SOUTH FLORIDA MBWEEK SUMMARY

April 19 - 29, 2015


When just a normal day in South Florida already feels warm enough with its high humidity and temperatures in the mid-80s, it doesn't take much for conditions to change from uncomfortable to intolerable. So it was on this MBWeek when the highs every day were above average: our "coolest" day had 87 for a high, eight of our 11 days saw 90+ temperatures, and it officially hit 94 on one of these days.


Still, while all of us (myself especially!) were slowed down a bit on some days, the weather did not prevent us from finding almost every target species we had a chance for. These specialties are listed below in boldface type, and it was especially satisfying to find them once you consider that so many can be elusive and easily missed. Some of these birds often absent from many Florida trip lists include Fulvous Whistling-

Duck, Egyptian Goose, American Flamingo (!), Audubon's Shearwater, Brown Booby, Short-tailed Hawk (!), Purple Swamphen, Black Noddy (!), Roseate Tern, Mangrove Cuckoo (!), Antillean Nighthawk, Nanday and White-winged parakeets (!), Black- whiskered Vireo, Red-whiskered Bulbul, Bachman's Sparrow, Shiny Cowbird, and Spot-breasted Oriole. (Plus a few others, like maybe Limpkin – right, Craig?)


Our most successful birding experiences included Harnes Marsh (our closest Snail Kite on Day 1 and our first Limpkins on Day 3), Cape Coral (scrub-jays, Burrowing Owls, and Monk Parakeets), Bunche Beach's shorebirds, the cuckoo spot on Sanibel Blvd, the Sheppard Rd/Venus Flatwoods/Hwy 731 route (for Bachman's Sparrow and Short-tailed Hawk, after we had nearly given up on both), Green Cay and Wakodahatchee Wetlands (swamphens, gallinules, and lots more), the nearly simultaneous orioles and bulbuls at Kendalwood, the White-winged Parakeet neighborhood near the airport, our quite unexpected luck by being included on the overbooked flamingo tour (cancellations followed news of the outhouse removal!), and certainly our trip to Garden Key via the Yankee Freedom III.


About the only bird we tried for that eluded us was the uncooperative Bahama Mockingbird skulking somewhere in the Key West Botanical Gardens. Seen by many on Friday and Saturday, it failed to appear for us or anyone else on Sunday. It apparently reappeared on Monday when we were in the Dry Tortugas, but on Tuesday morning we were among several birders who again came up empty.


In all, we came up with no fewer than 188 species, which compares to the 172 we had on this MBW in April 2011. In addition, there were five other "non-countable" exotics (in brackets below) that might well become ABA-legal in the near future. After all, if Florida birders list those homely black-and-white muscovys waddling across the park, why not count the Red Junglefowl that have roamed the streets of Key West for 200 years?


Although I managed to see no lifers this time (that dumb mockingbird would have been one), everyone else certainly did. George saw "only" 6 (but he had birded South Florida several times before), everyone else's lifer totals were in the 20s and 30s, and Steve had the most with 36.  -Kim Eckert



Itinerary


April 19 - Arrival at RSW at 12:30pm; afternoon at Harnes Marsh and first Nanday Parakeet search; dinner at Johnny Molloy's and first of 3 nights in Bonita Springs.


April 20 - Babcock-Webb WMA, Cape Coral scrub-jay/owl/parakeet areas, successful Nanday Parakeet search, and briefly at John Morris Rd/Bunche Beach; dinner at Pincher's Crab Shack.


April 21 - Return to John Morris Rd/Bunche Beach; Sanibel Blvd cuckoo spot, Sanibel lighthouse, Carlos Point, and Eagle Lakes in Naples; dinner at Naple's Ale House.


April 22  - Return to Harnes Marsh, Bachman's Sparrow search in Lehigh Acres, La Belle, Keri Road loop, Fisheating Creek/Rainy Slough/Sheppard Rd/Venus Flatwoods/Hwy 731 loop, and Okeechobee public access; dinner at Flannigan's and night in Stuart.


April 23 - Green Cay, Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Spanish River Park, and drive to Florida City via Cutler Ridge swallow bridge and wetlands; dinner at Capri and first of 3 nights in Florida City.


