Bailey Tract and DDWR
Thursday, we went to Bailey Tract early for a walk. As we walked into the tract we were greeted by a huge flock of tree swallows...must have been hundreds of birds....sky was almost black with birds.....they stretched across overhead as they swarmed over the trees and water ponds. We saw only a few other birds...was in 40's again this am but warmed to the high 60's in the sun. Spotted blue herons, tricolored herons, grebes, coots, vultures,and ibis. Was surprised by the many butterflies we saw. A large alligator, about 10 feet, was sunning near the path...too close for comfort.
Made stop at Timbers Fish Market and bought snapper, grouper, and shrimp.
Next we drove through DDWR...lot of people on drive. On ponds, there were not that many wading birds...mostly ibis. Spotted yellow-crowned night heron in brush and group of roseates sunning on a dead branch in water. Along the edge of one water area, we spotted a short billed dowitcher ...could see up close. First time sighting for this bird. They feed on the mudflats probing the ground with a sewing machine like motion. At another stop along the drive, we saw red-bellied woodpecker, catbird, cardinal, gnatcather, and unidentified warblers. Birds were scarce but still had eventful drive.
Home to enjoy peel'n'eat shrimp with drinks. We made dinner of pan sauteed yellowfin snapper with rice and salads. Very good.
Pictures of birds to follow on another post.