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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Lesser Black-backed Gull and Amazing Herons

[SW Florida. December 2014]

Even as April beckons, winter's taunts of flurries, freezing rain and snow continue unabated here in Michigan. Thus, with Spring temperatures plunging again below freezing, the only warmth to be found was in a retrospective of select winter pictures from SW Florida featuring some common, but nevertheless delightful, species such as:
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull
  • Yellow-crowned Night heron
  • Little Blue Heron
  • Green Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Reddish Egret 
We start with the gull:

Lesser Black-backed Gull seen at Sanibel Beach
This gull is a regular winter visitor to our Eastern shores from Iceland and other European regions. First profiled on this blog in 2013, this is an imposing, dark-mantled gull that is just smaller than a Herring Gull.

Lesser Black-backed Gull seen at Sanibel Beach
Gulls are not known to be picky eaters and this Lesser Black-backed was not above making a meal of a decomposing fish.

In a bit of a non sequitur, we now turn our attention to herons - starting with Yellow-crowned Night-Heron:

Yellow-crowned Night-heron seen at Corkscrew Swamp
Both Night-herons (Black-crowned and Yellow-crowned) can be seen at Corkscrew Swamp.

Yellow-crowned Night-heron seen at Corkscrew Swamp
As implied by their name, these herons are active in twilight and are generally found roosting in the day.  Unlike the sedentary Night-heron, however, this Little Blue Heron was spied actively foraging:

Little Blue Heron seen at Corkscrew Swamp
The's proximity to the boardwalk made for an interesting composition as it walked on the lettuce lake.

Yellow-crowned Night-heron seen at Corkscrew Swamp
The ABA's bird of the year is the Green Heron and a sharp plunging sound revealed, through almost impenetrable vegetation, the bird of the year with a crayfish:

Green Heron seen at Corkscrew Swamp
Unlike the gre.h, the Ard.gre.e (in trinomial shortform) was much more cooperative -- having landed conveniently on the railing of the boardwalk:

Great Egret seen at Corkscrew Swamp
Perhaps no heron is as entertaining as the

Reddish Egret seen at Bunche Beach
Reddish Egret seen at Bunche Beach
Finally, some bonus birds:

An American Coot, walking on water:

American Coot at Harns Marsh
American White Pelican in a stately flypast:

American White Pelican seen at Bunche Beach

We conclude with a reptilian footnote:

Cottonmouth seen at Corkscrew Swamp

1 comment:

France Paulsen said...

Nice blog! And as always I learn something pinkish legs on the Lesser Black-backed Gull....gulls are tough!