Thursday, September 21, 2017

Birding in between hurricanes

We returned to Florida from Illinois on August 5, flew to Amarillo only six days later, then on to Corpus Christi, Texas on August 16 and returned to Florida on August 20. Hurricane Harvey struck Corpus Christi on August 26. As Hurricane Irma approached our Florida home we escaped to New Mexico on September 6, came back to Florida on September 12, then departed for Illinois on September 16. This adds up to seven flights over a six week period. 

A pre-dawn view of cruise ships in Port Everglades as we took off from the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (the airplane cabin was dark but my iPad turned on and caused a reflection):

Port Everglades 02-20170916

In betwen trips we enjoyed a few rain-free days which allowed us to go birding in our local Florida wetlands. This was the scene just 5 minutes after sunrise on August 9:

North Shore sunrise plus 5 minuutes E-M10MkII 20170809

Int the flooded woodlands, Melaleucas and Australian Pines had wet feet and cast weird reflectons:

Melaleuca Swamp  Bright E-M10 20170808

The herons in the rookery had raised their broods and most abandoned the site. Among the stragglers were an adult Yellow-crowned Night-Heron:

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron 01  E-M10 20170808

It posed for a portrait, demonstrating its binocular vision:

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron adult 01-20170903

A well-hidden juvenile Yellow-crowned Night-Heron:

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron juvenile 20170904

I captured this photo of a Great Egret preening its feathers through a hole between the branches. This produced a natural vignette: 

Great Egret 03-20170829

The appearance of a Northern Waterthrush was a sign that land bird migration was underway:

Northern Waterthrush 03-20170829

Northern Parula warblers are early migrants:

Northern Parula 094-20170827

Last year we had a tiny Alder Flycatcher stay well into autumn. Perhaps this is the same one, as it appeared in the same fruiting Trema tree. Since it is best distinguished from the nearly identical Willow Flycatcher by its call, I must wait to hear it to be sure of my identification. However its olive plumage and its habit of foraging along the branches like a vireo appear more consistent with an Alder Flycatcher:

Traill's Flycatcher 01-20170904

Blue-gray Gnatcatchers may breed down into southern Florida, but I have never seen them during summer until late August:

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 004 HD-20170828

Northern Cardinals are present year around. This is a female:

Northern Cardinal female 20170904

Prairie Warblers breed locally but their numbers are augmented by arrivals from the north:

Prairie Warbler 06-20170904

Prairie Warbler 09-20170904

Raccoons commute between their homes and those of humans who fail to secure their garbage:

Raccoon 20170901

A feral boar appeared about a year ago. They can be dangerous and we try to avoid them:

Wild Boar 20170620

Unusually wet conditions in the Everglades drive the White-tailed Deer onto high ground nearer to civilization. This is a magnificent eight-point buck:

White-tail Buck 06-20170826

This is an earlier photo of a doe jumping over the guard rail of the unfinished roadway:

White-tailed doe jumping 03-20150123

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,


Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy


Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart

Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue

Linking to ALL SEASONS by Jesh


Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display



  1. yer gonna grow wings, sir.

    Love the egret shot, with all the beautiful bokeh

  2. I love all the birds and animals featured in your stunning photos, Kenneth!

  3. You've certainly been doing an awful lot of travelling but it sure didn't keep you from sharing some beautiful nature photos with us. I hope you are getting over any jet lag and that you and family are safe.

  4. Well, you certainly have been busy traveling! Great shots!

  5. Wow, lots of travel and hurricane-dodging!! You managed to get in some outstanding photography along with everything else keeping you busy.

  6. Great reflections, and wonderful bird photos. Thank you for an excellent post

  7. Whoa, that was an expensive few months! But your life is worth more! Terrific first shot! But maybe you feel like the night heron right now - hope that this is the end of the escape routes! I'll get back to you after you linked up for All Seasons.:)

  8. Hello, you have been busy traveling. I love all the pretty birds. The deer are beautiful animals. The last shot is cool. Great collection of photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

  9. What a wonderful series of photos!
    If I had to pick a favorite it would be the Great Egret
    Have a great week-end!

  10. Glad you are safe. Gathered some really fantastic shots. Take care.

  11. I try to avoid bores as well!!! Love the racoon, still never seen one.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  12. Wow...Magnificent birds [great narrative too by the way!] and beautiful photos. That one of the white tailed doe is stupendous and with it...awesome timing.

    Your post, and sharing, is always appreciated. I thank you for stopping by and adding your link this weekend at I'd Rather B Birdin'.

  13. Love all your photos, but it is the Gnatcatcher photo that holds my attention today
    Have a great day!

  14. Wonderful post! Such a great variety of animals and birds.

  15. Outstanding photos! I think the reflection makes the view even more interesting.

  16. Fabulous shots! Wow, that's a lot of flights, and I bet you were frazzled. Glad you fared well. Love the light in so many of your photos. Just gorgeous!

  17. Wow, that's a lot of colors and some lovely scenery, too! Very impressive!

  18. What a brilliant wildlife filled blog post.

  19. All of these photos are magnificent.
    Thank you so much for sharing at

  20. Thank you so much Ken for explaining about the night heron (and the image you shared with All Seasons!
    On second look, our image of the deer is beautiful! In the forest they're much more squeamish, and start walking away as soon as they hear the tiniest noise! Am really glad you and Mary Lou made it through the hurricanes up till now, and hope you're safe for the rest of the year, at least!

  21. Hello Kenneth. I am glad that you are safe. Beautiful serie of birds and animals. Have a great week ahead.

  22. Great selection of birds. The Night Heron is really neat looking. Enjoyed seeing the Deer, The Boar & the Raccoon as well.

  23. just reading your travel plans I am exhausted, but beautiful photos! Great job! Have a great week!

  24. I hope you had no damage to your property -- what a nightmare. I love to travel but not under those circumstances. We think our tiny cottage in Ft M came through with minimal problems.


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