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Green Cay / Wakodahatchee wetlands

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Old Saturday 28th August 2010, 01:20   #1
merryslug
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Green Cay / Wakodahatchee wetlands

We've been discussing this elsewhere, so I thought we could dedicate a thread to one of the best birding areas in south Florida.


Starting things off with two questions:

1) Has anyone ever seen a Reddish Egret here? and
2) When might be a good time to spot Painted Buntings?



I went there this afternoon and didn't see the Spoonbills that Zackiedawg has spotted there lately. But the usual suspects were there, and...

I finally got to see why Red-bellied woodpeckers are so-named. I've been taking their word for it for years, but one flashed me from a palm and now I see where the name came from

AND got two new Warblers! The Prairie and the Yellow-throated.

Three "firsts" for merry today!

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Old Saturday 28th August 2010, 15:48   #2
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I went there in February, and I saw many, many wonderful birds, so I can only imagine what it must be like in the summer!
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Old Sunday 29th August 2010, 00:06   #3
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The Spoonbills were there today - out in the middle and under a bush, but they were there :) Always great to see these unusual creatures.

I also got better pics of the Prairie Warbler today.

I had gone down to Matheson Hammock looking for Mynas (which were a no-show, though there were more Cardinals than you could shake a stick at). After that I needed a pick-me-up so I did a quick stop here.
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Old Sunday 29th August 2010, 23:39   #4
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I was at both yesterday as well (did I see you? I don't think so - only passed maybe 4 people at either place). Roseates were in the middle, but also one kindly one was close out around the back, just to the right of the pine hammock...got a few good shots of him standing with some glossy ibis and a family of black-bellied whistling ducks (4 or 5 ducklings and two parents).

I saw only 2 warblers - one palm and one black-and-white...I would have liked to have seen the prairie! And that flock of dowitchers was at Green Cay again...but no chance at all for a photo...they stayed very far away and in flight. Tons of purple gallinules at both locations - all young. Black necked stilts were still at Green Cay too. At Wakodahatchee, the least bitterns were moving about in the nest near the front entrance - I watched the male fly out and go foraging. And tons of cattle egrets and a few snowys were nested on the island - there are a ton of youngsters there.
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Old Monday 30th August 2010, 02:52   #5
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I was there around 1-2pm? I didn't go farther than the first cypress stand (going clockwise), which is where 've been seeing the Prairie. I'd love the Black and White!

If you saw a chubby woman looking irritated with her camera then that was probably me

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Old Monday 30th August 2010, 04:37   #6
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I was probably at Green Cay around 2pm or so. I went around the outer loop, then cut back through the smaller inside loop over the pond, then probably left around 4 to go to Wakodahatchee.

That first cypress stand around the clockwise direction is where I saw the black-and-white too. All the warblers seem to like that spot. He wouldn't cooperate at all with photography - the only shot I could even get of him was shooting through 1,000 leaves at ISo400:

http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...17435/original

I noticed too yesterday that the blue-winged teals have returned at Green Cay - there were 4 or 5 of them together. That's the first I've seen of them since April.
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Old Monday 30th August 2010, 14:25   #7
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Still a great photo! Black and White would be a new one for me, so I guess I'm going back again next weekend. Thanks!
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Old Sunday 5th September 2010, 16:51   #8
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Yesterday I ran into a birding couple in who said they'd seen Yellow-rumped, Yellow-throated, Black and White and Prairie Warblers here. I've don't have Yellow-rumped or Black and White still, but for various reasons I couldn't hang out and look for long. I did see the Prairie warbler again.

In the hardwood hammock just beyond the first cypress stand: Blue Jays, red-bellied woodpecker again, a Turkey Vulture so close it skimmed the treetops, a Red-shouldered Hawk close by for a little bit, and one very vociferous bird with a long complicated song and a lot to say. Unfortunately I could hear him but not see him, and complicated song = I don't know it.

OOO and I almost forgot to mention - I ran into some volunteers and asked them about the Painted Buntings. They said that their birdfeeder (which is filled with seed especially for them) has been getting emptied, so they think they're back.
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Old Sunday 5th September 2010, 21:08   #9
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Yep...yesterday was actually pretty good - I was at Green Cay for a few hours, then over to Wakodahatchee for a few more. Other than being ugly hot (no breeze, which made it more unbearable than last week) and the roseates not being out in force, I had a wonderful photo session with the young red-shouldered hawk, who flew for me, then sat on a perch and yelled, right out in the open and in good sunlight - giving me my best hawk photos yet. Also a nice spotting of a flying black-crowned night heron, the black and white warbler again, a whole family of red-bellied woodpeckers including two youngsters trying to learn how to peck, some very tiny little grey birds that might have been blue-grey gnatcatchers, and a family of beautiful singing mockingbirds, going through an enormous repetoire of song. Some picturesque cattle egrets, blue herons, and great white egrets over at Wako capped out a pretty good day - but the hawk made it all worthwhile.
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Old Thursday 9th September 2010, 16:18   #10
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Now that I think about it, I bet the noisy bird I was listening to was a Mockingbird.

I envy you the woodpecker family and the close RSH - I'd love to see pics if you'd like to share.
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Old Friday 10th September 2010, 00:52   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merryslug View Post
I envy you the woodpecker family and the close RSH - I'd love to see pics if you'd like to share.
Didn't get great pics of the woodpecker family...I got one of the adult:

http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...46916/original

The hawk gave me a nice show though...here's just some of the sequence of shots while he sat up on the tree, and when he flew off:

http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...46920/original

http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...46922/original

http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...46924/original

http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...46926/original

http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...46928/original

http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...46930/original

http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...46933/original
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Old Friday 10th September 2010, 15:41   #12
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Beautiful! I like 5 and 6 best. You have a good eye.
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Old Friday 10th September 2010, 15:42   #13
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Just found this thread.
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Old Sunday 3rd October 2010, 22:39   #14
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Activity is getting pretty good at Green Cay lately - I had been away on vacation, so between my last visit 3 weeks ago and yesterday's visit, I spotted 7 new species not spotted since February/March. Also at Wakodahatchee it's picking up too.

