Key Largo Birding 4/30/04
Using our Back Country Permit at the Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock
Botanical State Park (official name), John Will and I found our target
birds today. In the tropical hardwood hammock at pole #94 off of C.R.
905, we readily found many singing Black-whiskered Vireos along with a
small mixed flock of warblers which included late Yellow-rumped,
Magnolia, Cape May, American Redstart, Palm and Common Yellowthroat. But
the best was saved for last when we had two calling Mangrove Cuckoos fly
by us as we walked along the paved road in the hammock itself.
Earlier in the day, when we went to John Pennekamp State Park to pick up
our permit (mandatory), we experienced somewhat of a fallout right at the
ranger station as you enter the park. There were up to a dozen species of
warblers in the tropical hardwood hammock vegetation that acted as a
divide or median to the entrance/exit for the park. Many birds were
avidly feeding on the ground and included multiple Northern Waterthrush,
Palm, Yellow-rumped, Common Yellowthroat, Ovenbird, Blackpoll, American
Redstart, Black-throated Blue, Northern Parula, and Cape May Warblers.
I'm sure there were other warblers present but we didn't spend all that
much time looking at them as we were anxious to get to the hammocks at
pole #94, #124.5, etc.
After checking out these locales (it was already the heat of the day), we
made a stop at the Card Sound Cuban Yellow Warbler spot near the toll
bridge. We found two calling Cuban Yellow Warblers (one seen) without too
much difficulty. A Prairie Warbler made number fourteen for our warbler
total for the day. Also seen at the toll bridge was a cooperative Gray
We were going to head up to Miami to find some of the countable exotics,
namely Spot-breasted Oriole and White-winged & Yellow-chevroned Parakeets
but we were pressed for time and beside, my RFI sent out to several Miami
area birders who know the area well, didn't merit one reply!
Anyway, John Will got two lifers today and I added three year birds to my
state list so it was a good day no matter. . . .
Our final stop was at the old abandoned airboat ride site along the
Tamiami Trail on the Miccosukee Indian Reservation on the way back to
Naples where we had at least three Snail Kites plying the glades. A
fly-over Swallow-tailed Kite was another great sight.