NFLbirds
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5/23/18 1:32 pm Bill Phelan <wmjphelan...> [nflbirds] <nflbirds-noreply...> [nflbirds] Black bellied Whistling duck at St Marks today
5/20/18 1:40 pm Don Morrow <donaldcmorrow...> [nflbirds] <nflbirds-noreply...> [nflbirds] SMNWR -- Sunday
5/17/18 11:57 am Don Morrow <donaldcmorrow...> [nflbirds] <nflbirds-noreply...> [nflbirds] SMNWR -- Thursday
5/14/18 2:14 pm Helen King <thekingsom...> [nflbirds] <nflbirds-noreply...> [nflbirds] Apalachee Audubon June Bird Trips
5/9/18 2:23 pm 'Lucy and Bob Duncan' <robertaduncan...> [nflbirds] <nflbirds-noreply...> [nflbirds] fwd: more on Mallards on eBird
5/8/18 5:58 pm 'Lucy and Bob Duncan' <robertaduncan...> [nflbirds] <nflbirds-noreply...> [nflbirds] Thoughts on this Spring's migration
5/8/18 5:16 am Don Morrow <donaldcmorrow...> [nflbirds] <nflbirds-noreply...> [nflbirds] SMNWR --- Monday
5/5/18 12:11 pm Don Morrow <donaldcmorrow...> [nflbirds] <nflbirds-noreply...> [nflbirds] SMNWR --- Saturday
5/2/18 3:11 pm Don Morrow <donaldcmorrow...> [nflbirds] <nflbirds-noreply...> [nflbirds] SMNWR --- Wednesday
5/1/18 6:06 am sunny phillips <sunny_phillips...> [nflbirds] <nflbirds-noreply...> [nflbirds] Eastern Towhee
4/30/18 1:15 pm Don Morrow <donaldcmorrow...> [nflbirds] <nflbirds-noreply...> [nflbirds] SMNWR --- April
4/26/18 2:14 pm 'Cavanagh, Jim' <jim.cavanagh...> [nflbirds] <nflbirds-noreply...> [nflbirds] St George Island State Park fall out yesterday, 4/25. Wednesday
4/25/18 4:48 pm Don Morrow <donaldcmorrow...> [nflbirds] <nflbirds-noreply...> [nflbirds] SMNWR -- Wednesday
4/25/18 4:30 am 'C or M Johnstone' <anhinga...> [nflbirds] <nflbirds-noreply...> [nflbirds] Scissor-tailed and possible (2nd hand) Vermilion fc SMNWR
 
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Date: 5/23/18 1:32 pm
From: Bill Phelan <wmjphelan...> [nflbirds] <nflbirds-noreply...>
Subject: [nflbirds] Black bellied Whistling duck at St Marks today
Seen today at double dikes. He was just standing there for at least 30 minutes this morning.

Photos attached

Bill Phelan

Tallahassee

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Posted by: Bill Phelan <wmjphelan...>
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Date: 5/20/18 1:40 pm
From: Don Morrow <donaldcmorrow...> [nflbirds] <nflbirds-noreply...>
Subject: [nflbirds] SMNWR -- Sunday
A quiet cloudy morning at St. Marks NWR. I got to the refuge at 6:00 am in
order to do a little early birding before starting a shorebird survey. In
just over six hours, I logged 66 species, including 14 shorebirds spp.
Shorebird numbers are 25% of what they were in early May. This is pretty
typical, May sees a big drop that leaves mostly summer breeders and
over-summering shorebirds.

Some highlights of my day were:

*Stony Bayou II*
Horned Grebe (far end, bird is in intermediate plumage, but shows red eye,
thin dark bill and adult face pattern)
Lesser Scaup (three male birds)
Black Tern (first winter plumage, found on West end of pond)

*Stony Bayou I*
16 White Pelicans
Plovers (Black-bellied, Wilson's & Semipalmated; one pair of Wilson's has
fledglings)
Marbled Godwit (3)
Dunlin
Sandpipers (Semipalmated and a few Least)
Spotted Sandpiper
both Yellowlegs
Willet

A Gray Kingbird was hunting the flats near the Lighthouse.

