Tuesday, September 21, 2010
A Day in the Everglades
After a nice Denny's breakfast, I returned to Gate 3 on Long Pine road in the Everglades NP where the couple, Ron and Carol from west of Austin TX, whom I had met last night,was looking upward but (for the moment) not at the Cuban Pewee. Another birder there, Mark Berney from Ft. Lauderdale, heard a call which he tracked down and it turned out to be the Cuban Pewee which obligingly landed on a bare branch for a photo. Everyone got good views and I got a photo. The call is a series of slightly upturned...wheeeet...notes. It gave this call repeatedly even though many of those times we couldn't see the bird. However we did get several nice views of the bird. After satisfying myself with views of the pewee, I spent a little time looking for the Western Spindalis which had been reported not too long ago. But nothing much was calling or moving, so I hopped in the car and motored slowly southward toward Flamingo where I was to meet Pete Frezza. While I was waiting for Pete at Flamingo, I found a young Lark Sparrow hopping around near the marina store. There were also a couple of Manatees swimming around near the boat launch, the best views I've ever had of that mammal. After Pete arrived, he launched the boat and we took off over Florida Bay toward the section known as Snake Bite which has nothing to do with getting bitten by a reptile! It took about twenty minutes to get to the area where a few American Flamingos had been seen, but when we did arrive, there they were - four beauties that spent most of the time with their heads tucked. However, when we were at some distance, they did pick up and fly low with their heads and legs extended, turn around, and return to their original location. All of that so I could see that beautiful deep pink and black wing pattern. To get close enough for a photo, Pete had to pole the boat over the shallows. After much poling, I was able to get the photo shown here. Very exciting since this was the first time I had seen them in the ABA area since my first time in the 70's. After we got back to the dock at Flamingo, I set the gps for Hernando Beach FL, the site of the few remaining countable Budgerigars. I was shocked to see that it was 400 miles away. Oh well! A yearbird is a yearbird, eh? About 9:30pm I checked into a motel and crashed. Tomorrow is budgie day. The two birds today brings the total to 703.