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Recent Big Bend Birds

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  • Robert Lengacher
    I have been working at the FSU Coastal Marine Lab at Turkey Point for the last week and a half for some professional development. It has been awesome becoming
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 2009
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      I have been working at the FSU Coastal Marine Lab at Turkey Point for the
      last week and a half for some professional development. It has been awesome
      becoming much more familiar with the richness of the coastal ecosystems that
      we enjoy here in the Big Bend. Best birds at the lab so far were 3
      Magnificent Frigatebird on June 22. Best shorebird was a Marbled Godwit
      yesterday. Purple Martins are staging and some small groups appear to have
      migrated south with many others to follow. Nothing else has been earth
      shattering in the bird world at the lab, but I have 4.5 more weeks to go.

      Last Saturday morning (June 27) I helped a fellow participant and birder
      from Washington D.C get started on an incredible day of birding. I only had
      time to bird close to town, so we headed out to the Longleaf Pine/Wiregrass
      loop off of FR 309. The target birds were Bachman's Sparrows and
      Red-cockaded Woodpeckers. Bachman's were singing everywhere, but we were
      able to get absolutely crippling views and close encounters on FR 350 in
      some recently burned sections of the forest. Many of the sparrows were
      staying near ground level, probably near nests. All of my other views of
      this species have been at a distance, so I was shocked when a number landed
      withing 15 feet and others allowed even closer approaches. They were
      everywhere. We also found a nice, vocal group of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers
      around the fourth main group of marked trees on FR 350. I would highly
      recommend making a trip soon if you are interested in either species. My
      friend went on to Mashes Sands, St. Marks, and Lake Henrietta and ended the
      day with 11 lifers. He said the highlight was adding number 11 as a Limpkin
      called at Lake Henrietta as the day was ending.

      Directions to the Longleaf Loop from Tallahassee:

      - South on 319 (Crawfordville Hwy)
      - West on 267 (Bloxham Cutoff) about 4 miles
      - South (left) on FR 309
      - East (left) on FR 350 (RCW nesting trees have wide, white bands painted
      on them)
      - Right at the end of FR 350 just a little way
      - Right on FR 352 (which will take you back to FR 309)

      Keep looking up!

      Rob Lengacher
      Tallahassee, FL


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