Fort Myers, Florida, 2020

Last month, I put on my snowbird training wheels for the second time and flew to Fort Myers, Florida, to visit my snowbird parents and to, of course, bird. This year’s trip doesn’t necessarily top last year’s trip because last year’s trip resulted in a waterfall of lifers. This year’s trip did involve the following:

  • Visiting some of my favourite birding spots
  • Visiting some new birding spots
  • Complaining about the humidity
  • Enjoying the ubiquitous serenade of the Northern Mockingbird
  • Joining the Caloosa Bird Club on a visit to Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge
  • Joining the local Audubon chapter on a visit to Caloosahatchee Creeks Preserve
  • Seeing five lifers: Limpkin, Mottled Duck, Magnificent Frigatebird, Monk Parakeet, and Crested Caracara
  • Spending time with my incredible family, including my nephew

What follows are out-of-order photos of my trip, followed by a link to some birding videos.

Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Florida, February 2020.
Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Florida, February 2020.
Caloosahatchee River, North Fort Myers, Florida, February 2020.
Boat-tailed Grackle, Cape Coral, Florida, February 2020.
Full Moon, February 9, 2020. North Fort Myers, Florida.
Green Heron, Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Florida, February 2020.
Yellow-throated Warbler, Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Florida, February 2020.
Reddish Egret, Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Florida, February 2020.
Snowy Egret (background) and a White Ibis (foreground), Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Florida, February 2020.
Spotted Sandpiper, Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Florida, February 2020.
Little Blue Heron, Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Florida, February 2020.
Prairie Warbler, Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Florida, February 2020.
Anhinga, Lake County Park, Florida, February 2020.
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Lakes Park, Florida, February 2020.
Limpkin, Harns Marsh, Florida, February 2020.
White Ibis, Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Florida, February 2020.
Laughing Gull, Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Florida, February 2020.
Little Blue Heron, Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Florida, February 2020.
Willet, Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Florida, February 2020.
Laughing Gull, Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Florida, February 2020.
Magnificent Frigatebird, Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Florida, February 2020.
Ruddy Turnstones, Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Florida, February 2020.
Yellow-crowed Night-heron, Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Florida, February 2020.
Blue-winged Teals and American Coots, Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Florida, February 2020.
North Fort Myers overlooking the Callosahatchie River, Florida, February 2020.
Kayaking at Marsh Point, North Fort Myers, Florida, February 2020.
Kayaking in the mangroves at Marsh Point, North Fort Myers, Florida, February 2020.

For Florida 2020 birding videos, including one with the Reddish Egret’s serious dance moves, visit my YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/lburfitt/videos?view_as=subscriber

Fort Myers, Florida, March 7–15 (Part 4 of 4)

I promise that this is the last post about my 2019 Florida trip. Nobody cares anymore, I know. After this, we are back to birding in the PNW (until I go to Utah, then watch out).

This post is a handful of mini-posts. I’ll keep the text “short,” and I’ll be generous with the photos. Here we go.

March 11, 2019: After my trip to the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, I headed north to find Scissor-tailed Flycatchers. En-route, I found another target bird—the Roseate Spoonbill! The spoonbills were in a wet field with an assortment of egrets, etc. If Florida had an egret-heron punch card, I would have all spots punched except for one at this point. eBird checklist here.

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A medley of waders; Immokalee Road; Collier County, Florida; March 11, 2019.

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Roseate Spoonbill; Immokalee Road; Collier County, Florida; March 11, 2019.

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Roseate Spoonbill (judging you) and a Snowy Egret; Immokalee Road; Collier County, Florida; March 11, 2019.

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Roseate Spoonbills; Immokalee Road; Collier County, Florida; March 11, 2019.

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Great Egret and Snowy Egrets; Immokalee Road; Collier County, Florida; March 11, 2019.

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Great Egret; Immokalee Road; Collier County, Florida; March 11, 2019.

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Snowy Egret; Immokalee Road; Collier County, Florida; March 11, 2019.

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Cattle Egret (hey I’m different!); Immokalee Road; Collier County, Florida; March 11, 2019.

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Roseate Spoonbill and Wood Stork; Immokalee Road; Collier County, Florida; March 11, 2019.

After enjoying this wader medley, I went straight to my flycatcher spot, scared an alligator into a canal (splash!), and then a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher flew into view! How perfect. It stayed long enough for me to get a really terrible photo. I’m including it here because it’s a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher! My goal next year is to get better photos of this bird. It’s a gorgeous bird. I also saw Swallow-tailed Kites here and continued to see them (always while driving) for the remainder of my trip. eBird checklist here.

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Scissor-tailed Flycatcher; Church Road; Hendry County, Florida; March 11, 2019.

March 13, 2019: My dad and I spent the day at J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. It was really hot. We didn’t find any Mangrove Cuckoos, but we did find another one of my target birds—the Reddish Egret. My Florida egret-heron punch card is complete!  Florida has a total of 6 heron species and 4 egret species, and I saw them all on this trip. eBird checklists here and here and here.

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My birding partner, my dad, Tom; J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge; March 13, 2019.

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Tricolored Heron; J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge; March 13, 2019.

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Osprey; J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge; March 13, 2019.

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Little Blue Heron; J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge; March 13, 2019.

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Mangrove Swamps (with some Blue-winged Teals); J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge; March 13, 2019.

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Coolest Birders; J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge; March 13, 2019.

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Mangrove Swamp (Mangrove Cuckoo I’ll find you next time!); J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge; March 13, 2019.

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Mangrove Swamp; J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge; March 13, 2019.

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Along Wildlife Drive; J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge; March 13, 2019.

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White Pelicans; Mangrove Swamp; J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge; March 13, 2019.

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White Pelicans and a Reddish Egret; J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge; March 13, 2019.

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Reddish Egret; J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge; March 13, 2019.

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Reddish Egret; J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge; March 13, 2019.

March 14, 2019: My last day in Florida, and I’m off to return my rental car to the airport. But wait! Was there not a reliable spot to find Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks? Yes, there was/is, and it’s just north of the airport. Off to get the whistling ducks (piles of them!), then to the airport for a very long day of travelling.

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Gateway Boulevard; Lee County, Florida; north of the airport; March 14, 2019. This was my view of the whistling-ducks. This is a gated community and I had to be discrete and quick! I parked at some type of mega-church across the street, ran across the street, enjoyed the whistling quackers for a few minutes, took a few zoomed-in shots, and absconded.

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Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks (very nervous looking); Gateway Boulevard; Lee County, Florida; north of the airport; March 14, 2019.

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Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks; Gateway Boulevard; Lee County, Florida; north of the airport; March 14, 2019.

Florida, I will see you in exactly 1 year.

With love, Linda