Collier County (Naples area), Florida
Saturday 2 March 2019 79 °F
Today I birded areas south of Naples, Florida with my family in search of life birds! I love spring break — we will be here until Tuesday and then will fly home to Chicago.
I started off the morning in my backyard of the house we are renting where I found a male BALTIMORE ORIOLE and a WHITE IBIS, nice birds to start off the day.
Then, we drove south to Marco Island where I would search for my life bird BURROWING OWLS. Sure enough, within a block of our first birding stop, my mom pointed out two gnome-like birds sitting in a vacant lot and indeed they were the owls!
Overall I saw nine Burrowing Owls on Marco Island, it was amazing!
These owls’ borrows were protected by ropes that conservation officials had set up to protect this state-endangered species. They were just in the middle of vacant lots in random suburban areas — very cool to see!
MAGNIFICENT FRIGATEBIRD was neat:
Our next stop was a BALD EAGLE nest with two adults and two young, a very cool sight to see!
PRAIRIE WARBLER was also nice here:
On the way out, I spotted this LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE:
Then, we had a beach day at Tigertail Beach on the island, and I immediately spotted this SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER:
And a LEAST SANDPIPER:
MOTTLED DUCKS flying over:
Then, another Snowy Egret came by on the beach and a kindly fisherman gave my sister a chance to feed it!
There was a gigantic flock of ROYAL TERNS on the private section of beach that wasn’t overrun by beachgoers:
BROWN PELICANS were also mixed in:
As well as LAUGHING GULLS:
It was a BEAUTIFUL day for the beach!
OSPREY on its nest on the way out:
Then, our last birding stop of the day was Collier - Seminole State Park in search of my life bird White-crowned Pigeon. Along the boardwalk, I found this ugly BLACK VULTURE:
Heard-only was a pair of BARRED OWLS, my second owl species today!
And one of the best birds of the day, this SWALLOW-TAILED KITE, circled overhead a few times along for these photographs — only the second time I have ever seen this species!
A wonderful day! Bird-of-the-day to my life bird Burrowing Owls and runner-up to the Swallow-tailed Kite!
STAY TUNED — tomorrow morning my parents and I are heading to Corkscrew Swamp which is arguably one of the best birding spots in the entire southeastern US, and I expect to find many birds and a variety of non-avian wildlife as well!
World Life List: 968 Species (1 life bird today: Burrowing Owl)