Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Everglades Birding

Day 4 of our trip (1/29) took us to the Florida Everglades. We spent an entire day in and around the Everglades, beginning with Lucky Hammock. At first light, we had a very distant Barn Owl come in to roost. Given the extreme distant, I was surprised I got an identifiable photo. It isn't one I'm proud of... but I'll count it until I can do better. We found many good birds here, including the previously reported Brown-crested, Great-crested and Ash-throated Flycatchers.

Horrible photo of a Barn Owl

Once into the 'glades, we made a few stops along the road to Long Pine Key. The roadsides were littered with Yellow-rumped Warblers. I've never seen so many in one place in my life! A little "pishing" attracted gobs.

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Palm Warbler was another very common sight. We found these at almost every stop we made.

Palm Warbler
Long Pine Key is host to some special butterflies, but we didn't find any. I will have to go back later in the season to look for them. It did provide me with my first Red-shouldered Hawk photographs.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Snake Bight trail contained very few mosquitoes, a very rare sight. We took full advantage and walked the trail to the boardwalk. No Flamingos were found, but plenty of good landbirding along the way. The more common warblers were conspicuous, including Black-and-white Warbler and American Redstart.

Black-and-white Warbler

American Redstart hiding
We finished the day in Flamingo at the terminus of the Everglades. We found no blackbird flocks and no Ani. We planted ourselves along the Coastal Prairie Trail at dark calling for Black Rail, which was also a failure. I suppose pre-dawn would have been better.

These aren't the only pictures from the day, more (including Vermilion Flycatcher and more warblers!) can be found here.

We ended in Homestead for a good sleep before heading across the Tamiami Trail to bird the western part of the state. Those pics will be up soon.

Just a reminder, one of the goals of this photographic big year is to raise money for American Bird Conservancy's work with endangered Hawiian bird species. Please consider pledging to help this great effort! All pledges go directly to the ABC. See this page for more information. It's easy!

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