Caloosahatchee Creeks Preserve

One thing I do for fun, relaxation and a little bit of exercise is to count birds once or twice a month in Caloosahatchee Creeks which is a Lee County Preserve near ECHO. This preserve is undergoing restoration from previous use as agricultural land and invasion by exotic plants, mainly Brazilian Pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius). More information about CCP is available online at the Lee County Conservation 20/20 site.

Tricolored Heron at Caloosahatchee Creeks Preserve
Tricolored Heron

Today I walked around a portion of the preserve and counted 28 different species of birds in a little over 2 hours. That’s not great by birder’s standards but pretty decent for a June morning.

Some of the summer wildflowers are in bloom now which added to the overall enjoyment of the hike.

Here are a few more pictures:

At the Farm

“The Farm” is my parents house and a few acres north of Gainesville. Sunday just after sunset 2 barred owls flew into the yard. This yard and the one across the road can be pretty good bird spots.

Young Buck
Young Buck

Then last night as we are finishing supper my sister looks out the window and noticed 2 bucks walking by!

This week in Ft. Myers

24inchTrout I took a vacation day on Tuesday and went fishing with a friend from church. Thanks for a great time Bob!

Caloosahatchee Creeks Preserve East

String Lily
String Lily (Crinum americanum)

This preserve is within walking  distance of where we live. Preserve web page. For almost 2 years now I have been a volunteer there 1 or 2 hours a month doing bird counts.

It is getting hot down here and our winter birds are gone but Saturday in the preserve there was a nice collection of herons, egrets and wildflowers.

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Saltmarsh Morning Glory (Ipomea sagittata)

Birds were too far away for my old point and shoot but some of the flowers were String Lily (Crinum americanum), Saltmarsh Morning Glory (Ipomea sagittata), and Virgina Saltmarsh Mallow (Kosteletzkya pentacarpos).

Virginia Saltmarsh Mallow
Virgina Saltmarsh Mallow (Kosteletzkya pentacarpos)

Cardinal Nest at the Farm

CardinalNestSmall

This week we are at the Hargrave homestead near LaCrosse for Father’s Day. Sitting in the TV room with my dad we noticed a Cardinal fly into the camellia bush just outside the window. I wondered if she might be there for more than just a casual visit and when we looked more closely discovered the nest. It must be hot enough during the day that she doesn’t have to sit on the eggs so I snapped this picture without disturbing the bush while she was away.

Last week at Hickey’s creek I found 4 Florida Scrub Jays on the Palmetto Pines loop just after the turn south to return. The literature mentions that they will post sentinels to keep a lookout for predators. Sure enough one sounded the alarm and I looked up to see a Swallow-tail Kite overhead; really not a danger to the Jays, but alarming nonetheless.

Tarflower (actually in Caloosahatchee Creeks Preserve)
Tarflower (actually in Caloosahatchee Creeks Preserve)

Also noted at Hickey’s Creek were blooming Tarflowers (Bejaria racemosa) —http://www.sfrc.ufl.edu/4h/Tarflower/tarflowe.htm