Thursday, June 28, 2018

Coyote in the Wounded Wetlands

On June 23, a half hour before sunrise, we walked out into the "Wounded Wetlands," a water conservation area near our home in southwestern Broward County, Florida.

Overhead, the sky was blue, but storm clouds were visible on all horizons.  Like fingerprints and snowflakes, no two sunrises are the same.  

Here, the sun illuminated the clouds and had not yet touched the lake, but the cloud formation took the shape of two firemen (or were they Daffy Ducks?) racing to extinguish a blaze:

Before Sunrise 09-20180625

I first encountered my neighbor Scott as he walked his dog in the Wounded Wetlands. He carried a camera and liked macro and landscape shots.  As a retiree I can afford to spend more time out in the wild than he, but Scott is very good at finding things I have missed.

Early on, Scott discovered the heron rookery at the far end of the patch. He e-mailed me detailed instructions as to its location. It was a spot which I often walked by, but never had explored. I followed the directions and still could not find it. 

He had to meet me there and point out the several Yellow-crowned Night Herons and their nests which I had been missing:

Yellow-crowned Night-Herons 20140313

Then Scott and his daughter found the first Whooping Crane ever reported here in many years. He sent me a photo to confirm the identification and I hurried out to eventually find it accompanied by a second Whooping Crane.

(They were captive-reared and in a group released in Wisconsin to migrate to northern Florida with a group of Sandhill Cranes. One wore a radio locator which tracked them down to the southern tip of the Florida peninsula before they wandered up to our neighborhood. Amazingly, one eventually spent time in Scott's front yard!).

Whooping Cranes 2012 15 Cypress male and 13 Tussock female 20130106

Whooping Crane 12-15 at 0850AM  20130207

Whooping Crane 15 and pedestrian 20130205

Once again, Scott has outdone me with a very rare find-- the first Coyote reported in this part of our county. He obtained great photos, but so far I have not been able to spot it on my own (Photos property of Scott McPherran and used with his permission):

This immature Green Heron provided some dramatic poses in poor light:

Green Heron 02-20180622

Green Heron 04-20180622

Green Heron 01-20180622

Twice this week I enjoyed seeing two Bald Eagles flying over. They are almost certainly residents from the nest about 1 1/2 miles away. The adult appeared at sunrise, while the juvenile followed about an hour later both days:

Bald Eagle adult 01-20180622

Bald Eagle juvenile  01-20180622

As I was photographing the juvenile eagle, a near-sighted Raccoon walked right up to me. I had to wave my arms to make him avoid me:

Raccoon 02-20180621

A female Florida Box Turtle ambled across the gravel track. She retracted into her shell when I approached, so I picked her up and deposited her safely on the other side of the road:

Florida Box Turtle 01-20180621

Florida Box Turtle 02-20180621

A Great Egret's plumage contrasted with the pastel sky. The pink tint suggests that dust may be blowing in from the Sahara Desert:

Great Egret at dawn 02-20180625

Later, in good light, another immature Green Heron launched from a treetop:

Green Heron 07-20180622

Its wing span is impressive:

Green Heron 06-20180622

Back home, a Tricolored Heron visited our yard:

Tricolored Heron 03-20180620

After harvesting all the mangoes we could reach, we left the highest ones for the birds, among them this Egyptian Goose resting in the shade with a neighbor's fence reflected in the background:

Egyptian Goose 20180620

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

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 Our World Tuesday by Lady Fi

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart

Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue

Linking to ALL SEASONS by Jesh

 Linking to Fences Around the World by Gosia


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



  1. Yo Scot! Great eyes.

    And nice shooting for you, Kenneth

  2. Thank you very much Ken! That is very kind of you and thank you for always being my go-to source on pretty much anything related to wildlife and the Everglades! I appreciate it more than you know!

  3. Very enjoyable report.
    The cranes are new to me indeed!
    Nice to see them.

  4. wow your photos are fantastic Love from Poland

  5. The closeup of the Night Heron is magnificent, as is the second photo of the Green Heron. I used to live in southwestern British Columbia, in an area not yet overpopulated with people, and I loved to hear the coyotes howling at night, but I never did see one.
    Beautiful photos, and how nice for you to have a friend well-educated in the art of spotting and photographing birds.
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  6. Great photos! Your friend Scott sounds like an accomplished observer of nature. The coyote shots are excellent (as are all the photos!!).

  7. Some wild critters are very hard to sot. Good job on this one.

  8. How wonderful to see all these critters, and more so to have a friend to help! I kinda like the 'bad light' photos, they are unique.

  9. Great shots and the first one is a real piece of art (by nature of course).

  10. What a great variety of images you captured!

  11. Hello, wonderful captures of all the birds. I love the Green Heron, The YC Night Herons and the Cranes. The landscape/sky shot is lovely. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. I appreciate the comment and visit. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

  12. smorgasbord this week- a crane brought me a dead snake yesterday

  13. Great place for wildlife spotting, thanks for sharing with us :)

  14. Fantastic shots, and great captures of all the birds. Have a great weekend birding!

  15. Amazing photos all around. The Whooping Cranes are beautiful birds. I think I'd be more than a bit terrified if a raccoon walked towards me like that. Hope you have a great weekend!

  16. You've created a treasure today!! What an amazing array...each photo a prize! (We too are getting the dust from the Sahara).

    I want to send along my sincere thanks for your sharing this fabulous post this week with us birders!

  17. All excellent shots but the top one is fantastic!

  18. What an adventure, Ken! Great neighbor you have:) The pink sunrise and all the birds are beautiful - among them the flying egret is my favorite because of the way it holds its wings in your capture!Many thanks for sharing with All Seasons
    The summer storms in FL are scary! Keep safe and a happy 4th of July!

  19. Wow, oh, wow, oh wow! I've probably said that before from previous visits. If not, well, then wow, oh, wow, oh wow! Until your blog, I thought of Florida as urban, Disneyworld, and sand. Oh, and lizards and reptiles. Now I know better. :-)

  20. Ken - thanks once again for sharing your wildlife extravaganza with us! All of the shots are terrific, but the white egret caught my attention since it the nature of the picture is so different from what you normally show us … and I appreciate that you safely moved the turtle to the other side of the road!!!

  21. Absolutely stunning photos. What lens are you using for most of these photos. They are so sharp and clear.

  22. Thanks all! In response to Kelleyn, my camera gear for the wildlife photos consists of Canon EOS 80D; EF 300mm f/4L IS USM with 1.4X II Extender (420 mm f/5.6 lens system), handheld. The landscape photos were taken with a pocket camera: Canon PowerShot SX700 HS with 30x zoom. I do not know the details of Scott's gear but he is a Nikon fan.


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