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South Florida Birding

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Old Sunday 25th September 2011, 01:09   #76
merryslug
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Bahia Honda Key this morning - a walk led by legendary birder Kenn Kaufman (squee!) and his wife as part of the Florida Keys Birding Festival.

Highlights:

Peregrine Falcon - flying with some difficulty from a rather large food item it was carrying
Prairie Warbler
Palm Warbler
Black-throated Blue
Sanderlings
Semipalmated Plovers
Ruddy Turnstones
* Piping Plover
* Blue Grosbeak (female)
Laughing Gulls
American Redstarts
Magnificent Frigatebird - close fly-by from an immature and an adult female
Willet
Black-crowned Night Heron - both an adult and an immature who was quite close up

* = Lifers for me!!

Butterflies:
A billion Gulf Fritillaries, including one mating pair
some Cassius Blues

AND: a great view of a Black-tipped Reef Shark who swam up near the rocks (we were up on the old bridge looking down)

Pretty sure I'm forgetting something, just can't think of it right now. It was great to meet the Kaufmans, and I'd forgotten both how close the Keys are and how beautiful they are!

Last edited by merryslug : Sunday 25th September 2011 at 01:15.
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Old Sunday 25th September 2011, 15:16   #77
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Sounds like a great morning Merry. Kenn is awesome! Have you read Kingbird Highway?
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Old Sunday 25th September 2011, 18:45   #78
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Yes just recently - got him to autograph it! :)
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Old Wednesday 28th September 2011, 02:37   #79
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Saw a swallow tailed kite heading south. It was accompanied for a time by the osprey
that hangs out in that area.

It almost looked like a "see you next summer" meeting. Oh how I read stuff into these things.
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Old Sunday 2nd October 2011, 00:12   #80
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Went to Dupuis the last two mornings looking for Red-cockaded Woodpeckers. I found where they are nesting, but no RCW when I was there (me=not happy).

Still it's very birdy there along the autotour drive. I saw tons of Red-bellied Woodpeckers, two Downy/Hairys (haven't looked close enough at the pics yet), a Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-throated Warbler, Yellow-throated Vireos, Pine Warblers, Turkeys, and several hawks (Red-shouldered? Accipiters? who knows, not a good enough look). Also heard Eastern Phoebes.

As I drove along with my windows down you could hear birds pretty much all along the drive. I got out several times to bird, and I got the impression that I could've stopped anywhere and seen something.
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Old Sunday 2nd October 2011, 03:26   #81
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Saw my first Northern Harrier of the season. He was perched in an oak tree in a Publix parking lot just east of Wako. Then he took off to a large empty lot across the street.

Lots of woodpeckers today. Not sure what kind. Perhaps the red headed ones that are called red-bellied or something. They sure called a lot though.
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Old Sunday 2nd October 2011, 11:14   #82
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Sound like Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Sydsmythe.

Merry: have you considered birding Three Lakes WMA for Red-cockaded Woodpecker? If you go in the early spring, you can also get Bachman's Sparrow if you still need that one. I never miss them -- but you need to use your ears and learn their calls as they can sometimes be far off the main trail.

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Old Sunday 2nd October 2011, 15:59   #83
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Thanks Carlos, I'll have to look that up- I'm not familiar with Three Lakes. Are they relatively easy to find there?
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Old Sunday 2nd October 2011, 18:55   #84
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Yes Carlos. Definitely red-bellied. There is one on the light pole by my house right now.

I'm going to put a suet feeder out there for them and whoever else stops by.
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Old Sunday 2nd October 2011, 20:27   #85
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Merry,

I have never missed them there... but I will add the appropriate disclaimers just in case you miss them. :)

Carlos
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Old Monday 3rd October 2011, 16:18   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merryslug View Post
Went to Dupuis the last two mornings looking for Red-cockaded Woodpeckers. I found where they are nesting, but no RCW when I was there (me=not happy).

Still it's very birdy there along the autotour drive. I saw tons of Red-bellied Woodpeckers, two Downy/Hairys (haven't looked close enough at the pics yet), a Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-throated Warbler, Yellow-throated Vireos, Pine Warblers, Turkeys, and several hawks (Red-shouldered? Accipiters? who knows, not a good enough look). Also heard Eastern Phoebes.

