Total ABA Species Recorded During 2010 - 731

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Viera Wetlands

First phone call last night told me that the flight crew for my early Sunday flight was not going to make it to Norfolk in time. So I'd miss my flight from Charlotte to Orlando. They rescheduled me and I was ready to get two more hours of sleep before going to the airport when the second phone call came telling me that it was possible that something would be arranged and that the flight might take off as scheduled and that I should be there at the early time. But I should check with the computer in the morning to get the latest info, which I did and it told me that the flight was on time. So since I was up, I showered, dressed, cleaned two more inches of snow off the car, and drove to the airport. You guessed it! My flight was listed to depart three hours late. I spent the time reading the newspaper. USAir did put me in first class for the Charlotte to Orlando flight which helped since I used that time to update my records. In Orlando I got my cheap rental car, it has no cruise control, and drove to Melbourne and the Viera Wetlands. I had envisioned a vast wetlands with nobody around and I would have to meticulously search the impoundment for a secretive bird. It wasn't that way. Because it was Sunday and because the Space Coast Birding Festival was happening, there were buckets of people many of whom had their scopes and camera lenses trained on a particular spot in the water. There it was! The male Masked Duck (photo). It couldn't have been easier. So looking for birders who were looking at the bird proved to be the search technique of choice here. Yes, it would have been cool to have struggled and found it myself, but... I spent another hour moving slowly around the impoundments. There were many waders, thousands of coots, and hundreds of gallinules, Tree Swallows, American Robins, and the first Wood Storks of the year (photo). The big black thing lying down is not a bird, but evolutionists say it is a relative.  I got on the road south after picking up a senior coffee for lubrication. On the way to Homestead where I'll stay for three nights with Audrey and Bobby, I passed the football stadium where the crowd was assembling for the Pro Bowl. Fortunately I was able to skirt the crowd. The species total is now 272.
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  1. That's a paranoid looking duck. I can hear him talking to his shrink already: "Even in a crowded pond I feel like everyone is staring at me."

  2. Is the left-most bird in the bottom picture a Glossy Ibis? Is it a new year bird?

  3. Hey Bob - Not sure if you're going by Belle Glade or Stormwater Treatment Area #5 for ani or south of Mahoganny Hammock (sp.?) for Cape Sable Sparrow - these are some of the areas I've heard about as productive in 2009.