Headed down to the coast to Bald Pt SP this morning in the hope of seeing some migrants. On the southside of Crawfordville I had my first of the spring Swallow-tailed Kite fly over the road heading east. A short while after there was a flock of about 100 American White Pelicans circling high and drifting NW.
Behind the gas station in Panacea we searched for the wintering Vermillion Flycatcher who after a few seconds appeared on a fencepost dazzling us with his bright red plumage.
A good start to the day. We arrived at the point and upon return from the restrooms had our first Eastern Kingbird of the year flycatching in typical fashion from a dead snag. A gorgeous male Northern Parula was very obliging and showed down to several feet at times often at head height in a clump of young Wax Myrtles.
They were the only migrants to speak of really but we did have a good selection of the usual shorebirds as well as a nice Caspian Tern sitting amongst many Laughing Gulls, who were almost in full breeding plumage, laughing away.
In the marsh we heard several Clapper Rails and a lone American White Pelican was roosting on a sandbar with a flock of Willets and Ruddy Turnstone.
We spent an hour at our friend Jack Dozier's house watching many birds visit his feeding station. Field, White-throated, Chipping and Song Sparrow fed on the ground as well as a Hermit Thrush. Several Gray Catbirds were alley fighting over the suet feeders and busy, noisy Brown-headed Nuthatches were calling from the pines.
Spring has arrived here in Florida and a drive through Apalachicola Forest (after a splendid lunch courtesy of Jack) yielded several singing Red-eyed Vireo's.
A good day.