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Collier Birding 3/28/03

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  • Vincent Lucas
    All: On Friday, 03/28/03, Jim & Patty Heflich and I birded the Turner River Rd. area of the Big Cypress National Preserve in the morning. Our best birds here
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 30, 2003
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      All:

      On Friday, 03/28/03, Jim & Patty Heflich and I birded the Turner River
      Rd. area of the Big Cypress National Preserve in the morning. Our best
      birds here were killer looks at a Least Bittern, the Barn Owl in its
      usual location, a juvenile Purple Gallinule, many vocalizing Eastern
      Meadowlarks, Wilson's Snipe, Eastern Bluebirds and Pine Warblers among
      others. A hoped for Cottonmouth for Jim was a no-show although we did see
      a Southern Water Snake and several Florida Box Turtles as well as many
      Common Cooters & Florida Redbelly Turtles.

      On the same day, on a late afternoon/early evening boat cruise to Rookery
      Bay (part of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida) to see the wading bird
      roosts, we saw many Osprey nests with nearly fledged young, an adult Bald
      Eagle, Belted Kingfisher, a murder of Fish Crows, one Peregrine Falcon
      (perched), a fly-over Roseate Spoonbill, two Least Terns on a channel
      marker, two Swallow-tailed Kites and on a small oystershell islet,
      several American Oystercatchers, a Red-breasted Merganser, Ruddy
      Turnstone, Willet, and a few other birds. The sunset was marvelous and
      the roosting birds were spectacular. Alas, despite our very intent
      searching and listening, we could not locate any Mangrove Cuckoos in the
      Red Mangroves. Now if we could only get the many boaters to slow down
      through the Manatee Protection Zones and the jetskiers to stop getting so
      close to the islands where the birds roost for the evening. . . .

      On the way back to C.R. 951 (Collier Blvd.) on Shell Island Rd. near
      Brigg's Nature Center, a very accommodating Chuck-will's-widow was
      calling loudly as it flew around the convertible in which I was riding. A
      little further down the road, the bird landed and we were able to get
      within 25 feet of it to the point where we could see the glowing eyes of
      the bird as it became mesmerized in the car's headlights. Earlier, before
      we boarded the boat, there were the usual Florida Scrub-Jays and
      white/yellow-eyed American Towhees near Brigg's. BTW, the freshwater
      wells at Brigg's have completely dried-up and there is no drinking water,
      water to flush toilets etc. I've also heard that the freshwater wetlands
      at the end of the boardwalk have also dried up for the same reason. It
      would seem that the fate of this place is somewhat in jeopardy. Only time
      will tell. . . .

      Good birding!

      Vincent Lucas
      Naples
      vplucas@...
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