I spent 4 hours biking around Loxahatchee NWR this morning. I didn’t find anything new but did enjoy a nice variety of birds.
I started the day looking for the ever allusive King Rail. Not a hide nor hair this morning but as I turned around to get back on my bike this beauty landed and stared at me. Unfortunately there was very little light and hand holding with such a low shutter speed doesn’t produce a nice tack sharp image but he posed so patiently that I thought I’d post him anyways!
The water level in cell 6 was very high today and there was very little shorebird activity. I decided to see if any of the shorebirds moved back to the canal that runs along side the dike. There were none in the canal either.
I rode 3 miles down and stopped at one of the cross dikes. I’d never gone far on this dike and was pleasantly surprised to see that it extends quite a distance and it will definitely get explored a little further the next time I’m out there.
While standing on the dike looking at a Swamp Sparrow a very large group of American Robins began passing by. There was a 2-3 minute stream of them heading North-West and right near the end a small group decided to land right in front of me.
Just a quick rant on Common birds versus a Rarity … Common birds are ones that are found in YOUR area on a regular basis. If you live in California a California Gull is a Common bird … if you live in Florida it is a Rarity. If you live in Florida a Purple Galinule is Common … if one shows up in Central Park birders will be flocking from the entire Northeast to see it. The Neotropic Cormorants currently at Wakodahatchee Wetlands are a Rarity having only been documented in Florida 7 times before. Now a Robin is not a Rarity really anywhere but it is one of those migrants that to a South Floridian is a treat. I’ve birded 37 out of 38 days this year and only saw them perched twice so I was thrilled to get this guy this morning!
The best thing that happened to me this morning was that Rick Schofield stopped and told me he had an empty seat for the Feb 19th trip to Station 1 East. On the trip this past Saturday they saw a Cinnamon Teal and an Eurasion Widgeon. These plus Canvasback and Fulvous Whistling Duck will/would be wonderful additions to my Big Year total. Thank you Rick!