April 24 - Morning at Kendalwood oriole/bulbul neighborhood, Matheson Hammock, and first White-w Parakeet search; afternoon/evening in Everglades, especially at Flamingo's cowbird sanctuary, the Seaside Sparrow marsh, and the Chuck-will's-widows/alleged "picnic dinner" at Long Pine Key.


April 25 - Successful return to Ocean Bank's White-winged Parakeet neighborhood, flamingo tour at STA-2 area; dinner at Capri and evening Lucky Hammock/Chuck-will's-widow option.


April 26 - Card Sound Rd, Key Largo Botanical State Park & vicinity, Marathon, and Key West Botanical Gardens mockingbird search; dinner at Mangia Mangia and first of 2 nights in Key West.


April 27 - Garden Key in Dry Tortugas National Park via Yankee Freedom ferry, and Marathon airport nighthawks; "dinner" at McDonald's/KFC.


April 28 - Unsuccessful return to Key West Botanical Gardens, Ohio Key, Big Cypress Oasis Visitors Center and Loop Road; dinner at Iguana Mia and night in Fort Myers.


April 29 - Final morning mostly at Sanibel lighthouse and NWR Bailey Tract; afternoon departures for home from RSW.



Bird List


boldfaced species = Florida "specialties" of primary interest

[species] = "non-countable" exotics

n = nest seen

y = young seen


Black-bellied Whistling-Duck

Fulvous Whistling-Duck   (on the STA-2 tour)

Egyptian Goose   (by the Cave Swallow bridge)

Muscovy Duck   (y; considered countable in FL)

American Wigeon

Mottled Duck   (y)

Blue-winged Teal

Northern Shoveler


Northern Bobwhite   (best heard & seen at Babcock-Webb)


Wild Turkey

[Red Junglefowl   (y in Key West; non-countable after 200 years)]


Pied-billed Grebe


American Flamingo   (lone juvenile on the STA-2 tour)


Audubon's Shearwater   (prolonged looks along side the Yankee Freedom)


Wood Stork   (n, y; best at Wakodahatchee)


Magnificent Frigatebird   (especially at Dry Tortugas)


Masked Booby   (n, y; )

Brown Booby   (seen by most from the Yankee Freedom)


Double-crested Cormorant


Anhinga   (n, y)


American White Pelican

Brown Pelican


Least Bittern   (especially at Wakodahatchee)

Great Blue Heron   (incl. "Great White" morphs)

Great Egret   (n)

Snowy Egret

Little Blue Heron

Tricolored Heron

Reddish Egret

Cattle Egret

Green Heron

Black-crowned Night-Heron

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron   (y)


White Ibis   (y)

Glossy Ibis

Roseate Spoonbill   (only a few sightings)


Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture


Osprey   (n, y)


Swallow-tailed Kite   (lots of them!)

Snail Kite   (best looks on Day 1)

Bald Eagle

Northern Harrier

Red-shouldered Hawk   (n, y)

Short-tailed Hawk   (light-morph on Hwy 731, finally!; another unexpectedly in Key

     West)

Red-tailed Hawk


Sora

Purple Swamphen   (best looks at Wakodahatchee; also at STA-2)

Purple Gallinule   (also best at Wakodahatchee)

Common Gallinule   (y)

American Coot


Limpkin   (y; especially at Harnes, Green Cay, and Wakodahatchee)


Sandhill Crane   (y)


Black-necked Stilt

American Avocet


Black-bellied Plover

Snowy Plover   (y; Carlos Point)

Wilson's Plover   (y; Bunche Beach)

Semipalmated Plover

Piping Plover   (also Bunche Beach)

Killdeer


Spotted Sandpiper

Solitary Sandpiper

Greater Yellowlegs

Willet

Lesser Yellowlegs

Whimbrel   (Bunche Beach)

Marbled Godwit

Ruddy Turnstone

Red Knot   (Bunche Beach)

Sanderling

Dunlin

Least Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Short-billed Dowitcher

Long-billed Dowitcher


jaeger, sp (probably Pomarine)


Laughing Gull

Ring-billed Gull

Brown Noddy   (y; especially on Bush Key)

Black Noddy   (first spotted by Robin on Bush Key)

Sooty Tern   (y; also Bush Key)

Bridled Tern   (photo by Dennis)

Least Tern

Caspian Tern

Roseate Tern   (great views at Marathon)

Forster's Tern

Royal Tern

Sandwich Tern

Black Skimmer


Rock Pigeon

White-crowned Pigeon   (best in Key West)

