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Caloosa Bird Club Fieldtrip - Sanibel 4/12/04

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  • vlucas
    All: With severe thuderstorms pummeling the Gulf Coast with heavy rains and tornadic winds, which knocked-out power to parts of southwest Florida, 15 or so
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 12, 2004
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      All:

      With severe thuderstorms pummeling the Gulf Coast with heavy rains and
      tornadic winds, which knocked-out power to parts of southwest Florida, 15
      or so Caloosa Bird Club members had high hopes of finding a fallout at
      the Sanibel Lighthouse today. I can't exactly call the level of birds
      present this morning a fallout, but we had some nice migrants just the
      same. The field trip was led by the intrepid Vince McGrath.

      Crossing the Sanibel Causeway on the way to the Sanibel Lighthouse,
      Arthur Wilson, Peter Murphy and I didn't see any out-of-the-ordinary
      birds on the Causeway or in San Carlos Bay. Upon arrival at the
      Lighthouse Parking Lot, it was evident that a number of swallows was
      plying the beach. Most of the swallows were Barn Swallows but there was
      at least one Bank Swallow, several Northern Rough-winged, a few Trees and
      Purple Martins among them. Out in the Gulf, which was surprisingly calm,
      we saw a flyby Common Loon, several Magnificent Frigatebirds, solo Black
      Skimmer and the usual contingent of pelicans, terns, gulls and shorebirds
      but no hoped-for jaegers, gannets, or unusual terns. A pod of about 50 or
      so Atlantic Bottle-nosed Dolphins were herding fish very close to shore.

      Along the trails surrounding the Lighthouse, there was much damage to
      trees by the strong winds that had passed earlier. Right off, Vince
      McGrath noted that the ever-present dead tree near the bathrooms, which
      held the Osprey nest, was missing! Upon further investigation, Vince
      found the three nearly fledged young birds on the ground. The largest
      bird looked very much in good health but the other two, especially the
      runt, was apparently in some difficulty. As has been the case all too
      frequently in recent weeks on Sanibel and Captiva where Vince works, the
      birds were 'rescued' by him i.e. a towel placed over them and each bird
      placed in a cardboard box courtesy of the nearby Lee County Parks
      employees. The three birds were then whisked away to C.R.O.W. (Clinic for
      the Rehabilition of Wildlife) by Dan and Judy Davis. Thanks to all
      involved for doing this act of kindness! The upshot of all of this
      brouhaha though, was that mom and dad Osprey frantically were calling and
      looking for their babies all morning while we were at the Lighthouse. One
      of the adults constantly carried a fish around in its talons (presumably
      to feed the young) and continually called. It was heartbreaking.
      Hopefully, when C.R.O.W. rehabs these birds they will release them back
      to where they were found at the Lighthouse so that they can be reunited
      with their parents. Lastly, due to the storms, it was learned that
      C.R.O.W. was expecting at least 20 more homeless Osprey chicks that
      morning. . . .

      We did find some nice migrants including warblers at the Sanibel
      Lighthouse. Not all birds were seen by everyone though. I should add that
      some of these birds were seen later in the day when some of us returned
      to the Lighthouse to see what else had arrived from the morning. We saw:

      Prairie Warbler (x1)
      Palm Warbler (x10+)
      Ovenbird (x2)
      Northern Watherthrush (x2)
      Worm-eating Warbler (x1)
      Northern Parula (x3)
      Hooded Warbler (heard only)
      Prothonotary Warbler (x1)
      Yellow-throated Warbler (x1)

      Other migrants seen at the Sanibel Lighthouse:

      Orchard Oriole (x1)
      Blue Grosbeak (x1)
      Indigo Bunting (x5)
      Scarlet Tanager (x1)
      Eastern Kingbird (x2)
      Common Nighthawk (x1)

      Other birds at the Sanibel Lighthouse:

      A nesting pair of Yellow-crowned Night-Herons in an Australian Pine above
      the main trail. At least two Pileated Woodpeckers and 3-4 Northern
      Flickers and a nice contingent of Northern Cardinals (mostly bright red
      males).

      In the parking lot at Bailey's Grocery Store, also on Sanibel, we saw two
      Gray Kingbirds which have returned to nest in the trees here.

      Vince McGrath then took us to a new area called Sanibel Gardens which is
      a recent acquisition by the local government. All of the invasive exotics
      have been removed from this property. There we saw one Solitary
      Sandpiper, three Spotted Sandpipers, a Reddish Egret (in fresh water) and
      a flyby Merlin among the expected species. This place has some great
      potential for birds and birding!

      Despite the nasty weather, it was a good day of birding and hopefully a
      portent of more to come!

      Cheers.

      Vincent Lucas
      Naples
      vlucas@...
    • vlucas
      All: I forgot to add FOTS Yellow-billed Cuckoo to the list of migrants seen at the Sanibel Lighthouse today. Cheers. Vincent Lucas Naples vlucas@swfla.rr.com
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 12, 2004
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        All:

        I forgot to add FOTS Yellow-billed Cuckoo to the list of migrants seen at
        the Sanibel Lighthouse today.

        Cheers.

        Vincent Lucas
        Naples
        vlucas@...
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