|Definitely have to go back and try to get a better shot of this La Sagra's Flycatcher|
After starting one for one I thought I would head straight over to Sadowski and try for the Hermit Thrush Roberto Torres called to tell me about. I figured it was the same I saw my first day there after moving from Crandon Park. I walked the trail whenever I had some down time from handling errands around the park but when never found the bird. I did come across a very cooperative Blue-headed Vireo which was a new bird for the list.
|Blue-headed Vireo trying to keep cool in the afternoon|
From Sadowski I went over to Merrie Christmas Park. I had received a call from Jim King that he had found the Wilson's Warbler in the morning. By the time I arrived it was 4 pm and the whole park was quiet as a mouse. I circled the park and searched for the feeding flock but only turned up Yellow-rumped Warblers. As it got closer to 5 pm I began to notice huge kettles of vultures beginning to stream over the park and head for their roost. It was such a cool thing to see! I started looking through the hundreds of Turkey and Black Vultures hoping something interesting would turn up. Finally I managed to pick out a Broad-winged Hawk moving east with the kettle. I may not have found the warbler but I did add another bird for the year. I was now up to 60 native birds as of day three.
|Those aren't tons of dirt specs... those are tons of vultures!|
Today was the last day I had to look for missed birds before moving on and really ticking off species. Tomorrow (Saturday January 5, 2013) I will starting early and will be making lots of stops through out the day trying to boost my numbers significantly. I began at A.D. "Doug" Barnes Park hoping for the Hermit Thrush that was found during the Christmas Bird Count (CBC). I only spent a couple minutes looking before finding the bird. This meant that I had the rest of the morning open to focus on finding the Bell's Vireo that was also seen during the CBC. I moved fast towards "Rooster Hammock" and started pishing immediately. Some birds respond well to people mimicking their scold call and vireos can sometimes be those birds. Right away a beautiful male Black-throated Blue Warbler came out and started chipping away. I hung out around the area for a while before moving on and looking elsewhere in the general area hoping to come across the vireo as it fed. After being unsuccessful doing that I went back to the original spot the bird was seen. Soon a Worm-eating Warbler made an appearance and I started to have some hope it would turn up. Finally I noticed some movement at the top of a Live Oak. EUREKA! The Bell's Vireo was at the top. I originally thought it was a female Black-throated Blue Warbler because of the yellowish wash but as soon as I saw the bill and prominent wing bar I knew I had it. Another great start to the morning. I packed up my car and decided to try Merrie Christmas Park and this time I was not leaving til I found the Wilson's Warbler... I would sleep in one of the huge Banyan Trees if I had to! When I got to the park I found a large feeding flock with a good variety of species in it. Most were Yellow-rumped Warblers but I managed to pick out a couple Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Northern Parulas, Yellow-throated, Black-throated Blue, Cape May and Palm Warblers. I hung around for 1 hour and 45 minutes before it finally decided to grace me with its presence. I couldn't miss it. This little, bright yellow ball of energy was just bouncing all over the place putting on a great show. I was so excited! After 4 tries in 3 days I actually saw the bird and managed to get some mediocre pictures when it wasn't chasing off other warblers or hawking for insects.
|Unmistakable bright yellow underparts|
After watching the Wilson's for a while I made my way down to Pelican Harbor Marina. Since I found all the birds I wanted in the day I felt like I should try my luck for a rarity. In the past the marina has attracted a Common Eider and a Red-footed Booby once hung around for a while after being rehabbed and release from the Seabird Station. My luck had finally run out for the day and all I got were the usual suspects for that area. Aw well can't win em all right? As of day 4 my total is 74 native species. Hopefully tomorrow will be the day I break 100!
|Heavy crop of the Wilson's Warbler since it was so high in the tree|