My first stop was St. George Island. St. George is one of the panhandles best migrant traps (or so I hear), so I thought a few of the earlier warblers might be kicking around. I was secretly hoping for a Swainson's Warbler, but that didn't pan out. In fact, there were relatively few migrants on the island. If I had to pick a best bird... the Prairie Warblers or the Yellow-throated Warbler I guess. Still, it was nice to get acquainted with the place where I fully expect to see some serious migration in the coming weeks.
On my way off the island, I was ready to head east, but I quickly remembered about the Sprague's Pipits at Apalachicola Airport. Last report I know of was of 8 birds on Feb 16 via eBird. I've seen Sprague's Pipit a few times over the past couple years, always in winter in SE Arizona, so I know how tricky they can be to find. Going on a solo mission, I didn't have high hopes of seeing one and knew it would take a bit of luck to get a photograph. Nevertheless, I signed in at the office and started walking the recently mowed and very, very short runway edges. Not 5 minutes later, a Sprague's flushed only a short distance. It was easy to follow it through the sparse, short cover.
|The most cooperative Sprague's Pipit I've ever seen|
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