Two Days in the Everglades
Day Trip: October 28, 2007
I spent most of the day in the Everglades. I started out scouting for a bird walk I would lead the following Saturday (an account follows the photos). By the time I got to Flamingo, I started spending more time taking pictures.
|Sky and Prairie||Mangrove Prairie|
|Sky and Glades||Cypress meets Mangrove|
|Little Blue Heron||American Avocets|
|Roseate Spoonbill||Muhly in Wind|
|Muhly Prairie||Muhly and Pines|
|Gumbo Limbo Trail||Solution Hold|
Tropical Audubon Trip: November 3, 2007
The group assembled at dawn at the Coe Visitor's Center. As we were enjoying the comfortable weather, a pair of Bald Eagles flew over, providing the first good bird of the day. We chased down a couple of noisy Ovenbirds in the pre-dawn light. Shortly after, a Myrtle Warbler was the first several of us had seen this fall. A mystery song distracted us from the hummingbird wars. After some searching, it turned out to be a House Finch without the typical zhree notes in its song. Tom Smith managed to get a couple of photos, and I have included one of them.
Our second stop was Lucky Hammock, where we found both buntings, thrasher, a few warblers, dancing Sandhill Cranes, some surprise Wood Storks, and a flycatcher that called once, revealing itself as a Willow Flycatcher. A drive down to the annex produced a few more birds, including a Magnolia Warbler and a Yellow-breasted Chat that called quite a bit. Unfortunately, the Chat refused to reveal itself.
At Royal Palm, a walk along the Old Ingraham Highway and Anhinga Trail produced few birds. A Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake did cause some excitement on the Old Ingraham Highway. We headed on to Long Pine Key. Another Myrtle was spotted near Mosier Hammock, but birding in the pinelands was very slow. We did find a Yellow Rat Snake. It was almost noon, so we stopped for lunch. A Towhee called a few times while we were eating.
A Snail Kite put in an appearance as we walked across the boardwalk to Mahogany Hammock. The hammock was slow until we ran into a small flock of warblers about 3/4 of the way around that included a Magnolia.
The birds are not in yet a Paurotis Pond, but we were able to add Pied-billed Grebe and Common Moorhen to our list. I managed to get a look at a Peregrine at Nine-mile Pond right after driving up. After a brief stop at Nine-mile, we headed to West Lake. We had no luck on the way out, but encountered a small warbler flock as we returned along the boardwalk.
A stop at Mrazek Pond provided Black-crowned Night-Herons and a surprise Limpkin! We found a small flock of birds including a couple of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers (my first for the fall). A Louisiana Waterthrush was heard.
The Avocets that were present at Eco Pond last Sunday were not there. We did find the Roseate Spoonbill in back of the pond, out in the seasonally wet parts of the coastal prairie. While looking at the spoonbill, we noticed a duck---a female Pintail!
We checked a couple of other seasonal ponds while driving to the Coastal Prairie trailhead. Both yellowlegs were present, but the avocets could not be found. The coastal prairie trail is somewhat overgrown right now, and we soon turned back. By now, the tide had gone out enough to expose a decent amount of the sandbar at Flamingo. While walking through the parking lot, we spotted a Peregrine soaring overhead. A Broad-winged Hawk also appeared overhead and the Peregrine took a shot at it! This brought us to 10 raptor species for the day (Osprey, Snail Kite, Bald Eagle, Harrier, Sharpie, Red-shouldered, Broad-winged, Short-tailed, Kestrel, Peregrine). The sandbar provided both Pelicans, gulls, terns, cormorants, and a variety of shorebirds, including Marbled Godwit.
At this point our species count for the day stood in the low 90's, including 12 warbler species (Parula, Magnolia, Myrtle, Yellow-throated, Prairie, Palm, Black-and-white, Redstart, Ovenbird, Louisiana Waterthrush, C. Yellowthroat, Chat).
A few of us ended the day on Research Road. A Lesser Nighthawk flew down the road in front of us shortly before sunset. Nancy Freedman and I stayed a bit longer to look for nightbirds. We were rewarded with a flyover Screech-Owl and a perched Whip-poor-will.