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South Florida Birding

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Old Sunday 6th November 2011, 21:29   #101
Zackiedawg
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Carlos,
I saw the possible fork-tailed on Saturday (Nov 5), around 3pm. I was pulling back down the dirt road from the levee parking lot on the left, back to the main road, and it flew over the trees just on the other side of the main road from me (approx. from the vicinity of the cypress trails, headed over the RV/overflow parking lot, towards the boat ramps). It was a good 60-70 feet ahead and I was looking through my windshield - no photo opp at all, and hard to get a firm ID, other than the unusually long tailfeathers trailing behind.

BTW - I received ID help from this board's ID section that the possible kingbird was actually a loggerhead shrike (thanks Carlos), so strike the gray kingbird sighting!

Here's some of the raptor gatherings at Green Cay...first, the merlin:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...27308/original

http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...27310/original

http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...27312/original

The beautiful red-shoulders that chased her off:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...27316/original

http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...27315/original

http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...27314/original

One of the kestrels staying far above in the sky:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...27303/original

And the obligatory osprey shot:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...24094/original

And the Loxahatchee loggerhead shrike:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/imag...24098/original
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Old Monday 7th November 2011, 12:28   #102
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There was a logged report (refuge log) on the 5th, stating it was seen in the SE corner of C7 by one of the staff, who also got a photo. So it at least stayed that long.

I did a cursory search yesterday but was mostly distracted by the butterfly garden and didn't spend a lot of time at the impoundments.
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Old Tuesday 8th November 2011, 02:03   #103
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Great shots, Justin! As usual I'm jealous.

I've got to get out there soon.

Carlos, do any gray kingbirds stay here ? I suppose not. The adorable bunch that was in downtown West Palm is long gone.
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Old Tuesday 8th November 2011, 11:56   #104
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Gray Kingbirds sometimes linger, but they clear out for the most part. by the end of October. We start seeing them again in late March/early April -- something to look forward to...

However, winter time is the best time for birding in South Florida in terms of diversity -- most of our birds are either here or about to arrive at this time of year!

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Old Sunday 13th November 2011, 22:47   #105
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It's getting pretty reliable around here. I stopped by Daggerwing yesterday on reports a kestrel was hanging out there - indeed it was - very easy to find and presented itself for lovely photographs - that makes at least 3 weeks it's been there. I also spotted blue-grey gnatcatchers and a pair of osprey there.

Went next to Green Cay - the usuals, though I didn't catch the merlin this time. I did however see a northern harrier - and he had gotten himself a meal - he had a bird pinned on the levee on the west side (left). Mottleds, herons, egrets, etc - and several sora have returned too.

Then I went to Wakodahatchee, which was finally reopened. The birds didn't mind the shutdown - it was active. Snowys, greats, & cattle; little blue, great blue, tricolor; gallinules - several immature; anhingas & cormorants; a kingfisher, a red-shouldered hawk, ospreys, white winged doves, black-crowned night heron (male and female), black-bellied whistling ducks, mottled ducks, blue winged teals, roseated spoonbill, glossy & white ibis, palm & yellow-rumped warblers. Staying to dusk, the numbers of ibis were scary - at least numbering in the thousands...along with quite a few egrets & anhingas & cormorants. Several small, unidentified little birds buzzed around that didn't look like warblers, but unfortunately no shots.
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Old Sunday 13th November 2011, 23:22   #106
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Had a great day birding, including several lifers for me. Went to the C111 canal pump station and saw the immature Vermillion Flycatcher that's been hanging out there this week. My friend saw the second one, so there are still 2. I can only hope they stay all winter - I would LOVE to see them come into their full color!

Also stopped by Castellow Hammock and got (eventually) a female Rufous Hummingbird. Also picked up Ruby-throated Hummingbirds which were technically lifers for me as well.

