The past three days I’ve gone birding the self-powered way … by bike! I visited Green Cay Wetlands on both the 1st and 2nd. Green Cay is an easy 4.8 mile round trip but today I decided to visit Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge which was a little longer at 19.2 miles round trip!
I haven’t all of sudden become overly environmentally conscious but I have a few ideas for what I want to do next year and I just want to see how many places are in biking range and will be doing a little more riding the rest of this month. Actually, you do see considerably more biking and I had two really nice finds this morning that I know I wouldn’t have seen if I had driving.
On the way back from Loxahatchee I saw this really gorgeous Short-tailed Hawk with a freshly caught Starling. Short-tails are fairly rare in Palm Beach County and this is the first Dark-morph that I have seen at close range. I had seen one (probably this one) kettling with Vultures over Loxahatchee and could not believe my luck to see him again and at such close range!!! He stayed for maybe 5 minutes and then a Turkey Vulture dove at him and he obligingly did a few nice loops over my head before moving off to enjoy his catch uninterrupted.
On the ride I also passed a flooded median that contained five Greater Yellowlegs feeding with a flock of Boat-tailed Grackles.
I had just under 60 species this morning at Loxahatchee with the best being a Northern Waterthrush, Savannagh and Swamp Sparrows the Short-tailed Hawk and a pair of Ring-necked Ducks. I’ve been at Loxahatchee 50 times or more and this morning I recorded my first ever Sora. This is a bird I see almost every day at Green Cay so it was a nice treat to put it on my Lox list.
Also very cooperative were this Carolina Wren and this Swamp Sparrow!
Sunday, Terri looked out at the lake behind the house and saw a huge flock of Ducks fly in. Turns out it was a group of 26 Black-bellied Whistling Ducks … a new yard bird!
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