Caloosa Bird Club Fieldtrip Results 01/27/03
A five sparrow day highlighted the Caloosa Bird Club's field trip to the
Sarasota Celery Fields and environs yesterday. At about 7:30AM, in the
area on Center Rd. just east of the gazebo off of Palmer Blvd, we found
the Lincoln's Sparrow along with 2-3 Swamp Sparrows, a Grasshopper and a
Song Sparrow feeding and drinking along a small seep about half-way down
Center Rd. It afforded the few of us there (pre-trip scouting) excellent
views. About an hour later, when the rest of the 36 others were in
attendance, only a few birders caught a glimpse of the Lincoln's and no
one refound the Song Sparrow but we all did have nice side-by-side
comparisons of the Grasshopper and a Savannah Sparrows.
A note of caution if you go to see try for these sparrows: park at the
recommended parking area on the left (west) side of Center Rdoad bout
half-way down the road from Palmer. There is an old foundation(s) of a
building here. This is where you should park. The seep where the sparrows
frequent are another 100 feet or so north of the parking area on Center
Rd. DO NOT park or walk on the property (including the driveway) of the
property owner on the east side of Center Rd. as he will call the
Sarasota County Sheriff's Department on you. This happened to our group
even though no one (as far as I could tell) did tresspass on the man's
property. Be forewarned. . . .
Other good sightings were the 200 or so Black-bellied Whisting Ducks at
point balnk range on a private golf course in Sarasota. Unfortunately, no
Fulvous were among them. We had a total of nine duck species for the day
including the aforementioned whistling ducks, Green-winged and
Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, American Wigeon, Ring-necked Duck
and Lesser Scaup among a few others. Flocks of up to 37 Sandhill Cranes
graced the Celery Fields area and shorebirds were nice to see, including
a small feeding flock of about eight Long-billed Dowitchers in a small
wetland on S.R. 72 near Margaret of Scotland Episcopal Church as well as
Spotted and Least Sandpiper (Ackerman Park), Semipalmated Plover (1) also
at Ackerman Park, and Wilson's Snipe at a few places.
Several Forster's and one Caspian Tern were seen at the Celery Fields as
were both expected gull species. All the expected waders were found as
Raptors were highlighted by a display of kleptopiracy (I hope that's
correct) of a Bald Eagle stealing a fish from an Osprey over the Celery
Fields, another nesting pair of Bald Eagles at the Crowley Nature Center
and a very low-flying Cooper's Hawk that buzzed through at the Celery
Field's gazebo. Graceful Northern Harriers hawking over the Celery Fields
are always a
piece of "eye candy" for this birder.
American Robins were ubiquitous! I've never seen so many AMROs as I have
this year! It reminded me of Ohio in spring. . . . Other passerine
sightings included the usual Pine, Yellow-rumped, Palm etc. Warblers;
Carolina and House Wrens, White-eyed Vireo, Northern Cardinal, Eastern
Phoebe, Loggerhead Shrike etc.
It was an enjoyable outing to Sarasota County. . . .