Robin Diaz and Jill Rosenfield spotted a Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher at A.D. Barnes park in Miami on Sept. 14, 2000. I photographed it later the same day.
Although not a SE Florida bird, Herman the Heermann's Gull has been hanging around Ft. DeSoto for quite some time. I finally caught up with him on Jan. 13, 2001 (my second try).
|The first picture is a Bufflehead at Hialeah that was found during the Christmas Count. I photographed it on Jan. 6, 2001.|
|The next picture was taken the next day at the wetlands on SW 232nd Ave. It is an American Golden-Plover.|
February 2001 in W. KendallThe agricultural areas of West Kendall may not seem like a good place for finding rarities, but I've been pretty successful there the last two years. Last year, we had Short-eared Owls, Krider's Red-tailed Hawk, and White-tailed Kites. This year nothing really unusual was found until February, although a flock of Scissor-tailed Flycatchers was nice. I decided to check a spot I hadn't checked in several months. It was a good move! I found a Fuertes Red-tailed Hawk, and the Blue Grosbeak and Dickcissel shown below.
The big highlight in March was the Warbling Vireo found at A.D. Barnes park. It may have been present since mid-January, although the first public reports came in March. I photographed it on April 1, 2001. The vireo played a little April Fool's joke on us by singing. It gave a song that none of us recognized as a Warbling Vireo, but that sounded a lot like Bell's Vireo. It turns out that Warbling Vireos have a "rambling song" besides the primary song. The rambling song for the Western Warbling Vireo (swainsonii) is very similar to the song we heard. A sample of the rambling song can be found on Steven Hopp's bird song page. This song, together with the dark cap, made it likely this is a Western Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus swainsonii). We were able to get confirmation from the bird. Larry Manfredi played it an eastern song several times, which it ignored. A couple of days later Brian Rapoza played it a western song, and it responded strongly. It was quite a contrast to the way it completely ignored Eastern Warbling Vireo songs.
Here's a description of swainsonii from Bent:
The western warbling vireo differs from the eastern race by being smaller, with a relatively smaller bill; "coloration darker, especially the pileum, which is perceptibly (often distinctly) darker than the back; the latter, together with the sides and flanks, usually more strongly olivaceous," according to Ridgway (1904).
April 2001April brought us a MacGillivray's Warbler in A.D. Barnes Park, 2 Bahama Mockingbirds (John U. Lloyd Park and Key West), and a Curlew Sandpiper (Boca Chica Key). I didn't get photos of any, but photos of one of the Bahama Mockingbirds and the Curlew Sandpiper can be found at http://www.javaswift.com/floridabirds/PhotoLinks.html.
In the early part of the month, relentless east winds led to a disappointing migration. However, as compensation, some pelagic birds were visible from the shore. Who would have imaged seeing Arctic Terns on Miami Beach! There were also inshore reports of Storm-Petrels, Roseate Terns, Brown Boobies, and lots of Northern Gannets. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of my own. However, Steve Mumford got some pictures of the Arctic Tern that stayed around West Lake in Hollywood FL. Click for a picture of the Arctic Tern.
Later in the month, Kevin Sarsfield and David Lysinger found a Masked Duck at a mitigation wetlands in Pembrooke Pines. After 3 tries, I finally caught up with the duck on May 22. However, we later found it that it was not the same one Kevin and David found. (Both were later seen together.) Theirs had a bright blue bill, while mine has dark markings on the top of the bill. I never did see Kevin and David's bird. The Masked Ducks were seen as late as June 24.
Shorebirds started returning early in July. While searching for shorebirds in W. Kendall, I found a female Northern Pintail on July 10. It was still present until at least July 27.
The fields north of the Homestead Motorsports Complex have been great for shorebirds this month. Highlights include a beautiful alternate-plumaged American Golden-Plover (present since July 22), and a Reeve (female Ruff) which I found on July 26. Unfortunately, the Reeve was only seen by a handful of people.
Photos of all three birds will be posted eventually.
A Myiodynastes flycatcher (Sulphur-bellied?) was a one-day wonder at the University Park campus of FIU.
A La Sagra's Flycatcher arrived at A.D. Barnes park on October 24 through November 7th. It has not been seen since. A photo is available on the net.