Saturday, April 24, 2010
Florida West Coast
We drove back into St. Petersburg and went to an electric substation where some Monk Parakeets hang out. It took only seconds to hear their screeching, but it took me a few minutes more to find them. I did so when one of the birds flew within five feet of my head. Southward we went to Oscar Scherer State Park near Osprey, FL. Herer we walked a trail that took us through the territories of several clans of Florida Scrub-Jay. It was way after noon and it was hot. I didn't expect much, when all of a sudden out popped a trio of the jays. Three more came in and one decided to use me as a perch (photo). All of these birds are banded so I presume they are also habituated to people. It was a fun happening. After enjoying the jays, we had our lunch in the picnic area, packed up, and headed further south. We tried the mangrove areas on Marco Island looking for Mangrove Cuckoo and Black-whiskered Vireo neither of which we saw. We did find several Prairie Warblers of the paludicola race (the Florida Prairie Warbler). On across the Tamiami Trail we looked for Snail Kites and Limpkins. A deputy sheriff stopped me for going to slow. I promised him I'd go no slower than 50mph from that point on and he happily let me go. We ate dinner outdoors at Mikasoukee's restaurant where I had a sampler that included alligator, froglegs, hush puppies, and fry bread, definitely filling my grease quota for a week. We're in Cutler Ridge now ready to go after those Miami exotics. My total is now 480.