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Green Cay / Wakodahatchee wetlands

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Old Sunday 7th November 2010, 00:51   #26
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The Buntings were there today, as well as one very bright Spoonbill and a zippy Kestrel. But still no Sora. I'm going to try to get up early tomorrow...
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Old Sunday 7th November 2010, 23:06   #27
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I'm still outside the US - getting back tomorrow evening...haven't had much chance (nor desire, to be honest) to try for internet connections while traveling as it's vacation time. I won't make it there until the weekend, but I'm curious where the buntings have finally started showing up, so I can look for them.
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Old Monday 8th November 2010, 12:11   #28
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I ran into some people who had seen them, early in the morning, just to the left of the walkway before you even get to the center.

But the best place is a specific feeder they frequent. If you take the middle boardwalk that bisects the loop, then turn left and the "T", go into the first chikee hut on your right. There's a feeder to the right of the hut. If you're facing the little info placard (I think on palms), then you're looking the right way.

I'm 95% sure those are the right directions. Next time I'm there I'll double check
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Old Monday 8th November 2010, 12:23   #29
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- and guess what?

I SAW A SORA! YAY! Okay, so my picture is laughable, but it's there and I'm SOoooo excited. I went right to where you said, and he popped out for a second. I must've waited there another hour, but no further movement. How the heck did you get a shot of one in the open?

AND I got at least two other new ones on Sunday - a Yellowthroat and a Harrier.


How many times have I been to Green Cay, and I can still get three new birds in one day?
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Old Monday 15th November 2010, 05:21   #30
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Glad you finally got the sora. I just got lucky - funny I was there with another photographer, and we were looking for the sora to come out - we were whispering and being all quiet, and got nothing...then we sort of forgot ourselves and started having a conversation at normal levels, and next thing we know, there's the sora moving right through the open.

I finally made it out there today...and the selection is definitely getting better since before my vacation! I haven't gone through my photos, and probably won't for a few days, but among the catches/sightings were the northern harrier you mentioned (I think i finally got some good shots of him), the yellow-rumped warblers were everywhere, along with the palms and black-and-whites, blue winged teals as well as green winged teals, caught a glimpse of what I'm pretty sure was an indigo bunting (no photo though), a kestrel, and another belted kingfisher...along with the regulars of course. And the ospreys were doing some serious fishing - three times I saw ospreys carting fish as big as their bodies around Wakodahatchee today. And at Wako, the great blue herons have started nest building, and I saw at least two of them doing the tango...so little herons have started their path to creation.
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Old Monday 15th November 2010, 20:47   #31
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Awesome. I need a Greeen winged Teal and a yellow Rumped Warbler.

I think I'm going to start hitting Okeeheelee for the buntings though. I can probably get closer to them there.
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Old Monday 15th November 2010, 20:57   #32
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Agreed - I am planning to get up there myself for those. Do you think they're out in force yet up there? let me know if you go, and tell me how frequent or easy it is to sight them now.
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Old Tuesday 16th November 2010, 12:47   #33
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You got it.
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Old Tuesday 16th November 2010, 12:59   #34
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Hey I saw the Egyptian Geese in your gallery - was that at Wakodahatchee or Green Cay?
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Old Tuesday 16th November 2010, 15:07   #35
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They were at Wakodahatchee last winter - spent a good month or two down there. They mostly hung out around to the right where the GBH nests are, but moved to the front a few times. At least two regulars - possibly a couple more. Hopefully they'll return again this winter...though invasive, they're still pretty to photograph!
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Old Sunday 28th November 2010, 23:53   #36
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Good weekend at both places...lots of life around - getting very dense with birds at green cay, mostly with the astounding number of coots that moved in. This weekend saw good spottings of northern harrier, green winged teals have arrived in larger numbers, the warblers are really starting to fill in, with the palms and yellow-rumpeds joined by common yellothroats, yellow-throated warblers, and pine warblers. Roseate spoonbill was back at green cay, several red-shoulder hawks have returned, kingfishers were out over Wakodahatchee, monk parakeets did a flyby, and saw a female painted bunting at Green Cay. Plus, the sora were out again at BOTH parks! And my rarest sighting at Wakodahatchee yesterday - a large American Bittern which flew up out of the reeds but too fast for me to get focused and shoot. Still, haven't seen one of those for quite some time.
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Old Monday 29th November 2010, 12:37   #37
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Are Green winged Teals at both parks? I haven't seen those yet.
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Old Monday 29th November 2010, 15:51   #38
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I only saw one at Wako...many more at Green Cay. They were in the big pond off to the right by the dead tree, between the two tree canopies - mixed in with thousands of coots and some blue-winged teals. Probably a dozen or so green-winged at least. Same area where the roseate spoonie was hanging out too. Here's one of the green-winged teals from Friday:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...9/original.jpg
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Old Monday 29th November 2010, 18:20   #39
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Gorgeous shot!

I barely tried Green Cay over the holiday weekend. I went Thanksgiving Day (after Okeeheelee turned out to be a bust) thinking that it would be deserted. instead it was packed. I went as far as the first (middle path) cypress hammock, saw a Palm Warbler, and called it a day.
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Old Monday 29th November 2010, 19:25   #40
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It was pretty crowded on Friday too. That first cypress hammock is where I got my first 'pine' warbler - I shot it not knowing what it was - didn't look like a palm or myrtle - brought it here to ask what it was...the folks here ID'd it as a pine warbler:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...6/original.jpg

Over at Wakodahatchee is where I caught this common yellowthroat:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...2/original.jpg

Both of those are new birds for me!
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Old Tuesday 30th November 2010, 13:03   #41
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Yay! Congrats I also need a Pine Warbler and a yellow-rumped.
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Old Sunday 5th December 2010, 20:39   #42
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Got a Yellow-rumped and the Green-winged Teals on Friday, and an American Widgeon (female) and as-yet-unidentified swallows today. Also better views of the Sora (squee!!).

