Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
||Thread Tools||Rate Thread|
|Tuesday 6th March 2012, 18:54||#1|
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Kent UK
South Florida 8-23 February 2012
The road from Miami to West Palm Beach is about 75 miles with very little countryside anywhere. All those mansions, apartments and people need water, so the great thing is that away from the coast, there are lakes, canals and levees Ė all perfect for birds.
First stop was at the Arthur R Marshall Reserve at Loxahatchee. Though we have been to the States before, this was our first bird-watching trip. We rapidly clocked up a whole variety of new ticks: Palm Warbler, Roseate Spoonbill, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Mockingbird, Purple Gallinule, Eastern Phoebe, Tree and Northern rough winged Swallow, and Boat-tailed Grackle to name a few. The volunteer who we spoke to did a great sales job for nearby Green Cay Wetlands and Wakodahatchee, where you can get much closer to the birds, and so we moved on.
This is bird-watching made very, very easy. Even better, is that itís free! The long boardwalks get you up close and personal to the birds and they are not at all bothered about people. Green and Great Blue Herons pose for photographs. The Great Blues are nested a few feet from the Boardwalk at Wakodahatchee with chicks in the nest. Red shouldered Hawk, Blue Jay, Red bellied Woodpecker, Sora, Wood Stork and Red winged Blackbird were just a few new birds that we saw.
Over the next few days we were based in the West Palm Beach area before moving on to Naples. The weather turned windy and cool and we had one day of heavy rain. A few of the sites listed on the South Florida Birding Trail were closed or uninspiring, but we still clocked up Royal and Forsterís Terns, Black Skimmer, American Kestrel, Willet, Semi-palmated Plover and a few old friends like Dunlin, Sanderling, Black-bellied Plover and Ruddy Turnstone.
Two day trips out from Naples found us at the Ding Darling Reserve on Sanibel Island and Tigertail Beach on Marco Island.
There are Ospreys nested at Tigertail but the boardwalk reconstruction meant that we couldnít go into the area where Burrowing Owls might be found. At one point, there was an Osprey on the nest, another hunting and then a third joined in. The one on the nest kept on screaming but when the other brought a fish back, they managed to drop it out of the nest. The hunting bird then caught another fish but flew off with it elsewhere. Ospreys became as common as muck on this holiday.
Sanibel birds included White Pelican, Red breasted Merganser, Least Sandpiper, a juvenile Yellow-crowned Night Heron and a pair of overhead Scarlet Ibises.
Moving on from Naples to the Everglades, we visited Corkscrew Swamp and Big Cypress. On a very hot day in the mid 80s at Corkscrew, we were able to see Gray Catbird, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Northern Cardinal, Painted Bunting, Downy and Pileated Woodpeckers and an Ovenbird. We began to see Belted Kingfishers all along the road, perched on wires.
It was getting even hotter as we got into the main Everglades area. We saw a Pine Warbler near the entrance and there were Black necked Stilts on one of the pools. New birds were becoming rarer but we had better views of White Pelicans and Roseate Spoonbills.
Our last few days were based in the Keys. Stopping at Long Key reserve, we were chased by a snake. There was a notice about venomous snakes but we didnít believe it until we heard rustling and saw the 4ft snake about 6 ft away. I think it was more scared than us.
There are many birds that you can see in Florida without even trying: Turkey and Black Vultures are everywhere, White Ibises, Great and Little Blue Herons, Great, Snowy and Cattle Egrets turn up by the roadside, on golf courses and in ditches daily. And the Brown PelicansÖ
Full bird list for trip:
American Coot, American Crow, American Kestrel, American Robin, American Wigeon, Anhinga, Belted Kingfisher, Black and White Warbler, Black bellied Plover, Black necked Stilt, Black Skimmer, Black throated Green Warbler, Blue Jay, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Blue headed Vireo, Blue winged Teal, Boat tailed Grackle, Brown Pelican, Carolina Wren, Cattle Egret, Common Grackle, Common Yellowthroat, Double crested Cormorant, Downy Woodpecker, Dunlin, Eastern Phoebe, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Starling, Feral Pigeon, Forsterís Tern, Glossy Ibis, Gray Catbird, Great Blue Heron, Great Crested Flycatcher, Great Egret, Green Heron, Green winged Teal, House Sparrow, Laughing Gull, Least Sandpiper, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Little Blue Heron, Mallard, Moorhen, Mottled Duck, Mourning Dove, Muscovy Duck, Northern Cardinal, Northern Harrier, Northern Mockingbird, Northern Parula, Northern rough-winged Swallow, Osprey, Ovenbird, Painted Bunting, Palm Warbler, Pied billed Grebe, Pileated Woodpecker, Pine Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Purple Gallinule, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Red-breasted Merganser, Reddish Egret, Red shouldered Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Red-winged Blackbird, Ring billed Gull, Roseate Spoonbill, Royal Tern, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Scarlet Ibis, Semi-palmated Plover, Short tailed Hawk, Tree Swallow, Tricoloured Heron, Turkey Vulture, Whimbrel, White eyed Vireo, White Ibis, White Pelican, White winged Dove, Willet, Wood Duck, Wood Stork, Yellow crowned Night Heron, Yellow throated Warbler
|Sunday 11th March 2012, 04:14||#3|
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Walden, New York
I like it !! I bird Florida every few years (I'm from New York state), and I really enjoyed reading of your meanderings; I know most of these areas, so it was a nice reminder of how good the birding is there. Glad you had a good time.
. . . . our civilization will ultimately be judged not on what we create, but on what we refuse to destroy.
|Rate This Thread|
|Thread||Thread Starter||Forum||Replies||Last Post|
|Norfolk trip February 2012||Sandra (Taylor)||Vacational Trip Reports||5||Monday 5th March 2012 14:32|
|South Florida Everglades Jan 2012 id please||Andy Hurley||Bird Identification Q&A||4||Wednesday 1st February 2012 13:12|
|10 Days in Thailand, February 2012||Kookabara-Oz||Companions for Birding Trips||2||Monday 2nd January 2012 04:18|
|USA South FLorida February Warblers||bulos||Bird Identification Q&A||3||Sunday 20th February 2011 14:52|