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Saturday Birding - St. Marks and area

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  • Edwwjr@aol.com
    Michael Evans and I birded our way to the coast Saturday morning. Because of the wind, it was a pretty comfortable morning but the wind also appeared to
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 25, 2005
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      Michael Evans and I birded our way to the coast Saturday morning. Because
      of the wind, it was a pretty comfortable morning but the wind also appeared to
      hold down the number of birds moving around. We started on Tiger Hammock
      Road. Just past the power lines, we had a summer tanager, a couple of hooded
      warblers, a common yellowthroat, and some more common birds in a busy mixed
      flock. No sign of chats with the brush having been cut back under the lines
      themselves.

      We turned north on Old Plank Road off of US 98 just before the bridge and
      traveled (about 1 mile) up to the sulphur springs. We had wood ducks in the
      spring creek and Acadian flycatcher and parula warblers in the trees. No
      Swainson's warblers.

      As we arrived at St. Marks we met Tom Curtis who reported lots of
      interesting birds on the flats behind the lighthouse. We headed straight there with
      only cursory examinations of other spots as we drove. When we arrived there
      were quite a few birds on the flats. The most interesting was a single red
      knot. Tom had seen it earlier and returned while we were still there to confirm
      we were seeing the same bird. Also present were an immature common tern,
      several least, Forster's, and royal terns, a clapper rail, several whimbrel,
      short billed dowitchers, a single dunlin, laughing gulls, and killdeer,
      Wilson's and black bellied plovers. Tom had earlier seen roseate spoonbills both on
      the flats and near the "T" pull-off where the covered seat is. We missed
      both places. The log at the visitor center also reported 4 today.

      Hoping to find spoonbills on Bottoms Road, we checked there next. Although
      we had no luck, we did have seaside sparrows singing at several spots from
      the spartina and found a family of clapper rails including 3 young, near the
      end of the road.

      We finished up at Bald Point/Alligator Point. The only new species for the
      day was 2 gray kingbirds on the wires in the area near the public access to
      the beach near Mardi Gras Road.

      Ed Woodruff
      Tallahassee, Fl.


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