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Lake Okeechobee

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Old Friday 13th August 2010, 18:29   #1
merryslug
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Lake Okeechobee

I work frequently on this big lake and it's given me a lot of birds: Swallowtail and Snail kites, Bald Eagles, Roseate Spoonbills, etc..

I've got pretty much every wading bird except for the Reddish Egret, and the Great White Heron (or white morph). A lot of the secretive rails and the sora are out there but I can't list them yet.

Problem is, my eyesight is pretty cruddy, so the bird has to be fairly obvious for me to get a good look at it. I don't have a scope yet, but have a decent set of binoculars.

I'm off now to go check out a spot on the north side of the lake where a co-worker says he's seen Inca Doves.

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Old Saturday 14th August 2010, 01:07   #2
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Are you sure they are not Common Ground-Doves? Inca Doves are unrecorded in Florida (yet), though I expect them to show up as a vagrant at some point.

Reddish Egrets are relatively common on the gulf coast of Florida. Try Ft Myers Beach or Bunche Beach. Ding Darling and Tigertail Beach have them, as well.

Great White Heron? Florida Keys (on spoil islands) or Everglades National Park (Flamingo area, at low tide) are good bets.

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Old Saturday 14th August 2010, 02:51   #3
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I've tried Ft Meyers and Ding Darling with no luck yet.

Not 100% sure about the Inca doves but my co-worker knows his stuff, and I think there's a legitimate possibility. If I fnd them I'll get pics.

I ended up not going today - didn't realize how late it was. If I can afford the gas before next payday then I'll go tomorrow :)
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Old Wednesday 18th August 2010, 21:34   #4
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Are you sure they are not Common Ground-Doves? Inca Doves are unrecorded in Florida (yet), though I expect them to show up as a vagrant at some point.
Yep, common ground doves Still pretty though, and I did find one book that said Inca Doves have bred in Key West.

Most exciting thing I saw today was a Swallow tailed Kite that wouldn't pose for his picture, and maybe some Barn swallows that don't know my book doesn't include them in Florida.
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Old Thursday 19th August 2010, 12:07   #5
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Barn Swallows are transient migrants in South Florida -- but they are quite abundant in fall migration.

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Old Thursday 19th August 2010, 13:22   #6
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I was able to see a Great White Heron (color morph of the Great Blue Heron) while taking a "Shark Valley" tram tour in the Everglades (1997). * A very nice looking bird, elegant!
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Old Thursday 19th August 2010, 21:27   #7
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Barn Swallows are transient migrants in South Florida -- but they are quite abundant in fall migration.

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But it's the middle of summer???

Actually I'm pretty sure that's what they were though co-worker thinks immature Purple Martin.
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Old Thursday 19th August 2010, 21:29   #8
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Originally Posted by Larry Lade View Post
I was able to see a Great White Heron (color morph of the Great Blue Heron) while taking a "Shark Valley" tram tour in the Everglades (1997). * A very nice looking bird, elegant!
Good for you! Sounds like I need to arrange a real tour once it stops being a thousand degrees during the day
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Old Thursday 19th August 2010, 22:59   #9
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Passerine fall migration starts in late July here in South Florida. Fall migration is already well underway here in August, particularly with shorebirds but also with songbirds. Neotropical Songbird migration (warblers, thrushes, vireos, orioles, etc) reaches a climax in late September/early October in numbers and diversity before ending in late October.

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Old Friday 20th August 2010, 00:39   #10
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Ah! That would explain it. Thanks for the info - I bet they were Barn Swallows then. I'll try for pictures next time - though they don't like to hold still...
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Old Thursday 26th August 2010, 20:20   #11
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Pulling into the boat ramp yesterday we surprised two mating Sandhill Cranes.

Sorry!

I think I might be able to get the Barn Swallows on a phon eline at hte Pahokee Marina. I may try this weekend.
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Old Thursday 7th October 2010, 15:42   #12
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We spent the last couple of days in an area of the Lake O marsh that I rarely frequent - Moonshine Bay.

It was quickly clear that the birds are loving the area right now. Our airboat would scare them up left and right. I got my partners to drive while I sat with camera ready. The results are blurry shots of birds flying away :)

Black bellied Whistling Ducks
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Wood Duck
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American Bittern
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Snipe
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Immature Purple Gallinule
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Old Monday 11th October 2010, 21:56   #13
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Male Snail Kite was hanging out at the boat ramp by Okeechobee (city) today.
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Old Tuesday 8th March 2011, 21:39   #14
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Took a helicopter trip around the marsh today and found a Bald Eagles' nest near Observation Island. The adults were not around but two (rather large) eaglets were:
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Old Wednesday 16th March 2011, 03:13   #15
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Spent a recent Saturday in Clewiston at the STA 5. We had 65+ species, however the other half of the group had 83. Snail Kites, northern harriers, Am Bittern and purple gall, as well as the purple swamp hens. Lots of Limpkins, spoonbills and blacknecked stilts. Two Peregrine falcon was seen.A great place to spend a day! I think it is only open on Saturdays.
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Old Wednesday 16th March 2011, 15:01   #16
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Quote:
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Spent a recent Saturday in Clewiston at the STA 5. We had 65+ species, however the other half of the group had 83. Snail Kites, northern harriers, Am Bittern and purple gall, as well as the purple swamp hens. Lots of Limpkins, spoonbills and blacknecked stilts. Two Peregrine falcon was seen.A great place to spend a day! I think it is only open on Saturdays.
Isn't STA-5 the one you have to sign up for in advance? Never been to that one, but heard its legend many times. STA-1 which I think is the public one on 880 by comparison is pretty dead.
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Old Sunday 27th March 2011, 14:58   #17
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Yes, you do have to sign up for STA-5 in advance. You can sing up through Hendry-Glades Audubon. It was definitely worth it!
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Old Tuesday 3rd May 2011, 19:18   #18
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Just found out today that a pair of Whooping Cranes were hanging around the western marsh just south of Fisheating Bay. When I expressed surprise, the western crew said "Oh yeah, they've been there for some time. They're gone now though 'cause it's dried up."

Really??? As a birder you didn't think I'd be interested in this information?????

* bangs head against wall *
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Old Thursday 12th May 2011, 01:26   #19
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heres a picture of said whooping cranes. three total.
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Old Thursday 12th May 2011, 14:01   #20
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Fantastic! When did you see them?
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Old Thursday 12th May 2011, 14:04   #21
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As one might expect, the lake is currently full of Stilts and shore birds. Tons of Purple Gallinules as well, and Least Bitterns.

The north side of Fisheating Bay seems to be particularly stuffed with Least Bitterns. I hope to go back in a week or two (if there's still any water) with more time to look and take pictures maybe.

Also saw 5 Roseate Spoonbills and several Snail Kites in that same area yesterday.
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Old Saturday 14th May 2011, 01:43   #22
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a friend of mine took the crane pictures. an immature was with them as well. there are 2-3 snail kites nesting just to the east of Harney Pond canal.
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Old Monday 16th May 2011, 12:12   #23
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there are 2-3 snail kites nesting just to the east of Harney Pond canal.
Must've been the ones I saw - there were juveniles with the adults.
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Old Wednesday 18th May 2011, 22:00   #24
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More Spoonbills in the south end near Torry Island, and a coworker doing avain surveys in STA6 reported a kettle of 50 Swallow-tailed Kites

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Old Thursday 19th May 2011, 14:56   #25
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BTW one of our scientists swears he saw Flamingoes yesterday out on the lake. I rolled my eyes at that (Spoonbills I thought), but a separate report of them on one of the STA's came in as well. So maybe...?
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