Not having to work today, I jump-started my June Challenge put forth
by Rex Rowan and others and managed 55 species without too much
effort. For those not in the know, the June Challenge is a contest to
see how many avian species one can see in a particular county all in
the month of June. June is generally a slow month for birding
throughout most of Florida. I live in Collier Co., Florida, so
naturally, that's the county I'm working on. Besides resident birds,
there are always surprises, however. For example, the latest ever (for
me) Bronzed Cowbird today at Eagle Lakes Community Park here in
Naples; 12 Magnificent Frigatebirds over the San Marco Pass/ABC
Islands; 7 Wood Ducks (with young) at the North Naples Wastewater
Treatment Plant, 4 Red-headed Woodpeckers in the Picayune Strand State
Forest and Purple Martins & a Barred Owl there as well; a Common
Nighthawk flying around at noon (92 degrees) on Shell Island Rd.;
Least Terns nesting on rooftops at 4 separate shopping centers; a pair
of Gray Kingbirds building a nest in a Mahogany Tree in the
Marketplace at Pelican Bay shopping center and 10 Chimney Swifts
nesting near the Publix at the Pine Ridge Crossings shopping center.
My goal is 100 species by the end of June. It should be attainable. My
Collier County Big Year has been stuck at 199 species since May 2nd.
My kingdom for a Yellow-billed Cuckoo!
Vincent P. Lucas
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