Having seen two banded Wilson's Plovers, I was looking closely at plover
feet. I put my scope on one female and noted that she had eight legs, just
before she ran off, followed by three tiny fledglings. Summer is a good
time for watching bird behavior. Go outside and go birding.

Don Morrow
<donaldcmorrow...> <donaldcmorow...>
Tallahassee, FL

 

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Date: 5/17/18 11:57 am
From: Don Morrow <donaldcmorrow...> [nflbirds] <nflbirds-noreply...>
Subject: [nflbirds] SMNWR -- Thursday
Trying to guess when the rains would come, I headed down to the refuge this
morning for a quick three and a half hour foray. I birded along Lighthouse
Road near the Double Dikes until just after sunrise, then shifted to the
Helispot and the Double Bridges. I ended up with a day list of 46 species.
Some highlights of my morning were:



*Double Dikes*

-- I had Great Horned Owl, Barred Owl, King Rail and BC Night Heron calling
in the predawn gloom. Wood Duck and Common Nighthawk were seen flying.



-- The East River rookery is much diminished this summer. I had fewer than
a hundred long-legged waders in the morning flight. Mostly Tricolored Heron
and Great Egret and no White Ibis. In previous years I had several hundred
waders in the morning flight.



-- There was a small flock of five White Pelicans on Stony Bayou I.



*Helispot Road*

-- This is always a good spot for flatwoods birds and I picked up Summer
Tanager, Brown Thrasher, Eastern Towhee, GC Flycatcher and Bluebird.
Despite having a newly-built Wood Pewee nest staked out, I missed it.



*Double Bridges*

- The most notable bird is a late-staying Gray Catbird that was singing
loudly along the edge of the road.

- I had a fledgling Acadian Flycatcher; snub-beaked and short-tailed.

-I had a male Prothonotary Warbler that kept flying back to the same area,
carrying insects. I suspect that it was feeding a mate sitting on eggs.
Prothonotary is one of the only two cavity-nesting warblers in the US.



It was a nice morning of early summer birding at the refuge. I only got a
little wet.


Don Morrow
<donaldcmorrow...> <donaldcmorow...>
Tallahassee, FL

 

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Date: 5/14/18 2:14 pm
From: Helen King <thekingsom...> [nflbirds] <nflbirds-noreply...>
Subject: [nflbirds] Apalachee Audubon June Bird Trips
*Friday, June 1 - Hickory Mound WMA*

Meet at 7:30 am at the St. Mark's Rails to Trails main parking lot on
Woodville Highway. This is mainly a driving trip. We will be home for a
late lunch and will be carpooling.

*Saturday, June 16 - Wakulla Beach*

Meet at 8 a.m. at the St. Mark's Rails to Trails main parking lot on
Woodville Highway. We will be finished by lunch and will be carpooling.

Please email Helen Jelks King at <thekingsom...> if you plan to attend
and please indicate if you are a willing driver.

 

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Date: 5/9/18 2:23 pm
From: 'Lucy and Bob Duncan' <robertaduncan...> [nflbirds] <nflbirds-noreply...>
Subject: [nflbirds] fwd: more on Mallards on eBird
(and all wild-looking Mallards, both choices #2 and #3, "count" as the same species for listing purposes (day lists, year lists, state lists, county lists, life lists, etc.); Domestic Mallard (#1) does not "count" as a species.)





--

Dr. Jason D. Hoeksema, Associate Professor
Department of Biology
University of Mississippi
phone: 662-915-1275
http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/biology/hoeksema/index.html




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Date: 5/8/18 5:58 pm
From: 'Lucy and Bob Duncan' <robertaduncan...> [nflbirds] <nflbirds-noreply...>
Subject: [nflbirds] Thoughts on this Spring's migration
Hi all,



Any birder who did any amount of birding at a migrant trap this April knows
that it was a great month for birders. In fact, it was one of the best in
recent years, caused by poor migrating conditions for migrants which
prevailed most of the month. Light and variable winds were the norm in the
southern Gulf and Central America preventing migrants from having the
benefit of tailwinds to bring them to North America. Furthermore, most of
the time winds in the northern Gulf, both surface and aloft, were light and
variable or northerly a good deal of the time. This double whammy caused
birds to use up their reserves, be stressed and put down at our traps.
Furthermore, there were reports of birds washing ashore on NW Florida
beaches. They took a hit.



