Today I decided to drive down to Everglades National Park. There have been a number of really good species being reported just outside the entrance to the park and a couple of them I needed for my State species list. It turned into a wonderful day after the fog burned off and I ended up with a nice day list of 45 or so without really trying.
Flycatchers were the highlight of the day. I ended up seeing 6 species of which 3 of them were State life birds. I saw a Tropical Kingbird, Least Flycatcher and a Brown-crested Flycatcher which were the new ones as well as a Vermilion Flycatcher, Great-crested Flycatcher and Eastern Phoebe.
The Tropical Kingbird was probably my favorite as I had only seen them in Texas before. There have been many reports of Western Kingbirds hanging out in the same area but I couldn’t find one today.
Another fantastic Southwestern species that is hanging out in the same area near the C-111 canal is a pair of Vermilion Flycatchers. Last year there was (presumably) the same male hanging out there but he was a juvenile and didn’t have his full coloration. Well this year he is a real stunner and he has a girlfriend with him!
The next new State bird was a Least Flycatcher that I saw when the fog hadn’t quite lifted. This guy was talking up a storm and that always helps with the ID.
The third State bird was a Brown-crested Flycatcher at the Lucky Hammock area. This is a really hard bird to ID unless they call and fortunately this guy was very vocal and his sounds were identical to the recordings I have listened to.
There were many nice birds around today but one of my favorites was out in force today. The Sandhill Crane is pretty special to me. When I first moved to Florida my first golf course job was at Old Marsh Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens. The golf course had over a dozen Sandhill’s that bred there every year so I was fortunate enough to witness the whole life cycle of this elegant Crane. Today there was a large flock hanging out and I witnessed as many as a dozen or more in the air at once … pretty darn cool!!!
As always … THANK YOU … so much for visiting!!!