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Ft. Lauderdale/ Broward county

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Old Friday 9th January 2004, 17:41   #1
janine13
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Ft. Lauderdale/ Broward county

There are many state and county parks within Broward County. Here are a few that I frequent, along with some of my sightings:

If you fly in to Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport, look out for Smooth Billed Anis. After entering Perimeter Rd. from Griffin Rd., head west until you come to the first pull-out on your left -- about 1/3 of a mile. The Anis frequent this area, often sitting on the fence and foraging on the ground.

John U. Lloyd State Park: 6503 N Ocean Drive, Dania. From US-1 in Dania, Take Dania Beach Boulevard east to A1A, follow the signs to the entrance. Great place for shorebirds, herons, gulls. In winter black vultures congretate in the park, and many ospreys nest within the park. With good binoculars you can occasionally see Magnificent Frigatebirds and Gannets offshore. The brackish creek that runs parallel to the beach is a great place for waders and osprey, as well as other interesting coastal fauna such as fish, rays, rabbits, raccoons, and many invertebrates: crabs, urchins, molluscs, etc.

Tree Tops Park: 3900 sw 100th ave, Davie. Exit 1-95 at Griffin Road and go west. Turn right at 100th ave (Palm ave), the entrance will be on the right. The restored wetlands with boardwalk trail is a great place to see herons and other waders, as well as many raptors. The oak hammocks are also very good for warblers in the fall and spring. Keep an eye out for Gopher Tortoise and Black Racer too. At the moment there is a McGillivray's Warbler wintering in the park, I can give more specific directions if anyone is interested.

Southwest Broward: Once wetland prairie, much of SW Broward up to US 27 has become suburban residential property. The good news is that developers are now required to set aside a percentage of their land to create a restored wetland habitat for wildlife. These isolated patches of wetland are good places to see wildlife, plus are home to some interesting exotic species.

To reach my local patch, take I-75 south and exit Sheridan Street going west.

The Southwest Regional Library, 16835 Sheridan Street, is on the right side. There is a restored wetland with raised boardwalks that is a great place for waders and other waterfowl. Purple Swamphens, escapes from the Miami Metrozoo after Hurricane Andrew, thrive in the artificial wetlands here and throughout the Silverlakes Area. You can also find Least Bittern, Mottled Duck, NIght Heron, Red Winged Blackbird, Blue-Winged Teal, Purple Gallinule, and Wood Stork. If you look carefully you may see Water Snakes, Leopard Frog, Red-Eared Slider, Florida Softshell Turtle, Florida Red Bellied Turtle, Pig Frog, Marsh Rabbit, and Hispid Cotton Rat.
After the Library, turn south on 172nd ave and turn right into the County Park. Another good place for Purple Swamphens. In the evenings hundreds of White Ibis, Cattle Egret, Little Blue Heron, Tricoloured Heron, and Cormorant roost on the tree islands. Pied Billed Grebe, Mottled Duck, Red Bellied Woodpecker, Killdeer and Mallard are also commonly seen.

Continuing south on 172nd, between Sheridan Street and Miramar Parkway, you can see many species, including Great Blue Heron, Black and Turkey Vulture, Glossy Ibis, Belted Kingfisher, Bald Eagle, Osprey, Red Shouldered Hawk, Coot, Cormorant, and more. Burrowing Owls can be seen just south of Pines Blvd, either on the industrial complex on the right, or on the playing field on the left. Common birds on powerlines in the area include Loggerhead Shrike, Northern Mockingbird, Kestrel, Merlin, and BlueJay. Quaker Parrots, or Monk Parakeets, nest on the high utility poles, and are often seen perched on the wires or flying in large and noisy flocks. Also look out for Green Iguanas.


For a more thorough review of birding sites in the area, and Florida in general, consult A Birder's Guide to Florida by Bill Pranty.
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Old Friday 9th January 2004, 19:06   #2
scampo
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And the Everglades are nearby aren't they? I had a great time there a few years back seeing all sorts of birds, mammals and reptiles.
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