Early May had a lot of "leftovers" still fattening up at our traps. With the
exception of a few lingering female Indigos and Blue Grosbeaks, no migrants
have arrived at our migrant trap yard in NW FL for the past couple of days.
Conditions in the tropics remain dismal for any birds left contemplating
(pardon the anthropomorphism) a movement north. Winds in mid-Gulf and
Yucatan are NE to NNE and variable in the northern Gulf.



So are there any birds left to migrate north this late in the season? Our
experience (50 yrs worth) at our home has been that under normal weather
conditions, migration just about ends with the calendar, May 1. But not
always. I recall what I would consider a minor fallout as late as mid-May
many years ago (It was a front accompanied by rain). And this season has not
been normal. So are there still birds "bottled up" down there waiting for
better conditions? That is a big unknown. But winds are going to swing
around to more southerly by the weekend and conditions will become more
favorable for migrants. IF (a big IF) there are delayed migrants waiting it
out and if they do fly north, the probability is they will be vectored more
toward TX -LA and with fair weather fly over the coast.



That is pure speculation. But what IF!!



Bob Duncan

Gulf Breeze in the w. Panhandle


 

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Date: 5/8/18 5:16 am
From: Don Morrow <donaldcmorrow...> [nflbirds] <nflbirds-noreply...>
Subject: [nflbirds] SMNWR --- Monday
I spent Monday at the refuge ending up with 77 species. There are still
migrants coming through; Bobolinks, Spotted Sandpipers, Lesser Yellowlegs
and SB Dowitchers. My most notable sightings were:

--a Black-bellied Whistling Duck coming in off the Gulf into Stony Bayou II
just after sunrise.

-- six more duck species. A female Greater Scaup on Lighthouse Pool appears
to be a Wigeon/Scaup hybrid.

-very faded juvenile plumage Marbled Godwit on Stony Bayou I, showing
almost no cinnamon coloration and strongly barred upper parts.

-- Rock Pigeon. Most ROPIs at the refuge are escaped homing pigeons, which
is what I suspect this bird was.

I had just over a thousand shorebirds of 16 species, mostly dowitcher and
dunlin.

St. Marks is rapidly settling in to summer. Not quite as flashy and diverse
as the winter months, but with great opportunities for morning and
afternoon birding.

Don Morrow
<donaldcmorrow...> <donaldcmorow...>
Tallahassee, FL

 

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Date: 5/5/18 12:11 pm
From: Don Morrow <donaldcmorrow...> [nflbirds] <nflbirds-noreply...>
Subject: [nflbirds] SMNWR --- Saturday
A good morning of birding at the refuge. I led the Extremely Early Birding
trip at 6:00 am for eight stalwart birders. We logged 60 species. I stayed
out through midday to get in some freelance birding and ended up with a day
list total of 81 species. Some highlights of the morning were:

*Stony Bayou II*

Least Bittern (calling birds only

YC Night Heron (NE corner, sitting in a tree)

Wood Duck

RB Merganser (3 females flying through)

Barn Swallow (resident birds, the migrants have passed through)

Bobolink (25, all but one was female)



*Stony Bayou I*

Peregrine Falcon (chasing everyone listed below)

Plovers (Semipalmated, BB, Wilson’s & American Golden as I drove out)

Sandpipers (Least, Semipalmated & Spotted)

Greater Yellowlegs, Willet

Dunlin

SB Dowitcher

Terns (20 Forster and 50 Least)



I had Pine, Yellow-throated and Black-throated Blue on Tower Pond Trail, as
well as, a single female Indigo Bunting. A Whimbrel has been hanging out on
the mudflats across the road from the eagle’s nest near the lighthouse and
a single female Bufflehead is sitting on grass tufts in the NE corner of
Picnic Pond. I’ve seen ducks do this in May when the water temperature
climbs. There are still a few Scaup, including a female Greater on
Lighthouse Pond, along with a pair of BW Teal.



