Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sanibel 12/11--Eurasian Collared-Dove, Common Ground-Dove, Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker, E. Gulf Drive, Sanibel
Mike & I instituted a routine the first morning on Sanibel, meeting at 6:30, well before sunrise, for a walk on the beach. We did this each morning, though once we drove over to Pt Ybel Lighthouse with Shari and on our last day there Shari came with us to walk a trail that circled the Sanibel settling ponds (sunrise over "reclaimed water" is so romantic), but the point was to get an early start to the day.

On our first walk along the beach we picked up the four shorebirds we'd expect--Black-bellied Plover, Willet (of the Western persuasion), Ruddy Turnstone, and, of course, Sanderlings, as well as a Brown Pelican,  but surprisingly, no terns or gulls. We walked about a mile then, with the sun up, cut over to E. Gulf Drive to walk back to our hotel. It was there that we saw the more "interesting" birds, including my first Pileated Woodpecker of the year. What an impressive bird, with a beak like a hatchet. I think of Pileateds as more a hardwood forest bird, but palm trees seem pretty attractive to it also.

Turning around from the woodpecker, Mike found the first of many American Kestrels we'd see in Florida, this one atop a utility pole, eating a bug.
American Kestrel
We also came across two Yellow-throated Warblers just outside the entrance to our hotel, but they were jumping around too much for photography. 
Sanibel Beach
7 species
Brown Pelican  1
Osprey  1
Black-bellied Plover  1
Ruddy Turnstone  3
Sanderling  8
Willet (Western)  2
Common Yellowthroat  1
East Gulf Drive
18 species
Magnificent Frigatebird  1
Double-crested Cormorant  4
Brown Pelican  1
Turkey Vulture  10
Osprey  6
Cooper's Hawk  1
Mourning Dove  18
Red-bellied Woodpecker  4
Pileated Woodpecker  1
American Kestrel  1
Fish Crow  8
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1     Heard 
Gray Catbird  1     Heard 
Northern Mockingbird  1     Heard 
European Starling  5
Yellow-rumped Warbler  1
Yellow-throated Warbler  
Common Grackle  25

After breakfast we headed over to Ding Darling. On the way there we picked up our first Eurasian Collared-Dove, which is almost like listing pigeon (which I actually didn't this trip, nor House Sparrow). On the way out of Ding, Chris picked up two smaller doves on the side of the rooad and after we swung around they turned out to be, appropriately, a pair of Common Ground-Doves.

The Magnificent Frigatbird we listed flew over the street toward the Gulf. 

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