Along the way - Western Kingbird a possible Vesper Sparrow, and improved pics of Eastern Pheobe, Eastern Flycatcher (must verify), and a Kestrel who decided to land near the car.
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Old Monday 14th November 2011, 17:49   #107
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I meant Eastern Kingbird (not "Flycatcher"), but it doesn't really matter since it turned out to be another Pheobe. Those darm E Kingbirds are eluding me, despite everyone else in the world seeing them all over the darn place. :(
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Old Monday 14th November 2011, 18:43   #108
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Me too. Phoebes, no problem - loggerhead shrikes were the ones that made me think I might have seen a type of kingbird last time, but not. As far as I know, I have yet to see one.
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Old Monday 14th November 2011, 20:58   #109
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merryslug,

All the Eastern Kingbirds should have left by now, if it makes you feel any better. You can start looking for Eastern and Gray Kingbirds again in late March-April until the end of October.

Right now, Western Kingbird and Scissor-tailed Flycatchers are the two to look out for -- and maybe even other vagrants such as Tropical Kingbird and Cassin's Kingbird.

Carlos
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Old Wednesday 23rd November 2011, 00:53   #110
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On Lake Okeechobee just at the southwestern tip of the Kissimmee River mouth is a large group of Snail Kites - mostly juveniles - that have been hanging together for at least a month.

We approached them today via airboat and got pretty close. The exotic Apple Snails up there are plentiful and they were busy chowing down. They'd return to the general group to eat and called back and forth to each other. At one point we counted 13 Kites within view.

While it's sometimes difficult in the field to distinguish females from juvies, there were at least 2 mature males there as well. I'll try to post some pics tomorrow.
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Old Wednesday 23rd November 2011, 17:57   #111
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Here's a few of the Snail Kite photos:

a few in flight

female

male

Last edited by merryslug : Thursday 24th November 2011 at 01:37.
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Old Thursday 24th November 2011, 01:37   #112
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Okay, pics are working now.
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Old Thursday 24th November 2011, 13:11   #113
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Those are great shots, merry. Do you get to the lake in the course of your work?

Every morning I see a couple of LWDD guys in the Publix parking lot with their little jon boat, getting ready for the day. Shoulda thought of doing that instead of working for the PO.
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Old Friday 25th November 2011, 02:24   #114
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Yeah I'm at the SFWMD and I do research on the lake. We used to go out there about twice a week, but now it's a lot less.
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Old Sunday 27th November 2011, 02:15   #115
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Have you read A Land Remembered? Pretty big tearjerker for me. ;(
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Old Sunday 27th November 2011, 22:51   #116
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Not yet, i'll look it up
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Old Saturday 3rd December 2011, 21:34   #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sydsmythe View Post
Have you read A Land Remembered? Pretty big tearjerker for me. ;(
One of THE greatest books ever written
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Old Sunday 4th December 2011, 01:14   #118
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yes Andy, you are correct. For those who are unfamiliar with this, go to http://patricksmithonline.com

it should be required reading for anyone who is even thinking of moving to Florida!

And it was great fun trying to figure out where they were as they moved through the state. I was usually correct

I got a kick out of the Lykes reference...Windell Lykes.

If you order the hardcover edition from the website you get the companion DVD.

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Old Sunday 4th December 2011, 01:29   #119
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yes Andy, you are correct. For those who are unfamiliar with this, go to http://patricksmithonline.com

it should be required reading for anyone who is even thinking of moving to Florida!

And it was great fun trying to figure out where they were as they moved through the state. I was usually correct

I got a kick out of the Lykes reference...Windell Lykes.

