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We have bird migration, going north, these days out of South Florida...Goldfinches have been gone for a few weeks, so has the yellow rumped warbler that was at my feeders, I have only 2 male painted buntings left, about 4 females still here..will be quiet at my feeders soon, except for the squirrels and the blue jays.

When I first moved to Palm Beach County way back in 1983 it was mostly residential along the coast.  West of I-95 and the Florida Turnpike was farmlands.  It was where winter vegetables were grown..Over the course of the last 30 years that land become very valuable and the farmers one by one sold off their land for development.  Thanks to the Winsberg Family, Green Cay Wetlands did not become a residential neighborhood..But is part the Palm Beach County's Southern Region Water Reclamation Facility and was designed to naturally filter highly treated water every day. Today these wetlands are surrounded by nothing but commercial and residential property.

For more than 40 years, Ted and Trudy Winsberg worked the land at their Green Cay Farm, producing the finest bell peppers and other winter vegetables around. Through the years, surrounding farms in the area were converted one by one to large-scale developments, but the Winsbergs had a different vision for their land -- the Green Cay Wetlands. The Winsbergs' love for this land, coupled with their untold generosity and desire to make the world a better place, have resulted in world-class constructed wetlands. Prior to becoming farmland, this land consisted of an open prairie with wetland areas. By transforming it into the Green Cay Wetlands, the land's natural beauty has been restored and an oasis of green space within a suburban community has been created.

Green Cay wetlands, has 1.5 miles of elevated boardwalk. Which provides a nice way to view aquatic and birds along with native vegetation...In the winter it is a birder's go to place.  There have been 156 different species of birds recorded in this 100 acre parcel of land. It is a wonderful place to spend a late afternoon or early morning, you see all ages are able to enjoy the sights, from babies in strollers to quite elderly people with wheeled walkers and sometime lugging portable oxygen tanks, all for free.  I have never been able to visit in the visitor center its  always seems to be closed when I go there..I live about 40 minutes away so I don't make trip very often, but wished it was closer.

The nature center, where we start.
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So join me on my last trip  there I took in March..I saw several birds I could add to a life list if I kept one..but I just mark in my bird book the date and place I see a bird for the first time.

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The first time I have ever come across a Belted kingfisher not waiting patiently on a tree limb or on a electrical wire..I could not figure out what this bird was doing just hovering in mid-air, one of the stranger things I have seen.  I was not until it started to dive into the water did I see its Rod Stewart rock star hair.. Next time I hope I remember to switch  to video on my camera as it was very interesting to watch.

Belted Kingfisher

A Glossy Ibis...one hard bird to spot and photograph.

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Purple Gallinule are plentiful here.

purple ganuile

Some new additions to my non list.

Caspian Tern

caspian tern

American Bittern.

american bittern

Least Bittern...the size difference between the two bitterns is amazing.

least bittern

Ringed Bill Gull.

ringed bill gull

Not a life bird, these are plentiful in the wetlands...but it looks like a fresh out of the egg baby moorhen.

baby mud hen

Romance was in the air...this red winged black bird, had his colors puffed up when he was singing his song perhaps to lure a female to his reed...but she was on the other side of the pond, paying no attention to him.

Red Wing Black Birds

Some non feathered friends.

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If  anyone can identify this turtle please do.

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This guy has his times of day mixed up...but I have read raccoons that are out in the daytime could have rabies...

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Walk is almost over. It was a beautiful, late afternoon spring day here in South Florida.

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One last bird for the day...An Anhinga drying its wings

anhinga

Originally posted to Birds and Birdwatching on Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 06:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Backyard Science.

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