Skip to main content


White Ibis, Corkscrew Swamp, Florida

I have fled the icebox of Ohio, and I'm glad to be out there for a bit, I don't mind telling you. Made the drive down here to Estero - near Naples on the Gulf Coast - Friday and Saturday, and the Buckeye State was frigid when I left. My car's thermometer hit minus 2 several times in Ohio and it didn't get above freezing until southern Georgia. It was only 40 when I hit the Florida line and that's darn cold to the locals. Today only hit the low 60's but it was sunny and felt great to a tundra-boy such as myself.

Anyway, spent the day all over the legendary Corkscrew Swamp, and a few other hotspots near Naples. Lots of great birds and other animals, as well as plenty of cool plants. Tomorrow is a trip into the Gulf to go shark-tagging and I'm sure that'll be a wild ride. Hopefully we'll get a few of the toothy flesh-rippers and if so, you'll see 'em here.

Lots of other tours scheduled for the next week: Everglades, Fakahatchee Strand, excursions for specialties such as Florida Scrub Jay and Red-cockaded Woodpecker, and much more.

Additional postings to follow.


Marvin said…
Sounds as if you have a very full week ahead. Enjoy the warmth! Great shot of the Ibis.
Scott said…
Bring some warm weather back with you. How "buggy" is it in Fla. in the winter ? I've thought about heading that way for some insect photography but I've never seen anyone comment on the winter insects.
Randy Kreager said…
You are getting me excited! We fly down to Fort Myers next Saturday and are staying for one week. I hope to see lots of birds!!

Popular posts from this blog

The Pinching Beetle, a rather brutish looking bug

The world is awash in beetles, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Few of them can match the intimidation factor of a Pinching Beetle, Lucanus capreolus, though. Those formidable looking mandibles look like they could slice off a finger.

Today was one of those coolly diverse days. I started off down in Fayette County, visiting the farm of a friend. He has restored about 25 acres of wetlands, and the response by the animal community has been nothing short of phenomenal. Blizzards of dragonflies of many species, amphibians galore, and nesting Blue-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebe, and Sora. Among MANY other things. And all in a short two years. Add water and they will come.

Then, working my way home, I ducked into a Madison County cemetery that has a thriving population of Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrels, and shot images of our native prairie dog. Then, I stopped at a spot along Little Darby Creek, waded on in, and procured some pretty nice shots of various stream bluets and dancers. …

Calliope Hummingbird in central Ohio!

A hatch-year male Calliope Hummingbird strikes a pose. Small but tough, the hummingbird was feeding actively yesterday in 39 F temperatures. It frequents feeders and gardens at a home in Delaware County, Ohio, about a half-hour north of Columbus.

Fortunately, the wayward hummer appeared at the home of Tania and Corey Perry. Tania is a birder, and knew right away that the hummingbird was something special. For a while, the identification was up in the air, which isn't surprising. The Calliope Hummingbird used to be placed in its own genus, Stellula, but has recently been submerged into the genus Selasphorus, which includes Allen's, Broad-tailed, and Rufous hummingbirds. The latter two, especially, are quite similar to the Calliope in subadult plumage. Rufous is the default "vagrant" hummingbird here, with dozens of records and birds turning up annually. There is but one Ohio record of Allen's Hummingbird, from late fall/early winter 2009. Ditto the Calliope Hummi…

Ballooning spiders

Fear not, ye arachnophobes. The subject of this entry is indeed about spiders, but the star of the show is about as cute as a spider can get. And you'll want to know what we're about to learn...

On my recent West Virginia foray, we were strolling down a seldom-used lane, when a bright yellow object caught our eye. It was a goldenrod crab spider, Misumena vatia, on top of a post! Not only that, she - it is a girl - was acting extraordinarily goofy. The spider would stilt up as high as she could go on her legs, weave back and forth, jig side to side, and otherwise engage in what appeared to be spider break-dancing.

Click the pic for expansion, and you can see two columns of silk issuing from her spinnerets. This is an important point, as we set about determining what this non-web-making spider is doing.

So fixated was our spider on her task that she even rejected what would seem to me to be a perfectly scrumptious meal. This little caterpillar climbed rapidly up the post and dire…