If you order the hardcover edition from the website you get the companion DVD.
We were in Highlands County recently and drove by the Peace River. We talked about the book for a while and felt sad how Florida has changed
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Old Sunday 4th December 2011, 12:24   #120
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The other day I delivered mail in the Foxe Chase subdivision off of Germantown Rd in Delray. It's a good thing no one came out to chat because it would've been embarrassing...the tears were just coming down.
Aside from the huge houses, it is a virtually undisturbed ancient oak hammock, so dense in places that it is almost dark. This hammock once ran from Military east to about a block before the Intracoastal. Some of it was destroyed to build an orange grove (Bloods Hammock Groves), and then that grove was bought and became a housing development. Of course most of the rest of the hammock was destroyed and developed. Not only are the oaks in Foxe Chase enormous , the numerous palms are the tallest I've seen in any subdvision.
I get choked up there also because I once owned some property at the east end of the hammock. It had some incredibly tall palms and one of the largest oaks I'd ever seen. . I sold it when I thought i was going to leave Florida. So sorry i lost that place that I can't go near that neighborhood. I just know the developer leveled all of it so there is no more oak tree. :(
If you want to seee a remnant of this gorgeous hammock , you can go to Delray Oaks Natural Area. It is on the west side of Congress Av. by Germantown Rd.
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Old Monday 5th December 2011, 15:52   #121
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This past Saturday I went to Arthur Marshall to see if I might find the mergansers reported to be there - no luck unfortunately. However, there is a rather surprising number of snipes and killdeer there! I made a rough count of approx 15 Wilson's snipe, and at least 10 killdeer, in the very first pond that's bordered by the main road to the north, the visitor's pavilion, and the diagonal gravel exit road from the impoundment parking lot. They were mixed in among a large number of blue-winged teals, half-a-dozen or so green winged teals, and various other waders. Out on the impoundment levees, there was a northern harrier hunting all around, several limpkin, pied-billed grebe, all forms of heron and egrets, and several purple gallinules. Tons of eastern phoebes - dozens along the eastern treeline next to the farm fields.

Headed over to Green Cay next - didn't catch the well reported bobcats that have been seen there last week - did get some nice flight opportunities of a northern harrier who was quite persistently flying about, a red shouldered hawk, some green-winged teals that have arrived there, and a vast abundance of yellow-rumped & palm warblers in nearly every tree canopy - far too many to count...along with the eastern phoebes in large numbers there too. It'll be a few weeks before I can get back out there as I'm away this coming weekend...maybe a cold front will come in the next week or two and finally drive some of the wintering birds a little farther south - otherwise it could be a relative bust like it was last winter, where it just stays too warm and the winter birds stay farther up north.
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Old Friday 16th December 2011, 23:59   #122
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visited Walsingham Park Pinellass County Park today, and found what looked like a Brown Creeper, could not get a photo due to branches etc but could confirm a curved beak, brown patterning to the back and a White throat. We see tree creepers back in England and the birds jizz was much the same ie creeping around the trunks and branches of trees. I have checked my Sibley and it states uncommon in this area. I am going back at first light in the morning to try forma photo. If not creeper what else could it be?
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Old Saturday 17th December 2011, 12:35   #123
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Sounds like it could be a Brown Creeper, pompadour, which would be quite rare that far south. They usually stay north of Gainesville which is a few hours driving north of you, where they are still uncommon but regular in winter.

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Old Sunday 18th December 2011, 14:40   #124
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thanks for getting back to me Carlos, Had no luck yesterday forgot it was the weekend and every man and his dog was out running etc. Still a nice place to wonder around. We are still here for a few more days so will keep dropping in.
Steve
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Old Monday 19th December 2011, 15:35   #125
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The conglomeration continues at Arthur Marshall - and it's getting bigger. The first levee entrapment pond that borders the main road and the dirt road to the levee parking area (with the little pavilion on it) is getting like Times Square on New Year's Eve. Sunday, I stopped by at around 1:30pm, and counted 15+ roseate spoonbills, well over 40 Wilson's Snipe, a dozen or two of various sandpipers, lots of the usual blue winged teals, snowy egrets, mottled ducks, ibis, etc mixed in. I haven't seen that many snipe in one spot, and a surprising number of roseates hanging out there too. Around the trees at the end of the levee path at the south end of the pond, I found half-a-dozen loggerhead shrike, and probably around the same number of yellow rumped warblers.
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