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727Recent sightings

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  • Charlie Ewell
    Jul 18 2:07 PM
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      Here is a report by Jeff Bouton, posted to FloridaBirds-L recently.

      Charlie Ewell
      Arlyne Salcedo
      Cape Coral, FL
      Anhinga42@...
      SalcedoDVM@...

      Subject: Ding Darling NWR and Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary 14 July
      From: Jeff Bouton <jbouton2 AT EARTHLINK.NET>
      Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 21:19:03 -0400

      All,

      On Wednesday I made a trek out to Ding Darling NWR and Corkscrew Swamp
      Sanctuary respectively. My main objective was to make contact for my new job,
      but I naturally did some birding as well (when in Rome afterall). Along the
      drive at Ding things were a bit quiet as it was high tide. I didn't stop at Red
      Mangrove overlook (a mistake judging by Brian's post) because there was a whole
      busload of children here and no real room for a heavily armed bird warrior
      (scope, camera, bins, etc.). None-the-less there were some highlights at other
      spots: At Crossdykes Trail, Gray Kingbirds called from every mangrove snag, and
      a Black-whiskered Vireo let out 2 songs from the mangrove areas across the
      water (to the east) between the trail and the overlook tower. Looking back to
      the west from the tower the Spoonbills were perched in the mangroves in force
      waiting for the tide and heat to subside (nearly 50). Not many other surprises
      or highlights here but I wasn't complaining for a mid-day, high-tide
      afterthought in July. Along the Sanibel Causeway one could at least imagine
      migration was underway with a group of 7 Ruddy Turnstones and 5 Semipalmated
      Plovers.... OK, sure they could have been non-breeding birds that
      summered-over, but migration sounds a lot more exciting and we are now in the
      back half of July so the shorebirds should be on the move.


      One of the two biggest surprises of the day came after I met up with Charlie
      Ewell and Arlyne Salcedo who were up for an afternoon road trip. We were
      heading east on Daniel's Parkway just east of Ben C. Pratt / Six Mile Cypress
      when an adult dark morph Short-tailed Hawk sailed low across the road and over
      our vehicles heading to the north toward Six Mile Cypress Preserve..... things
      that make you go hmmm!?!.... Now an adult Short-tailed in mid July is a bird of
      a different feather. Is this another bird wandering after completing nesting?
      Hmmm... could be, but there is plenty of suitable habitat to support a nest
      over there. Perhaps some of the locals could take a late morning and a scope
      and sit at that little open park on the NE corner of Daniel's/Six Mile and
      watch for a bit as the thermals develop. If there are nesting Short-tailed's
      here they will certainly be up above the trees as the thermals develop. These
      birds always hunt from high on the wing looking for avian prey so when they are
      around the only key to finding them is to find a spot where you can scan the
      horizon and wait! Who's game, I have a few scopes?!?.... ;) At any rate, I had
      one over Lakes Park a few years back but not in season so I didn't think much
      of it. Now I'm wondering. Anyone out there know of any history of nesting in
      Fort Myers?


      On to Corkscrew, I spent a bunch of time yapping and finally hit the boardwalk
      in the late afternoon. Without proper fluids or adequte food... I was
      worthless, but fortunately Eagle-eye Ewell scored our second very curious bird
      of the day. A Red-eyed Vireo was right over the boardwalk in with a small mixed
      flock with a Northern Parula, a handful of Tufted Titmouse (mice....,
      mouses?!?..... ) and the ubiquitous White-eyed Vireos and Carolina Wrens. Here
      again mid July is a might early for a migrant. Makes you wonder what that bird
      is doing there. Certainly plenty of habitat for a nesting bird to hide out
      there, and looking at the data they had back at the center there are records
      for the species for every month of the year. Any Corkscrew experts out there
      that can shed some light on circumstances surrounding other mid-summer reports?
      Pileated Woodpeckers were prevalent, Red-bellieds, and Downy Woodpeckers were
      everywhere, and at one point I thought I heard a Hairy but couldn't prove it
      (of course I thought I was hearing voices a bit later so take that for what
      it's worth... note to self, be sure to eat more and keep hydrated the next time
      I'm birding all day in the mid-summer heat!) Next it was Arlyne's turn to carry
      us by spotting one of the most indifferent Limpkins I've ever seen. It finally
      walked right under the boardwalk not too far ahead of us. Good views! (Of
      course when Arlyne originally spotted it, it was not easily seen!)


      We also heard Barred Owls getting raucous and had a decent flock of Wood Storks
      soaring with the vultures here, but no Swallow-tailed Kites were seen from the
      boardwalk. I did remedy this for the day list though by seeing a bird over 75
      just north of the Callosahatchee River. This is a reliable spot for all the
      years I've lived here and after Arlyne and Charlie semi-revived me with fluids
      and sugary snacks I was back in the game again and looking for these birds as I
      sped home to Port Charlotte.

      Have fun and get out there!

      Best,

      Jeff Bouton
      Leica Sports Optics
      Port Charlotte, FL
      jbouton2 AT earthlink.net