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Monday, February 27, 2012

Painted Bunting and More

Corkscrew Swamp offers interesting birding year round. These pictures were taken in February 2012. Just 40 minutes from Naples in Southwest Florida, Corkscrew is a convenient birding stop for all locals as well as visiting "snowbirds".

Corkscrew is a reliable place for Painted Bunting [left] and in Spring, for migrating Indigo Bunting as well. It is also excellent for white-eyed vireo [middle and right] as well as palm warbler [lower right].

Other common residents and over-winterers here include Northern Cardinal [upper left], red-bellied woodpecker [lower left], yellow-bellied sapsucker [upper right], and black-and-white warbler [lower right].

Pine warbler [left] is another wintering warbler that is well seen. Vociferous Carolina Wren's [lower right] is the loudest bird in the Swamp and can be heard throughout the Swamp. Great-crested flycatcher [middle] and Eastern Phoebe [upper right] hawk insects from the branches.

Another regular resident is barred owl. This owl is heard more often than seen but nevertheless makes regular appearances to the delight of onlookers. Its dark, liquidy eyes are deep-set in conical eye sockets creating a bit of a heart shaped appearance.

On the shorebird and wader front, common residents such as oystercatcher and wilon's plover are joined by overwinterers such as Least Sandpiper and Piping Plover in February.

Finally, while American Pelican are aerial giants, their smaller cousins, the Brown Pelican is still impressive. Be it on land, water or in the air.

While February is generally a challenging month for the birder, Southwest Florida offers plenty of birding action in superb weather.

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