Yesterday, along with the usual selection, I saw American Redstart, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Bachman's Sparrow, Belted Kingfisher, Limpkin, Black-crowned Night Heron, Blue-winged Teal, Wood Stork, Pied-billed Grebe, and Osprey. Though common, some of those I haven't seen for most of the summer months, and others I haven't seen since last winter's migration. Some good flight shot opportunities of the cattle egrets, ibises, and the kingfisher...and also some really crazy close portraits of the black-bellied whistling ducks and limpkin, who both let me close to within 8 feet while sitting on the rail.
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Old Monday 4th October 2010, 13:04   #15
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I've been hunting in other places lately. Sounds like i need to go back :) I don't have the Nuthatch or the Sparrow, and Kingfishers/Redstarts haven't sat for their portraits for me.
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Old Monday 4th October 2010, 14:58   #16
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I didn't manage a photo of the bachman's or the nuthatch - they were very elusive moving about in the big tree canopy near the back of the main loop (the one with the gazebo in it). The redstart was not the greatest photo in the world as he was in the same area, and moving quite a bit, but at least I got a shot to document him:

http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...98125/original

You can see the branch interference - I had to manually focus and shoot fast through a ton of branches. Funnily enough, my best redstart photo so far was when I spotted one sitting on the fence in my yard:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...72236/original

The kingfisher kept circling around me, and I had to wait for breaks in the trees to catch a shot or two...managed to get a couple:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...98142/original

http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...98143/original

Hopefully next week I can get a shot or two of the sparrow and nuthatch, as I don't even have a photograph of either one yet.
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Old Monday 4th October 2010, 15:34   #17
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Great shots! My only picture of a Redstart so far is this black blob up in a tree with red spots on it.
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Old Sunday 17th October 2010, 05:43   #18
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Was out at both places today...the sora are back! Spotted several of them at Green Cay, close enough for some good shots. Many of the same spottings as last week were still there too (didn't see the redstart this time). Got a good few shots of a palm warbler. Pretty good pickings at both parks - not up to full winter stock, but definitely more lively than summer. And the weather was darn near perfect today!
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Old Monday 18th October 2010, 00:33   #19
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OMG you're kidding?! My coworker and I have been debating over Sora on Lake O. I'd lurv to get to actually see one for sure! Go any pics you're willing to share?

eta: is there a good spot in particular to look?
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Old Monday 18th October 2010, 06:12   #20
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Quote:
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OMG you're kidding?! My coworker and I have been debating over Sora on Lake O. I'd lurv to get to actually see one for sure! Go any pics you're willing to share?

eta: is there a good spot in particular to look?
I found three sora - one smaller I'm guessing was a youngster and two that looked like adults with the more yellow beaks. I saw them at Green Cay, all the way at the back - when you come out of the tree hammock and hit the long straightaway where you can see the nature center across the lake - they were on the side facing the nature center, right around where that little bench pullover is. Here are the two shots I processed from yesterday:

http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...10757/original

http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...10754/original

In general, I find Green Cay to be an excellent spot to see them - I spotted them routinely all winter long, and got quite a few shots of them there. I hadn't seen them though since about March...I don't know quite where they go during the summer, but it looks like they're coming back to town.

I also noticed this palm warbler hanging out just on the opposite side of the sora:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...10760/original

Also, I've been seeing quite a few downy woodpeckers at Wakodahatchee in the main tree canopy levee to the left...I usually see a lot of red-bellieds and the occasional pileated, but not usually downys in that spot - here are a couple shots from yesterday:

http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...10766/original

http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...10769/original
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Old Monday 18th October 2010, 11:46   #21
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Stunning shots as always! I'll have to go on a Sora (and maybe a Downy) hunt very soon.
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Old Monday 25th October 2010, 12:45   #22
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Tried on Saturday and i essentially stalked the boardwalk for Sora. A very nice volunteer confirmed that I was looking the right general area, but no luck that day.

However a trip to Green Cay is never a waste :). I got more shots of a Palm Warbler, got a white morph Little Blue Heron, and finally some decent pictures of Pied-billed Grebes.

BTW the volunteer was just coming back from the Bunting feeder. She said someone had reported them, but she hadn't seen them yet.
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Old Monday 25th October 2010, 18:23   #23
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I didn't catch any buntings Saturday late afternoon...haven't seen any yet over there. I did see the sora again, in the same spot - he was being a little shy, and mostly staying in a clump of reeds just to the left of the bench, but some patience had him poke his head out a few times.

Weather was pretty crappy this weekend - poor light, humidity was back in force, and periodic rain...so I didn't get nearly as many photos - but still managed a few good hits of the old faithfuls (herons, egrets, ducks). I tracked a pair of warblers through the northernmost tree stand, but they never allowed me a photo this time. Fortunately, I got a good one at the beach...but I still need to confirm what type of warbler that was.
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Old Monday 25th October 2010, 20:51   #24
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I'll be on vacation next weekend.

The Sora better wait for me.
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Old Monday 25th October 2010, 21:27   #25
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Me too - I'm headed out of country on Friday, and not back until Nov 9...so I won't be able to hit the wetlands for the next two weekends. I'm hoping by Nov 13 it'll really be picking up more of the winter migrators! I'm fairly confident you'll be seeing more and more sora - during the winter, I think I've spotted them at Green Cay every weekend, and a few times at Wako as well.
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