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  • valarie
    thank you for approving my membership to the list. i am not in state yet. will be moving to bonita springs (SW FL) at the end of september. i have visited
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 3 5:14 AM
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      thank you for approving my membership to the list. i am not in state
      yet. will be moving to bonita springs (SW FL) at the end of
      september. i have visited there twice. once in february & again in
      april. i only saw (aside from aquatic birds) bluejays, mockingbirds,
      & cow birds. lol .. is there anything else in south florida?

      om peace!..
      valarie
    • jbouton2@earthlink.net
      Valarie, Boy is there! As a professional field ornithologist and tour guide for the past 20 years, I ve lived in and birded many areas, but this is the first
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 3 10:12 AM
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        Valarie,

        Boy is there! As a professional field ornithologist and tour guide for the
        past 20 years, I've lived in and birded many areas, but this is the first
        spot I've ever lived where I can realistically go out ANY day of the year
        and (with a bit of effort naturally) see over 100 species of birds. That is
        a real treat especially coming from Alaska where the winters can be like
        holding your breath if you're a birder. Never have you appreciated the
        arrival of a Canada Goose more, let me assure you of that! I recently read
        that FL is one of the "birdiest" states, behind only a few (California,
        Texas, etc.) but it is unparalleled when it comes to habitat diversity. No
        state has more recognized habitat types than the state of FL which is why it
        is such a great place to bird.

        As you mentioned, there is a plethora of water birds readily accessible in
        and around Gulf Coast communities and you can find large concentrations of
        shorebirds, gulls, terns, and of course the long-legged waders. Even in
        summer, a simple trip to the beach can produce views of nesting Snowy and
        Wilson's Plovers, Willets, with smaller numbers of lingering, non-breeding
        Black-bellied Plovers, Turnstones, and Sanderling, while some of the
        spectacular residents feed or rest nearby. Birds like: Reddish & Snowy
        Egrets, Roseate Spoonbills, Royal, Sandwich, and Least Terns, and Black
        Skimmers may line the beaches. Follow this with a trip to a place like
        Babcock Webb WMA where you can see breeding Red-cockaded Woodpeckers,
        Brown-headed Nuthatches, Bachman's Sparrows, Eastern Meadowlarks, Pine
        Warblers, Brown Thrashers, Common Ground-Doves, Eastern Bluebirds, Eastern
        Towhee (and note the unique character of the light-eyed Florida race),
        Red-shouldered Hawk, Swallow-tailed Kite, Northern Bobwhite, Northern
        Flicker, Downy, Hairy, & Red-bellied Woodpeckers, etc. Stop along the way
        for views of other FL specialty species like Gray Kingbirds, FL Scrub Jays,
        and Burrowing Owls!

        Explore swamps like Corkscrew and Six mile Cypress Preserve for nesting
        Barred Owls, Limpkins, and Wood Storks feeding amongst the Bald Cypress
        knees, while the calls and songs of the many Pileated Woodpeckers, Carolina
        Wrens, Northern Cardinals, and Tufted Titmouse ring throughout. Northern
        Parulas are common in the canopies as they make their homes in the hanging
        Spanish Moss. From Bonita it is a quick trip to the Shark Valley portion of
        the Everglades NP. Here you can see Snail Kites and Limpkins, Least
        Bitterns, Purple Gallinule, and King Rails, amidst the hoardes of alligators
        and other wading birds. Make a weekend trip out of it and get into the true
        hardwood hammock country of the Everglades and or FL Keys and find
        carribbean holdouts like White-crowned Pigeon, Mangrove Cuckoo,
        Black-whiskered Vireos while soaking up the beauty of these places.

        Now as we enter into migration, the excitement of birding in SW Florida
        increases. Trips to migrant traps like Sanibel and the like can be rewarded
        by great days of birding. While the more adventurous might opt to make a run
        to the crowned jewel of migrant traps, Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas
        where you may see near 30 species of warblers while hundreds of Magnificent
        Frigatebirds circle and the "Wide Awake!" calls of the nesting Sooty Terns
        are the most common sound. You can add on specialty species like Brown
        Noddy, Brown and Masked Booby, while enjoying all of the majesty of the
        surrounding coral reef community clearly visible below the clear blue
        waters.....

        So what do you think, do I have a promising future as a tourism brochure
        writer if my current endeavors don't work out?!?..... ;)

        If you have any specific questions regarding bird finding locally, don't
        hesitate to contact me or (I'm sure) nearly any of the other very helpful
        members of the local birding community. They were very helpful to me when I
        moved down 6 years ago...... Of course, I may have ruined it for everyone
        else, as perhaps they have learned from their mistakes after creating a
        monster! ;)

        Good birding,

        Jeff Bouton
        Leica Sports Optics
        Port Charlotte, FL
        jbouton2@...
        jbouton2@...

        Good Birding
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