There's a rumor that Viriginia Rail have been sighted, but good luck with that one - they're shyer than the Sora.

eta: also both days the Painted Buntings have been on teh feeder to the left near teh entrance when approaching the visitor's center. Still not as sunny a spot as Okeeheelee would be, but maybe a better view.

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Old Tuesday 7th December 2010, 18:00   #43
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I hope the widgeon sticks around - I imagine with the winter chill that has been hitting us, we might be seeing quite a few more of those rarer sightings again (the widgeons showed up last year too). I would love to photograph the Virginia rail - those are a near-impossible bird to shoot. I've been away the past weekend and looking forward to getting back out there this weekend.

I may try something completely different saturday and start off at Daggerwing in West Boca - I've heard rumor the monk parakeets have been sticking around there lately, and a few interesting sightings have been reported there recently like pileated woodpeckers nesting, loggerhead shrike, smooth-billed anis, and various usuals. Since I had luck trying something new at Gumbo Limbo and Rutherford, maybe Daggerwing will be surprising too. I'll likely head to Green Cay after, to see what the cool weather's brought down.
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Old Monday 13th December 2010, 15:15   #44
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Didn't see the widgeon Sunday...however it was a very good day for visiting the two wetlands. At Green Cay, the painted buntings were finally out clear and bold, in force, and I was able to get some nice shots of a male and female on the feeder (the one by the front entrance). The green-winged teals are out in some force too. Over at Wakodahatchee, I got some nice osprey shots, some good sora shots, and finally caught some more detail on the flying monk parakeets as they went over - now you can tell what they are! I haven't loaded or processed any shots yet, as I spent the weekend working on my vacation pics from the week before - hopefully I'll get through the bird shots in the next few days.
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Old Monday 13th December 2010, 17:39   #45
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I'm jealous - I went to Brian Piccolo Park instead to see the Burrowing Owls. Always winners though
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Old Friday 17th December 2010, 23:52   #46
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Finally got to my photos from last weekend...thought I'd share some of the firsts...here are the buntings I got over at Green Cay:

The male:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...12123/original

The couple:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...12124/original

And here is the squadron of monk parakeets that flew over Wakodahatchee:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...12135/original

The sora who came out into the sun over at Wako:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...12131/original

And though it isn't a bird...I had a very cool opportunity to catch an alligator having a sizeable fish for dinner:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...12139/original
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Old Saturday 18th December 2010, 01:32   #47
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Stunning sots of the buntings. I simply cannot get that clarity and color with my camera as they always seem to be in the shade.

eta: and I've never seen teh alligators there do anything but lay there - good to know they can move
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Old Saturday 18th December 2010, 05:10   #48
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Good to know they can move...or BAD to know, if you're in the water too.

Thanks on the buntings - indeed they were in the shade here too - it was extremely low light. I was using a fairly fast lens (F4) wide open, and had to crank up to ISO1600 to get those. That's pretty much the only way to really get a decent shot of them - fast lens, high ISO, shutter above 1/250.
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Old Monday 20th December 2010, 16:37   #49
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BTW - at Green Cay yesterday, painted buntings were still hanging by the feeder - easy to spot reliably, and there all day. Hopefully, they'll stick around all winter. One male and two females seem to be the 'regulars' now.

Also at Green Cay yesterday was a first-time spotting at that park for me - ring-necked ducks! Beauties - three of them, two male and one female...and another male was over at Wakodahatchee. They're not uncommon ducks, but I've never spotted them at these two wetlands before. And I'e noticed the sandpipers coming back in town again - spotted the first few yesterday since last spring - a least sandpiper, and I believe a yellowlegs (have to go through my photos in the next few days, and should be able to ID it on the larger LCD screen).

Over at Wako, spoonbills were back again, in some force - at least 5...one up front was very active, spooning the water frequently for a meal, while two in the back kept flying around between two pond areas. Soras were also out in fairly high numbers - I spotted 4 easily in 1 walkaround. Common yellowthroats are sticking around in batches too...spotted them again yesterday.

Anhinga babies have been spotted at Wako...great blue herons should be popping out soon too...they're diligently sitting on their nests, arranging sticks.

Raptor activity is pretty high lately at both parks - northern harriers (spotted 3 at Green Cay), merlins, red-shoulder hawks, ospreys, kestrels, and possibly another type of hawk that I still need to blow up and see what the consensus is as I couldn't ID it from far away. Quite a few of each - at Wako, 4 ospreys were flying around above one pond, elbowing eachother for space in the sky. A gorgeous kingfisher was at Wako - I only saw him flying over a few times, but I was extremely jealous to see another photographer had caught it sitting pretty on a branch in the pond (I have never gotten a good closeup of these guys!).

That's the weekend update from the two parks.
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Old Tuesday 21st December 2010, 11:41   #50
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Thanks Zackie. I'll have to check out Wako after the new year. It's been a long time since I've een to that one, I usually stick to Green Cay.
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