Date: 12/2/19 7:05 pm
From: Evanson, Robert K. <EvansonR...>
Subject: [wisb] Re: FL trip report...long
Thanks for this great report.
Bob Evanson

Sent from my iPad

> On Nov 25, 2019, at 7:53 AM, Seegert, Greg <dmarc-noreply...> wrote:
> ´╗┐All
> Because there are not a lot of WI reports now, this seems like a good time to provide a report on a trip to FL I recently completed. Hopefully there will be some info in it that will help those of you going to S FL this winter. The trip was unusual in that there were no insects. I didn't see a single mosquito. Maybe because of that warblers were scarce (only 5 spp) and I saw ZERO sparrows. Not good for shorebirds either.
> Nov 18----I started the day at Babcock-Webb WMA, mainly looking for red-cockaded woodpecker. Didn't find any, but for FOY birds I had brown-headed nuthatch, wood stork, and boat-tailed grackle ((first of thousands). Next stop was Oscar Scherer SP where I found a family of FL scrub jays. Next was Little Estero Lagoon for shorebirds. Very poor. Probably won't try here again. Final stop was Naples where I visited several areas looking for rose-winged parakeets. Dipped at all stops. Was told this sp has declined. At one spot (third st canal), I talked to a charter boat captain who told me he sometimes sees them there. They had been reported from this spot a few days earlier, but I didn't see any. I did see many fish crows in Naples.
> Nov 19---Tried for the parakeets again first thing in the morning and dipped again. Next stop was Tigertail Beach on Marco Island. This is typically my best spot for shorebirds. Shorebird numbers were down but I managed to see two of the three spp I had targeted....several Wilson's plovers and ONE red knot. However, I missed snowy plover. There were a variety of common shorebirds but all in relatively small numbers. Saw a magnificent frigatebird offshore. I often see them here. Also present were a variety of waders, with reddish egret the best of the bunch. Next I headed towards the E side of the state. Shortly after getting on US 41, I saw a light-phase short-tailed hawk. Next stop is what is described in Pranty's book as the abandoned airboat site. It is no longer abandoned. This site is a mi or so W of the entrance to Shark Valley. This spot is a traditional place for snail kites. I saw one immediately. I briefly tried Shark Valley but saw nothing of note. Lots
> gators though. In Homestead, there were lots (>20) of common mynas....look behind the Burger King.
> Nov 20----I met up with old friend Paul---Life is Good---Bithorn to bird until about 1. If you are familiar with birding S FL, you've probably heard of Paul. He has one of the bigger state lists and is best known for keeping track of the various exotics, especially parrots. Thanks to Paul, I was able to see white-winged parakeet. Red-whiskered bulbul was harder to find than expected but we eventually found a couple in a subdivision a couple miles N of Baptist Hospital. Also saw a prairie warbler and had flyover dark phase short-tailed hawk. At the Baptist Hospital on Kendall (SW 88th St), we saw a few Egyptian geese. Saw a swamphen at an unnamed pond. Our big miss was spot-breasted oriole. It is easy to find when it is singing in the spring but hard to find in the winter. Paul took me to about 10 spots, all of which are in SB oriole territories but we dipped at every one. After lunch, we split up and I drove to the Everglades. The best bird here was scissor-tailed flyca
> her. Finished the day at the bridge on SW 216th St where I saw a few cave swallows coming in to roost.
> Nov 21---I knew that a month ago or more an Antillean palm-swift had shown up by Marathon midway down on the keys. I had assumed it had left but Paul said it was still around. Because this would be a lifer I decided to make the long trek down to Marathon. On the way I stopped at Dagny Johnson Botanic Park on the S end of Key Largo. This park is good for Mangrove cuckoo and white-crowned pigeon. I saw the pigeon but not the cuckoo. Also had a prairie warbler. Overall, the park was dead. The swift was being seen at the Sombrero Golf Course. When I checked in at the Pro Shop to find out where I could walk, the pro said the bird was much harder to see now and might even be gone...bummer. While walking the perimeter road it was clear many of the golfers were aware of the bird as were the bikers and joggers. While taking to one of the golfers a car pulled over to tell me they had seen the bird 15 min ago and offered to drive me to where they saw it. This was a very friendly c
> ple from CA. We looked in "their" spot for 20 or so minutes within luck. They offered to drive me back to where I had been looking. On the way, we spotted a pr of short-tailed hawks. When we got back to "my spot", they yelled "there it is" before I got the car door opened. We watched it circling around for a minute or so. This was ABA bird 780, not counting about 30 from Hawaii. I then drove back to Homestead and headed towards the entrance to the Everglades. A few miles before the entrance, is an area known as Lucky Hammock or the Frog Pond. There had been reports of multiple good birds at the turnoff to Lucky Hammock. Within 50 yards of the turnoff, I had both smooth and groove-billed anis, scissor-tailed flycatcher, both ash-throated and brown crested flycatchers, and tropical kingbird. On ebird, I learned that shiny cowbirds were being seen at a home about 20 mi away. However, the homeowner wasn't home and the feeders were behind a fence and couldn't be seen. I nex
> tried for common eider, but missed it by a day. A stakeout at Baptist Hospital for parakeets was a bust.
> Nov 22---Loxtahatchee NWR is my go to spot for Limpkins. It didn't disappoint as I saw 2 plus a couple of purple gallinules. Not much else though. Then I went to Wakodahatchee Wetlands, which is my go to spot for least bittern. However, maybe for the first time, I dipped on it. I did see 3 more limpkins, wood stork, purple gallinule, about 10 Egyptian geese, and a good variety of waders. I headed back west, stopping in Naples on the way. I checked out a few spots for rose-winged parakeets but dipped again. Last stop was Babcock-Webb WMA, which had been my first stop of the trip. Here I added my 6th limpkin of the day and finally got a red-cockaded woodpecker. Ran into a big flock of small birds but it was almost all pine warblers.
> With the 24 FOY birds seen on this trip, my ABA year total is now 500. I expect to add 5-10 winter birds here in WI.
> Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
> Greg Seegert
> Beaver Dam....probably for the next 3-4 months
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