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Lippy and I spent a long weekend in Florida. In between taking her father to dinner so he could insult the waiter and complain about the food (which he did not offer to pay for), we birded at Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, Everglades National Park and Wakodahatchee Wetland. Here is our trip species list:

 

Pied-billed Grebe

American White Pelican

Brown Pelican

Anhinga

Double-crested Cormorant

American Bittern (Lippy's first)

Great Blue Heron

Great Egret

Snowy Egret

Little Blue Heron

Tricolored Heron

Cattle Egret

Green Heron

Black-crowned Night-Heron

Glossy Ibis

White Ibis

Roseate Spoonbill

Wood Stork

Mallard

Mottled Duck

Blue-winged Teal

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Osprey

Swallow-tailed Kite

Red-shouldered Hawk

Common Moorhen

Purple Gallinule

American Coot

Killdeer

Black-necked Stilt

Lesser Yellowlegs

Spotted Sandpiper

Willet

Short-billed Dowitcher

Wilson's Snipe

Laughing Gull

Royal Tern

Black Skimmer

Rock Dove

Mourning Dove

Eurasian Collared-Dove

Belted Kingfisher

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Eastern Phoebe

White-eyed Vireo

Blue Jay

Fish Crow

Purple Martin

Northern Mockingbird

European Starling

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Palm Warbler

Northern Cardinal

Red-winged Blackbird

Common Grackle

Boat-tailed Grackle

Brown-headed Cowbird

 

All in all, a delightful Florida list of early Spring birds.

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Lippy and I spent a long weekend in Florida. In between taking her father to dinner so he could insult the waiter and complain about the food (which he did not offer to pay for), we birded at Loxahat

Looks like a good birding trip. Lippy, the American Bittern was one of my bugaboo birds, also...it didn't help that I had a husband at the time who kept quoting some godawful Brit, "There is a bittern at the bottom of my garden."

 

Swallow-tailed Kite is a great bird...so it is resident there? Or already returned? Seems a bit early for a migrant.

 

No flamingos in the Everglades. I didn't see them on my only trip to the Everglades which was in December. Have you seen them there?

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It is not resident so far as I know. So this was an early one.

 

We have never seen Greater Flamingoes there. A small flock comes to the bay off the end of the Christian Point Trail early every December. I understand you need a scope to see them. That's a 1.8 mile hike each way with a scope on your shoulder.

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Ever try the Snake Bight Trail? It is best done with a net over your head and white cotton gloves, long-sleeved shirt and pants tucked into your socks. Once a ranger told me about an unprepared British birder who chanced it without protection and had to be rushed to the hospital with her eyes bitten closed. There probably are Mangrove Cuckoos there in the summer and in the spring you can see baby alligators huddling together for warmth.

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Just got back from a week in Madeira. I spent fifteen minutes in a park in Funchal watching what I think was a Red Kite. Just fascinating. I've never seen a Red Kite before, as they're extremely rare in Britain, so I'm guessing. It was about 18 inches long, broad shouldered, fairly short and straight-edged tail, and a beautiful reddish brown.

 

Somehow, watching a raptor hunt is a unique experience in nature.

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Guest Adam Lawrence
Just got back from a week in Madeira. I spent fifteen minutes in a park in Funchal watching what I think was a Red Kite. Just fascinating. I've never seen a Red Kite before, as they're extremely rare in Britain, so I'm guessing. It was about 18 inches long, broad shouldered, fairly short and straight-edged tail, and a beautiful reddish brown.

 

Somehow, watching a raptor hunt is a unique experience in nature.

Macro - if you ever drive up or down the M40 there's a very good chance of seeing kites. Actually, scrub that - if you are ever driven up or down the M40... There are loads around the top end of the Chilterns; they were reintroduced round there some years ago, and have been very successful. And they hang around the motorway, presumably because of the likelihood of a free meal from roadkill. I've seen six or seven between the cutting at Lewknor and High Wycombe before now, and rarely make that journey without seeing at least one.

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Macro--Red Kites have a distinctly forked tail. You probably saw a buzzard.

I've seen plenty of buzzards, but never a red one. Also, buzzards have quite 'deep' wings (leading edge to feathers) do they not ? This bird had relatively slender wings. Maybe it was a falcon ?

 

Adam, I generally try to avoid driving along the M40 in either direction :D Next time I do, I will try to keep my eyes on the road and the traffic, and allow my wife the luxury of birdwatching :lol:

 

I used to work (many years ago) at Greenford in Middlesex in an office building alongside the canal and wide open fields. Many lunchtimes I would watch a peregrine falcon (I think) hovering above the fields and occasionally swooping to catch prey.

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It is quite rare to see a raptor other then a Kestrel hovering (the others need the correct wind conditions) so the peregrine was a good sighting.

 

RE: Buzzards and raptor identification. When staying on islay the guest books was full of sightings of 'immature' goldern eagles. Strangely, buzzards, which were very common in the rigion, were rarely mentioned. :rolleyes: I did see a male hen harrier though.

 

Oh, wife saw some choughs on the weekend. She has no interest in birds other then on the plate and for her job, so it was nice of her to tell me.

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Buzzards and raptor identification. When staying on islay the guest books was full of sightings of 'immature' goldern eagles. Strangely, buzzards, which were very common in the rigion, were rarely mentioned. :rolleyes:

It's a strange birding phenomenon that the rarest, most exotic species are most often seen and identified by novices. <_<

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