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The Rains Are Back

Since June 1st. Corkscrew has had 27 inches of rain. That is an all time new record for the whole month of June and we have two more weeks left in the month!  The video below shows how the swamp can change in 48 hours.


Corkscrew Panther Family June 2017

The panther family has spent the last several weeks moving between Eagle Island, the Fish Farm and Little Corkscrew Island. All of the kittens have been photographed out on their own. The two male kittens have also been photographed with their mother. 

There is an interesting video of Mom watching an opossum. This is not the first time we have gotten video of a panther passing on an opossum dinner!


The TrailCam Tuesday video below from Donna and Brian Hampton showed more of the panther family.


NR-2 May 18, 2017

This is a more detailed look at the Bonneted Bat Roost NR-2 at the Babcock-Webb WMA.  On projects like this I try to get the most out of each opportunity. Below are the results from four different cameras, each with slightly different imaging technology. 

Sunset was at 20:10. The temperature was 84 degrees F. and the wind was 15 to 23 knots. With that much wind, there is a bit of movement in the roost tree and during gusts the cameras also were shaken. The constant wind created a lot of wind noise, most of it I have muted. 

During much of the recording I had an Echo Meter near the cameras so that you can hear the bats echo locating.  Because of the distance from the roost tree to the cameras, you cannot hear them echo locating in the cavity, but if you watch closely, you can see them doing it.

The first bat emerged at 20:50, forty minutes after sunset. A total of seven bats emerged.


The first video is a slow motion video. It was made with a Sony Alpha 7Sii camera and a very fast f 0.95 lens. This video is made with visible light. While the camera has amazing low light capabilities, it was not able to capture the last two bats to emerge, because of the low light levels. This is the camera that I use to capture Realtime Northern Lights.


The next set of videos were made with a Sony AX53 Handycam in night vision mode. The zoom lens was at its maximum setting of 536mm.

The first video is the short version, just the bats emerging from the cavity. The second video is the long version, showing all the activity at the cavity.



The next set of videos was made with a Nikon D5 camera attached to an AstroScope Night Vision scope and a 400mm lens.

The first video is the short version, just the bats emerging from the cavity. The second video is the long version, showing all the activity at the cavity.



The final set of videos was made with a Nikon D800 camera converted to use the full spectrum of light. The conversion by Kolari Vision allows the camera to record ultra violet, visible , and infrared light.

The first video is the short version, just the bats emerging from the cavity. The second video is the long version, showing all the activity at the cavity.



Bonneted Bat Roost

Thanks to the hard work of the FWC and University of Florida biologists we know of another natural roost of Florida Bonneted Bats (Eumops floridanus). The bats are using an abandoned red cockaded woodpecker cavity in a live pine tree. The video below was make using a night vision camera on a long telephoto lens.


Gator Song

With the dry down this Spring the gators have been forced in tight quarters. The big male above tried to cozy up to the ladies, but they were not interested. After the rejections, he started bellowing his disappointment. His song was joined by all the other gators.


Corkscrew Panther Family

The panther family has been spending a lot of time around the Fish Farm.  In the video below they are checking out a scrape left by another panther.


Five days later Mom is calling her kittens, hopefully for lunch, as they are looking hungry.


Two days later there was a new male panther searching the area.


More Panther Family

The family makes their way from Little Corkscrew Island to the Fish Farm in the early morning rain.



"CT" Makes his way down Washout Road, slowing to stalk an alligator, before making his way through Little Corkscrew Island, the Fish Farm and on toward the Frank Property. Marking his territory along the way the trip takes less than an hour.



Panther Family Returns

Out of camera view since November the panther family has recently been seen around the Fish Farm.

 The kittens look like they have just had a big meal!

Here is another video by Donna and Brian Hampton. 



"CT" the dominate male at Corkscrew has been patrolling his territory on a regular basis.

FWC collects evidence of a female panther north of Caloosahatchee River!

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Panther Team has collected strong evidence a female Florida panther has finally crossed the Caloosahatchee River in southwest Florida.

You can see their  press release here.



Photos courtesy of FWC.

I can’t believe you ate the whole thing!

The dry down this fall has left a wealth of fish for the wading birds. This Great Blue Heron has made the best of the bounty.


The fish in the video below was too much for him to swallow. It was too much for the water moccasin to swallow! The vultures and raccoon did not let it go to waste.




© Ralph Arwood 2017