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Spring has sprung in Florida

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Old Sunday 20th March 2005, 03:02   #1
Andy Wraithmell
aka Limeybirder
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Tallahassee
Posts: 890
Spring has sprung in Florida

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.
visit my website for information and links for birding in Florida

Last edited by Andy Wraithmell : Sunday 20th March 2005 at 03:13.
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Old Sunday 20th March 2005, 19:48   #2
Rob Williams
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 453

Sounds like a good day, puts my list to shame. Though it did make me think. On Friday I went for an early morning walk round my local patch and what stunned me was how empty it was. All the wintering gulls and ducks, along with the thrushes from Scandinavia have all gone in the last week. I felt quite sad really. I've really enjoyed this winter as birding has given me something to look forward to for the whole season. I just need some early summer arrivals to help me get over it!

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