Green Birding

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.

Short-tailed Hawk ... Enjoying a breakfast of European Starling!

Short-tailed Hawk … Enjoying a breakfast of European Starling!

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.

Short-tailed Hawk ... What a beautiful Raptor.

Short-tailed Hawk … What a beautiful Raptor.

On the ride I also passed a flooded median that contained five Greater Yellowlegs feeding with a flock of Boat-tailed Grackles.

Greater Yellowlegs ... I would never have recorded these if I was in the car!!

Greater Yellowlegs … I would never have recorded these if I was in the car!!

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.

Sora ... A new Loxahatchee bird!

Sora … A new Loxahatchee bird!

Also very cooperative were this Carolina Wren and this Swamp Sparrow!

Carolina Wren ... Looking for a partner to "sing" with!

Carolina Wren … Looking for a partner to “sing” with!

Swamp Sparrow

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!

Black-bellied Whistling Duck ... This was one tired group and most were already dozing by the time I made it downstairs to record them.

Black-bellied Whistling Duck … This was one tired group and most were already dozing by the time I made it downstairs to record them.

Thank you for visiting and I really, really do appreciate the comments!!

 

 

 

 

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About sheriffsmith

I have worked for the Broward County Sheriff's Office the last 13 years and spend most of my free time birdwatching / naturewatching and photographing the birds and nature that I encounter. I believe God has blessed us with a world that is so absolutely fascinating and wonderful and I'm doing my best to discover and show others all that he has provided us with in nature.
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6 Responses to Green Birding

  1. dinajohnston says:

    So many great shots! I have to get down there one of the days this winter.

  2. E.D. says:

    do you live in Palm Beach Florida, is this near Palm court, Jacksonville?

  3. Vicki Rogerson says:

    I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog. I have to concur on seeing more on a bike than in a car. Also, on a bike you can just stop and get a photo- not always so easy to do in a car. I used to ride my bike 3 hours and go 30 miles. Since birding, I now ride for 3 hours and go 10 miles. I am more interested in birds per hour than mph!

  4. Zargo says:

    Gorgeous animals!

  5. Susan Young says:

    Wow great find and photos! Love the blog, keep up the good work. Amazing shots…

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