Swamp.
I usually take my bicycle and can easily put 8-10 miles on riding around the various areas I check. The nice thing about Loxahatchee for me is that there are a couple of specific birds that I never see at Green Cay that I can count on seeing here. The Carolina Wren is one species that is usually very conspicuous and today there were at least a half a dozen singing in the areas I searched. Hearing them is easy … getting one to pose for the camera is another matter. I had to work hard for a shot of this guy this morning and I think the only reason he froze was that a Turkey Vulture had just flown over!
Loxahatchee is also a great place for Woodpeckers. I saw Pileated, Downy and Red-bellied there this morning and Northern Flicker and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers at other times. There have been a nesting pair of Great Horned Owls for a number of years and Eastern Screech Owls have a nest box that they sometimes use. I know the Green Heron isn’t a Woodpecker but can you imagine the holes he would make if he was!
In the first week of June I’ve photographed 63 species of birds including this Morning Dove at Lox this morning. I still have some easy birds to get and incredibly last year someone managed to see 124 species in the county during June so I still have a ways to go.
Thanks for visiting and I really do appreciate all your comments. I know some bloggers respond to all the comments they get but I prefer to read and comment on others post with the time I have available.