As I drove along with my windows down you could hear birds pretty much all along the drive. I got out several times to bird, and I got the impression that I could've stopped anywhere and seen something.
Caveat: My "Yellow-throated Vireos" appear to be Pine Warblers.
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Old Tuesday 11th October 2011, 11:54   #87
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Fall migration seems to be bringing reasonable variety, if not a great #, of passerines to the area.

Among the birds being seen around:

Hooded Warbler
Yellow-throated Vireo
Yellow throated Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Palm W
Pine W
Yellow W
Black-throated Blue W
Redstarts
Northern Waterthrush
Ovenbirds
Red and White eyed Vireos
*A Yellow-green Vireo has been present for a good while (at least a week) in Matheson Hammock
Tennessee Warbler
Yellow breasted Chat
Indigo and Painted Buntings
Blue and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
Cape May Warblers
Blackburnian Warblers


I haven't seen half of these myself but it's my own fault for going nowhere last weekend (and next weekend I'm out of state).

But point being - get out there! There's lots to be found :)
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Old Wednesday 12th October 2011, 03:12   #88
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Any one see any kestrels yet? I'm so hoping the male that used to hang around on my mail route comes back. But that hope is waning.

There was also a female and a smaller male. They were all perched on separate trees on a corner one day last winter. So cute. Come back kleekleekleeklee!
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Old Tuesday 25th October 2011, 03:11   #89
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The kestrels are back ! What a show they put on today.
And the RTH is back too. Makes me a lot happier about going to work.
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Old Tuesday 25th October 2011, 14:03   #90
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Can't wait to get back out there and see what's in town this weekend. I've been away the past two weeks traveling in Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New England - surprisingly little birding opportunities up there - millions of starlings, a few warblers that hadn't made their way down, lots of crows and generic blackbirds, and scatterings of odd duck-like birds that I have no idea what they were, and tons of every gull variety you can imagine. It seems the migrators have left the northeast in large numbers, and so should either be here or be on the way.
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Old Sunday 30th October 2011, 14:59   #91
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I always think my back patio is too tiny to attract anything. Without leaving my couch this morning I have seen a female kestrel (noisy this morning!),turkey vulture, osprey, 2 ducks of some kind and a bunch of mourning doves and a rock pigeon. And right now i see 2 white winged doves, a cardinal pair, and one of those tiny yellow bellied birds.
Are those little birds vireos or finches of some sort? They are all over the place. At CityPlace they are nested in bougainvillea hedges and on the trunks of washington
and sabal palms .
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Old Sunday 30th October 2011, 18:42   #92
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Well, there are the tiny yellow bellied birds that pump their tails with insect-eating type beaks... those are winter visiting Palm Warblers. No nesting in Florida.

Then, there are the conical-billed, seed eating House Sparrows that nest in the parking lots.

You might have two birds.

Carlos
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Old Sunday 30th October 2011, 19:13   #93
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Judging from photos, I'd say they're palm warblers. By "nesting" I guess I mean sleeping or hanging out, not breeding. I don't notice them in the summer. I do see the sparrows in a local parking lot, being chased by a red shouldered hawk.
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Old Tuesday 1st November 2011, 00:39   #94
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You have a nice-sounding backyard Syd. I have a gazillion mourning doves, several blue jays, and a Red-tailed Hawk couple. I've been thinking of a bird feeder, but I'm pretty sure I'd only get a gazillion mourning doves, several blue jays, and maybe a hawk or two going after the birds.
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Old Tuesday 1st November 2011, 02:53   #95
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The cardinals (Chip and Carly...had to name them) will only go to a feeder if it is fairly hidden. I have an arbor that's overgrown with passion vine. It's right next to an areca palm.I've got one feeder hanging from the arbor and the other from the palm. When the feeders are empty they sit on the window ledge and stare in at me. I'm going to put a small pond in the side yard,. At my former house I had a 4x5 pond that was visited by a GBH almost daily. After a while I stopped putting goldfish in it. I know it's nature, but I felt like a creep.
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Old Tuesday 1st November 2011, 03:46   #96
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My backyard birds don't seem to mind being on display - I have one small feeder on a fence, and scatter seed on the ground around a big fern potted on the ground...and all the birds will flock in even if I'm in the pool just 10-15 feet from them. I guess they get used to you after a while. My regular backyarders are blue jays, cardinals, three types of doves, thrashers, grackles, mockingbirds, yellow-throated warblers, american redstarts, european starlings, downy woodpeckers and red-bellied woodpeckers, white ibis, and red-shouldered hawks, along with occasional muscovy and peking ducks, and great blue herons. The blue jays and grackles are year rounders, the cardinals used to just be a pair but now are up to 3 pair with chicks, and the doves have been mighty thick the past 6 months. The mockingbirds are just one family, and the thrashers come mainly in the spring and summer. The woodpeckers are occasionally spottable, but more often heard. The starlings, redstarts, and yellow-throated warbler are seasonal - all three seem to be back in town the past month and a half.

