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2286Duck Pond/Flood Field Bird Sanctuary/Tomato Field Pond/26.294,-81.486

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  • Arthur Sissman
    Dec 21 5:52 AM
      Thought you might be interested in the write-up I did on the above location.  This information is as accurate as I could make it.

      Duck Pond/Flood Field Bird Sanctuary/Tomato Field Pond/26.294,-81.486
      Prepared by Arthur Sissman
      The above place is located at 26.294,-81.486 on Oil Well Rd in Collier County FL  The location is a large tomato planting field owned by Gargiulo, Inc., a large producer of tomatoes (and other vegetables, etc.) for the consumer market. There is adequate parking along Oil Well Rd (CR 858) and even a sidewalk to stand on for approx.. 100+ feet.  Plenty of room for birders, scopes, chairs, schmoozing, camaraderie and 50+ species without much moving around!
      Many birdwatchers have been enjoying the birds in this field (approx. 100 yards x 50 yards in size) for several months.
      I stooped into the Gargiulo maintenance office across the street from the “pond” to get more information about the location.  As of 12/20/13 the field is completely DRY.  There is a canal along the eastern edge that had plenty of wading birds.http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S16033089
      David Pensabene, the production manager, for Gargiulo told me the following about the tomato field.
      ·         For the last 10 years or so the field has been left to fill with water during the rainy season (June 1 to Nov 31), no water is pumped into the field.
      ·         Sometime in late Aug or early Sept. birds begin to arrive in the fields.  The employees at Gargiulo call the field the “Duck Pond.”  This has been one of the better years for birds, especially the American Pelican.
      ·         The field is left at the end of the wet season to dry out.  The birds continue to occupy the site until the field is dry.
      ·         As of 12/20/13 the field was being prepared for tomato production.  The field is being plowed and will be planted at the end of Jan or so.
      Other birding information:
      ·         Other birders reporting on ebird.org have reported it using coordinates as far a 1 mile or so from the actual location.
      ·         Others have given the location names like: Oil Well Rd, Flooded Field Bird Sanctuary, Tomato Field Pond. Garguilo calls the field the Duck Pond.
      ·         There are over 40 ebird reports from various coordinates that refer to the Duck Pond.  So it appears from late Aug to mid-December this field is a magnate for birds.  You can see ducks (of all kinds), wading birds (of all kinds), avocets, American pelicans, Roseate spoonbills, Sandhill cranes, shore birds (esp: yellowlegs, long-billed dowitchers, etc), white and glossy ibises, vultures, eagles, falcons, harriers.  These species are all here in large numbers. This is a bird roost at night for many of these birds
      The best time to visit this location to maximize your birding pleasure is:
      ·         1 hour before sunrise – to see many of the birds (pelicans, cranes, ibises, etc) leave the  to go out to “work.”
      ·         1-1.5 hours before sunset – to see the same birds arrive from all directions to roost for the night.
      A birding scope is strongly recommended to view the birds at this site.
      Here is the first and last posting to ebird.org I made from the Duck Pond /Flooded Field Bird Sanctuary / Tomato Field Pond / 26.294,-81.486
      Also recommended especially in the evening is to bring lawn chairs, wine, cheese, crackers and enjoy the spectacle of American Pelicans, Sandhill cranes, Ibises, Roseate spoonbills arriving for the evening roost.  Please bring a designated driver for the above activity!  Wonderful. Enjoy.
      See you on site starting next August!!!