It’s beginning to get hot, but Netflix still doesn’t offer as much variety
as St Marks NWR. Go birding before it gets any hotter.


Don Morrow
<donaldcmorrow...> <donaldcmorow...>
Tallahassee, FL

 

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Date: 5/2/18 3:11 pm
From: Don Morrow <donaldcmorrow...> [nflbirds] <nflbirds-noreply...>
Subject: [nflbirds] SMNWR --- Wednesday
Migration definitely slowed down over the last few days. On Monday I had
Black-throated Blue, Cape May, Blackpoll, Bay-breasted, Palm and Magnolia
Warbler on Tower Pond Trail. Today, I had a single female Blackpoll.
However, there are still birds to see at St. Marks NWR. Bobolinks are
easily found on the levees, mostly female now and there are still a few
laggard ducks. Shorebirds are getting in to breeding plumage. There are
some gorgeous Black-bellied Plovers and Dunlin. In a quick five-hour
foray, starting at 6:00 am I logged 78 species. Some highlights of my day
were:

*Stony Bayou II*

Purple Gallinule (have become common on the eastern end in the last few
years)

Limpkin (flushed from the side of the Eastern levee after sunrise)

Clapper Rail (very vocal from the salt marshes)

Gull-billed Tern (two feeding over the marshes)

Bank Swallow (three mixed in with the Barn Swallows)



*Stony Bayou I*

Plovers (Semipalmated, Black-bellied and Wilson’s)

Sandpipers (Least and Semipalmated)

SB Dowitcher

Willet

Both Yellowlegs

Least Terns (at least 50, they’re mate-feeding and getting ready to nest)



Seaside Sparrows are sitting up and singing in the marshes. Least Bitterns
are randomly flying about. The evil triumvirate (no-see-ums, mosquitos and
biting flies) are putting up a very weak offense. Get out and go birding.


Don Morrow
<donaldcmorrow...> <donaldcmorow...>
Tallahassee, FL

 

