My girlfriend and I headed up to Cotton Lake Road this morning, just along the Escambia River, in search of woodland swamp breeders. After turning onto Cotton Lake Road, we heard the first of at least four Swainson's Warblers, about 0.6 miles east of US-29. Some patience and skulking of our own paid off, as we were able to get great looks at a male singing atop a young Water Oak (Q. nigra). Common Yellowthroat, Summer Tanager, Indigo Bunting, and Orchard Oriole were here, too.
Moving onwards another 0.1-0.2 miles, the road takes a ninety degree turn north. It was here that we heard a Hairy Woodpecker and parked the car. At this bend we had three Hairy Woodpeckers. We managed to get long looks at a female. Since October of 2010, I have had a high success rate in stumbling upon Hairy Woodpeckers along the Escambia River. I believe I have mentioned this before, but their presence in the Florida panhandle is greater than most people think. The western Panhandle is vastly underbirded, especially away from the coast.
Between the railroad crossing and the boat ramp, we had many of the typical southeastern river swamp breeders, such as:
Spicebush Swallowtails were especially abundant.
To get here from Pensacola, take US-29 north of Pensacola towards Century. Cotton Lake Road will be on the right.
Pensacola and Miami
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]