I wish this weekend hadn't been so ugly - never had the chance to get out to the wetlands. This coming weekend better be clear...I want to get back out there!
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Old Sunday 6th November 2011, 06:35   #97
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Saturday was pretty good at Green Cay - unfortunately Wako was closed this weekend, so I subbed Arthur Marshall for the second half of my day...and it too was better than usual.

At Green Cay, the usual suspects were there - herons, egrets, coots, moorhens, etc. Also present were quite a few kestrels - at least 5 different ones I spotted. Palm warblers are there in force, and a few black and white warblers mixed in. A more rare sighting, a female merlin, was feasting on dragonfly after dragonfly, in the same area for hours. At one point, 4 red-shouldered hawks flew in together in a squadron, and chased the merlin off her tree stump - they stayed a while, all packed onto the same tree, before deciding to leave, after which the merlin promptly returned.

At Loxahatchee, I spotted a few eastern phoebes, and then was pleased to see what I believe was a gray kingbird, which chased away the phoebes. Also present were several limpkin, and several purple gallinule, and what I think, from a distance, might have been the fork-tailed flycatcher - it was too distant to confirm markings or colors (I spotted white and greyish only), but was a bird around the size of a small jay with a hugely long trailing tail.
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Old Sunday 6th November 2011, 16:00   #98
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For the past several days my mail route (and others I have helped with close by) have been raptor central. Never seen so many in such small areas simultaneously.

Justin, I am so jealous of your merlin sighting. There was one reported at GC last year, but it was basically an occasional fly-by-nothing like your sighting at all.
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Old Sunday 6th November 2011, 16:22   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zackiedawg View Post
Saturday was pretty good at Green Cay - unfortunately Wako was closed this weekend, so I subbed Arthur Marshall for the second half of my day...and it too was better than usual.

At Green Cay, the usual suspects were there - herons, egrets, coots, moorhens, etc. Also present were quite a few kestrels - at least 5 different ones I spotted. Palm warblers are there in force, and a few black and white warblers mixed in. A more rare sighting, a female merlin, was feasting on dragonfly after dragonfly, in the same area for hours. At one point, 4 red-shouldered hawks flew in together in a squadron, and chased the merlin off her tree stump - they stayed a while, all packed onto the same tree, before deciding to leave, after which the merlin promptly returned.

At Loxahatchee, I spotted a few eastern phoebes, and then was pleased to see what I believe was a gray kingbird, which chased away the phoebes. Also present were several limpkin, and several purple gallinule, and what I think, from a distance, might have been the fork-tailed flycatcher - it was too distant to confirm markings or colors (I spotted white and greyish only), but was a bird around the size of a small jay with a hugely long trailing tail.
Justin a Fork-tailed Flycatcher has been reported recently at Loxahatchee, so I think it's a safe bet that that's what you saw. Congrats!
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Old Sunday 6th November 2011, 17:42   #100
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Justin,

What date did you see the Fork-tailed Flycatcher, and where exactly in the reserve did you see it? A lot of people have gone looking after November 2nd and have come empty handed with this species, and it was presumed to have left after the first initial sighting near the first parking lot.

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