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Date: 5/1/18 6:06 am
From: sunny phillips <sunny_phillips...> [nflbirds] <nflbirds-noreply...>
Subject: [nflbirds] Eastern Towhee
Today was the first Easter Towhee appearing in my small backyard, mid-town Tallahassee.
~~~~
Sunny Phillips


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Date: 4/30/18 1:15 pm
From: Don Morrow <donaldcmorrow...> [nflbirds] <nflbirds-noreply...>
Subject: [nflbirds] SMNWR --- April
In April, Spring migration peaks at SMNWR. This year has been exceptional.
It’s theoretically possible to see about 190 species at the refuge during
April. This year I recorded 160 species and missed about a dozen species
recorded by others. There are a few winter residents that are late leaving
(I’ve had ten duck species this month) and returning breeders like Orchard
Oriole and Red-eyed Vireo. Mainly though this avian diversity is due to
trans-migrants coming through; warblers, thrushes, tanagers, orioles and
grosbeaks. I ran in to lots of other birders taking advantage of the
opportunity to easily find lots of colorful migrants. We’re lucky to have a
resource like St. Marks NWR.

Migration is, though, a dangerous undertaking and almost half of the birds
that attempt it don’t make it back. My friend, Sue Cerulean, just sent me
an email saying that she had found catbirds, an indigo bunting and a barn
swallow washed up dead on the beach at Indian Pass. If you’ve been flying
for twenty-four hours crossing the Gulf, you may be lucky and have an easy
passage and following winds that allow you the time to search for an inland
site where you can rest and feed. If not, you may be in dire need of a
refuge rather than a line of condos backed up by dense suburban housing.

We’re lucky to have a resource like St. Marks NWR, but the birds are lucky
too.

Don Morrow
<donaldcmorrow...> <donaldcmorow...>
Tallahassee, FL

 

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Date: 4/26/18 2:14 pm
From: 'Cavanagh, Jim' <jim.cavanagh...> [nflbirds] <nflbirds-noreply...>
Subject: [nflbirds] St George Island State Park fall out yesterday, 4/25. Wednesday
Yesterday at SGISP I joined Dean and Sally Jue and we birded from 10:00 AM till 5:00 PM. Partly cloudy, 70s with a constant 15+K NW wind.

Raptors: Osprey, Bald Eagle, Cooper's Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk and Peregrine.

Thrushes: Gray-cheeked, Swainson's, Wood plus Veery.

Flycatchers: Acadian, Great Crested, E. Wood-Peewee.

Other: Y-b Cuckoo, Common Nighthawk, R t Hummingbird, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Gray Catbird.

Summer Tanager, Scarlet Tanager, Indigo Bunting, Baltimore and Orchard Orioles, Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

Warblers: Tennessee, Yellow, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Cape May, Blk-throated Green, Pine, Bay-breasted, Blackpoll, Black and White, Worm-eating, Kentucky, Hooded, N Parula, Am Redstart, Ovenbird, N Waterthrush, Common Yellowthroat.

Vireos: White-eyed, Red-eyed, Yellow-throated.

Jim Cavanagh
Tallahassee

 

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Date: 4/25/18 4:48 pm
From: Don Morrow <donaldcmorrow...> [nflbirds] <nflbirds-noreply...>
Subject: [nflbirds] SMNWR -- Wednesday
During a long nine-hour birding day at St Marks NWR starting at 6:00 am, I
logged 101 species. This included predawn birding, a shorebird survey and
some freelance birding on Tower Pond Trail. I had 7 duck species, 16
shorebirds and 10 warblers. Some highlights of my day were:

*Stony Bayou II*

Least Bittern (mostly heard-birds in the predawn)

Wood Duck

Clapper Rail (getting very noisy, even after dawn)

Purple Gallinule ( I had 13 mostly on the East end)

Chuck-wills-widow (calling loudly in the predawn)

Common Nighthawk

Swallows (over a hundred Barn and two Tree)

Bobolink ( becoming more common on the levees)



*Stony Bayou I*

Plovers (BB, SP and Wilson’s; banded Wilson’s data was turned in)

Sandpipers (Semipalmated, Least and one Pectoral)

Least Tern

Bobolink (along the Double Dikes)



*Tower Pond Trail*

YB Cuckoo

Eastern Wood Pewee

Gray-cheeked Thrush

Wood Thrush

Gray Catbird (many)

Northern Parula

Cape May Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-throated Warbler

Pine Warbler

B&W Warbler

American Redstart

Common Yellowthroat (many)

Bay-breasted Warbler

Indigo Bunting



*Lighthouse Pond*

BW Teal

Both Scaup

Northern Shoveler

Bufflehead

RB Merganser

BN Stilt



I had ST Kite, Blue Grosbeak and Orchard Orioles along the levees. Purple
Gallinules are common on Headquarters Pond. Birding is good; surprises are
possible. Go outside and bird.



Remember, Global Big Day is coming up on May 5th.


Don Morrow
<donaldcmorrow...> <donaldcmorow...>
Tallahassee, FL

 

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Date: 4/25/18 4:30 am
From: 'C or M Johnstone' <anhinga...> [nflbirds] <nflbirds-noreply...>
Subject: [nflbirds] Scissor-tailed and possible (2nd hand) Vermilion fc SMNWR
Late Monday afternoon had a Scissor-tail just north of extreme NW corner of Mounds 3 (north leg of T-dike); it was seen by at least two others yesterday. As I was leaving the refuge yesterday, another birder told me he thought he saw an adult male Vermilion fc near the Lighthouse. He was not real certain, but it may be worth a look if you're in the vicinity.
My FOY Bobolinks on the dikes and several Whimbrel on salt flats east of Picnic Pond. Also on Monday had about 40 N. Shovelers on Stony Bayou #1, a bit late I think. Still a handful of Scaup and Bufflehead. Matt Johnstone



 

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