SRQ Bird Alerts 09 July 2007
- 7 July - Wes Biggs & I observed a Peregrine Falcon along SR 31 in southern DeSoto County Thursday afternoon 7/5/07. First July Peregrine in Florida for me. David Goodwin Brandon, FL Dgood389@...9 July - Visited the boardwalk at Ponce de Leon Park, Punta Gorda on Sunday at 10 AM. No sighting of the Mangrove Cuckoo. Yesterday at 8:30 we spotted it in the tree tops about 10 feet in on the right fork and followed it sometimes at eye level towards the canal for about 15 minutes. Greg Voigt grg_voigt@...7 July - While in Sarasota County this morning I came across a few birds that might be of local interest. Along SR-74 between Myakka River SP & the Hardee County Line I found want appeared to be a family group of Crested Caracaras. Two adults & two first year type birds were dining on a large road kill opossum for breakfest. I found another group of Caracaras along Sugar Bowl Rd. just after crossing into Manatee County. At South Lido Beach Park there were two calling White-winged Doves in the Australian Pines around the parking lot. Plus easy to spot Gray Kingbirds Also along Rye Road in Manatee County I saw a Swallow-tailed Kite with a molt gap in the inner primaries. I can't recall ever seeing this before in Swallow-tailed Kites while they are in the United States. Could seeing this molt sequence while in the US help differentiate a second year bird from an adult?? Brian Ahern Tampa, FL BrianAhern@...6 July - Originally I had planned to spend a few hours in the early morning yesterday seeking a few target birds in Charlotte county & then spending the rest of my time looking for butterflies at Babcock-Webb WMA, but the rain gods had other plans in store for me. By about 9 AM there were already some major rainstorms starting in Charlotte with no sign of stopping anytime soon, so I decided to follow the old Kings Highway north through DeSoto & Hardee counties to do some country back roads birding. Listed below are some highlights & locally interesting bird sightings:
Hathaway Park & nearby area: located along Washington Loop Rd. At around 6 am I heard Great Horned Owl, Barred Owl, many Common Nighthawks & a single Chuck-will's-Widow calling. Once it got light enough to see I found a pair of Wood Ducks in flight, 2 Wild Turkeys, 3 Limpkins, an early returning Belted Kingfisher, Brown Thrasher, a family group of Tufted Titmice & several singing Northern Parulas.
Ponce de Leon Park: Thanks to the local birding champ of Port Charlotte, Jeff Bouton, I found one of my target birds very easily. Based on his advice I was able to go directly to some active Burrowing Owl sites without having to search. There are two burrows along Colonial Point Dr. (directions are listed in Bill Pranty's book). I counted 4 adults & 2 junveniles. My other target bird I thought would pose a harder challenge to find, but it turns out that was not the case this time around. Along the short loop boardwalk at the park I found one adult Mangrove Cuckoo where there is a display sign about Green Herons. I was the only person there and stayed very quiet able to watch the bird for over 10 minutes preening itself. The time was around 7:50 AM and it was already very overcast; a nickname for North American cuckoos is "rain-bird". I had been to this park once before about 8 years back in search of the bird without any success. Sometimes they are close in & other times they are farther back across the canal, you just have to be lucky. By the time I left the park the dark skies were filled with 20 Magnificent Frigatebirds while a Reddish Egret & Yellow-crowned Night-Heron hunted along the shoreline .
Yucca Pens Unit WMA: according to the information I found on the web, people are allowed to drive along the main roads. However I found the gates locked. Before it began raining I saw 2 adult Bald Eagles & heard a few Brown-headed Nuthatches.
Lettuce Lake Public Boat Ramp: I saw a sign for this place along CR-769 & decided to follow it. Turns out to be a decent small place to look for birds considered I found a dark morph Short-tailed Hawk soaring high up in the sky! Also two female/immature Ruby-throated Hummingbirds squabbling with each other & a lone White-winged Dove on a telephone wire. There were a pair of Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks in a field at the intersection of CR-769 & SR-72. Along NW Tom Mizell Rd. I came across 2 Swallow-tailed Kites, 6 Wild Turkeys & a first summer Green Heron (can be hard to find in DeSoto).
My last stop was at the small wetland area that Ron Smith posted about on the 4th. Looks like I missed running into Roy Morris, but like him & Ron I found at least 2 Black Terns that were in breeding plumage, plus a few Gull-billed & Least Terns. I missed the American Avocet this time but the area is pretty distant from the road and there is a lot of brush that makes good places for it to hide from view. To get good views of these birds a scope would be necessary, but you could still make most identification calls with binoculars. So in about 6 hours on a hot humid buggy morning in early July I saw 84 species of birds including some really cool ones like Burrowing Owls, Mangrove Cuckoo & a Short-tailed Hawk. It sure beats sleeping in with the nice cool A/C on! Brian Ahern Tampa, FL BrianAhern@...3 July - Canada Geese A flock of about ten Canada Geese were seen on July 3 at Bobby Jones Golf Club in Sarasota. Lou Kovach - North Venice jkovach122@...5 July - Nice find of the adult Lesser Black-backed Gull, Irene. On 7/9/05, after a storm passed by our area, I found three first year LBBG's together out at North Beach, Ft. De Soto Park. I had never before seen this species that early on this coast. But, with your find and mine, it appears there may be a regular movement of a small number of LBBG's along our coast in July. An adult is even more surprising, but maybe nest failure caused the one you found to head south earlier than usual. The immature in the photos you posted appears to me to be a Herring Gull. The overall shape is too stocky for LBBG, with the wings not being proportionately long enough for that species. I think the color pattern of the bill and its large size also points towards Herring Gull and not LBBG, which should have a smaller/more slender bill. Lyn Atherton Tierra Verde, FL bonniedabird@...6 July - Our Friday Englewood group visited the parks on Longboat Key today and heard the Clapper Rail at Joan Durante Comm. Park. Very secretive ! Gray Kingbirds, very much in evidence at the entrance to Lido Key Park. Seemed to be feeding young. Heard and saw Chimney Swifts in that area as well! Mary Dommermuth dblbg@...4 July - Back on June 9th Brian Ahern reported an American Avocet in a small wetlands on the south side of SR 62 just east of the Manatee County line within Hardee County. Today, Lori and I saw up to a half dozen Gull-billed Terns, two Black Terns, and a few Least Terns utilizing this wetlands. Lots of Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks were present - but no sign of the avocet. A while back Dave Goodwin told me about seeing some White-winged Doves in the town of Bowling Green (Hardee County). We saw one of those, too, just east of the town's water tower. A male and female Ruby-throated Hummimngbird were seen in the Bok Tower Gardens (Polk) this morning. Ron Smith St. Pete, FL rsmith52@...5 July - This morning I stopped by the small wetlands in Hardee county and saw a nice assortment of birds. We had several black, least and at least 3 gull billed terns. Lots of BB Whistling ducks, a single least bittern and one American Avocet. Roy Morris Lakeland, FL_______________________________________Peter RiceTo subscribe, please send an E-mail to SRQbirdAlerts-subscribe@...To unsubscribe, please send an E-mail to SRQbirdAlerts-unsubscribe@...Please send your input about rare and/or interesting bird sightings to: SRQbirdAlerts@...