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Today's Birding 5/4/03

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  • vlucas
    All: Hopes of finding Bay-breasted and Blackburnian Warblers were quickly dashed this morning at A.D. Barnes Park in Kendall. Most of the warblers and migrants
    Message 1 of 1 , May 4 6:32 PM
      All:

      Hopes of finding Bay-breasted and Blackburnian Warblers were quickly
      dashed this morning at A.D. Barnes Park in Kendall. Most of the warblers
      and migrants had moved on it seems. That is not to say that the two
      Vinces (Lucas & McGrath) along with the other birders in attendance e.g.
      Paul "Life is Good" Bithorn; look-alike to Wally George, Kevin Sarsfield;
      Jill Rosenfield (sorry for butchering your name Jill wink, wink); Brian
      Rapoza et al etc. didn't see any warblers, we just didn't see the
      warblers we wanted to see. Warblers we did see at Barnes were American
      Redstart, Northern Parula, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Common
      Yellowthroat, Black-and-white Warbler, Cape May (female) and Ovenbird.
      There may have been others. In fact, come to think of it, Vince McGrath
      and I heard a watherthrush calling -- probably a Northern. Other birds
      seen were Yellow-billed Cuckoo, White-eyed Vireo, Chimney Swift, Brown
      Thrasher and Purple Martin. A few leps seen at A.D. Barnes were Ruddy
      Daggerwing, Polydamas Swallowtail, Monk Skipper, probable Zarucco
      Duskywing and Fiery Skipper as well as a teeny (1.2-1.6 cm), but
      colorful, pyralid moth (Pyraulis tyralis, family: Pyralidae) whose larvae
      feed on Wild Coffee. Note to Paul B: This is the small moth I pointed out
      to you!

      Let me backtrack a minute. The two Vinces left Naples about 5:45AM for
      Miami-Dade County. On our way, we saw the adult Bald Eagle sitting on its
      favorite telephone pole perch along U.S. Rte. 41 (Tamiami Trail) in the
      Big Cypress National Preserve in Collier County. We also had up to five
      Snail Kites at the abandoned airboat ride place, across from the
      Everglades Tower Inn on the Miccosukee Reservation in Miami-Dade County.
      Also present was a calling Eastern Kingbird. From this area, we made our
      way to Kendall where we first stopped at the McDonalds along SW 157th
      Avenue and Kendall Dr. (SW. 88th St.). Here we found several Common
      Mynas, Monk Parakeets and a few House Sparrows. In the neighborhood north
      of the Baptist Hospital we looked for more exotics. We found
      Red-whiskered Bulbul and Monk Parakeets readily, but try as we might, we
      could not find one Spot-breasted Oriole or either White-winged or
      Yellow-chevroned Parakeets. We did see a Mute Swan in a manmade lake
      though! Can I count this? Please? A White-winged Dove also graced us with
      its presence. From this location, we went to A.D. Barnes Park (cf. first
      paragraph.)

      Ok, AFTER leaving the others at A.D. Barnes Park, the two Vinces took the
      Florida Turnpike south to the nesting West Indian Cave Swallow locale
      along SW 216th St./Hainlin-Mills Dr. We parked near the dumpster in the
      nearby apartment complex that borders the canal, where the Cave Swallows
      nest underneath the bridge. The West Indian Cave Swallows were easily
      found and seen. As we have found in the past, there were a few lizards
      present near the dumpster, probably Brown Basilisks (aka Jesus Christ
      lizard because of their ability to run over water!) They were extremely
      fast. Has anyone else seen these lizards there?

      From the Hainlin Mills Dr. area we went to Matheson Hammock. There we
      could only locate a few migrants including Worm-eating Warbler, Ovenbird
      and American Redstart. We could not locate any exotics including our
      wished-for Hill Mynas and some other hoped-for psittacids. We did find
      some nice leps including a colony of Florida Whites in the hammock, Giant
      Swallowtail, Black Swallowtail, Ruddy Daggerwing, Julia, Red Admiral &
      Monarch. Also seen were several HUGE, what I believe to be, Black
      Spinytail Iguanas along the mangroves. Question: does anyone know of the
      current status of the resident land crabs that used to be very common
      along the parking lot "edge" separating Matheson Hammock from Fairchild
      Tropical Gardens? We used to see them quite often at that location, but
      this time, given the recent parking lot expansion, we only found a few
      burrows for these critters.

      Our next stop was the home of Betty Furchgott (6901 SW 96th St. in
      Kendall). Here I did see a pair of Yellow-chevroned Parakeets. Alas, her
      seed feeders mostly only attract Rock Doves these days. . . . A quick
      stop at the nearby Royal Palm Tennis Courts yielded a male Black-throated
      Blue, Cape May and a pair of Blackpoll Warblers in a fruiting Ficus tree
      near the entrance. Also seen were several Red-whiskered Bulbuls (adults
      and juveniles). One of the coolest sightings though was another lizard of
      some sort in the same fruiting Ficus tree. Vince McGrath called the
      saurian a Bark Lizard. However, when I looked at this reptile on the web,
      it didn't look anything like the one we saw. Our lizard had a
      whitish-yellow thick "line" traversing the length of its body. It was
      probably 18" long. It had a salmon pink dewlap. Any guesses?

      On another nearby side street, by a relatively new county(?) or city(?)
      park (sorry, I forgot to write down the name), we saw our only
      White-crowned Pigeon of the day along with another pair of
      Yellow-chevroned Parakeets.

      Leaving Kendall behind, we made our way back to Naples by going down Loop
      Road from the Miami-Dade County end at Forty-Mile Bend. Loop Road
      traverses three counties: Miami-Dade, Monroe and Collier. We found
      Northern Parula, American Redstart, female Cape May Warbler, Barred Owl,
      Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Great Crested Flycatcher, Red-eyed Vireo, Tufted
      Titmouse, Carolina Wren, etc. on the Monroe County portion of the road.
      However, our best find was an absolute "glowing" male Prothonotary
      Warbler singing from a perch north of the Sweetwater Slough area in
      Collier County. Prothonotary Warblers breed here I believe. Also seen was
      a nice Slaty Skimmer (odonate) and several Tiger Swallowtail butterflies.

      Two Swallow-tailed Kites graced us with their presence on the return trip
      back up the Tamiami Trail to Naples.

      In all, we had eleven species of warblers today but we had to work to get
      that many. Am I the only one who thinks that this year's spring migration
      is sub-average? For instance, thrushes of any sort have been absent or
      nearly so in Collier County and few birders have reported seeing many in
      other parts of South Florida. (North Florida excluded.) What do others
      think?

      Good birding!

      Vincent Lucas
      Naples
      vlucas@...
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