Eurasian Collared-Dove

Common Ground-Dove

White-winged Dove

Mourning Dove


Yellow-billed Cuckoo   (Garden Key migrant)

Mangrove Cuckoo   (unexpectedly great looks on Sanibel; another heard near

     Bunche Beach)


Eastern Screech-Owl   (at several locations)

Great Horned Owl

Burrowing Owl   (n, y; especially Cape Coral)


Common Nighthawk

Antillean Nighthawk   (finally heard by all after dark in Marathon)

Chuck-will's-widow   (best on Garden Key; mostly heard at the Everglades)


Chimney Swift


Belted Kingfisher


Red-headed Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Red-cockaded Woodpecker   (n; pair found at Babcock-Webb)

Northern Flicker

Pileated Woodpecker


Crested Caracara

American Kestrel

Merlin

Peregrine Falcon


Monk Parakeet   (n; especially in Cape Coral)

Nanday Parakeet   (finally found at Jackson & Maple)

White-winged Parakeet   (tracked down at 11th St & 39th Ct)

[Mitred Parakeet   (non-countable at Baptist Hospital)]

[Red-masked Parakeet   (non-countable at Matheson Hammock)]

[Yellow-chevroned Parakeet   (ditto)]


Great Crested Flycatcher

Eastern Kingbird

Gray Kingbird   (first seen in Florida City)

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher   (late Key West migrants)


Loggerhead Shrike   (y)


White-eyed Vireo

Red-eyed Vireo

Black-whiskered Vireo   (singing on Key Largo and Garden Key migrants)


Blue Jay

Florida Scrub-Jay   (adorning our hats in Cape Coral)

American Crow

Fish Crow


Purple Martin

Tree Swallow

Cliff Swallow   (Garden Key migrant)

Cave Swallow   (n; again at Culver Ridge bridge)

Barn Swallow


Tufted Titmouse


Brown-headed Nuthatch   (Babcock-Webb)


Carolina Wren


Blue-gray Gnatcatcher


Red-whiskered Bulbul   (just minutes after the orioles in Kendalwood)


Eastern Bluebird

Veery

Gray-cheeked Thrush

Swainson's Thrush

Wood Thrush


Gray Catbird

Brown Thrasher

Northern Mockingbird


European Starling

Common Myna   (especially in Florida City)

[Hill Myna   (also non-countable at Matheson Hammock)]


Ovenbird

Northern Waterthrush

Black-and-white Warbler

Kentucky Warbler   (Garden Key migrant)

Common Yellowthroat

Hooded Warbler

American Redstart

Cape May Warbler

Northern Parula

Magnolia Warbler

Bay-breasted Warbler

Yellow Warbler

Blackpoll Warbler

Black-throated Blue Warbler   (male by the singing Black-whiskereds)

Palm Warbler

Pine Warbler

Yellow-throated Warbler   (Garden Key migrant)

Prairie Warbler

Townsend's Warbler   (also at Garden Key; only Casual in FL!)


Eastern Towhee

Bachman's Sparrow   (Venus Flatwoods: singing quite unexpectedly in the

     afternoon)

Seaside Sparrow   (better than normal looks in the Everglades)


Summer Tanager

Scarlet Tanager

Northern Cardinal

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Blue Grosbeak   (Garden Key migrant)

Indigo Bunting


Bobolink   (STA-2 migrants)

Red-winged Blackbird

Eastern Meadowlark

Common Grackle

Boat-tailed Grackle

Shiny Cowbird   (Flamingo only)

Brown-headed Cowbird

Spot-breasted Oriole   (n, y; nesting pair in Kendalwood)


House Finch


House Sparrow


Significant Others (only a partial & arbitrary list):


Fiddler Crab

Hermit Crab

Apple Snail

Millipede

flying fish, sp.

Bullfrog

Southern Cricket Frog

Pig Frog (they actually sound more like sheep)

Florida Red-bellied Turtle

Box Turtle

Gopher Tortoise

marine turtle, sp. (probably Loggerhead)

Green Anole

Brown Anole

Green Iguana

Black Racer

American Alligator

American Crocodile (Flamingo marina)

Raccoon

Marsh Rabbit

Eastern Gray Squirrel

White-tailed Deer (incl. Key Deer)

Bottle-nosed Dolphin




*          *          *



SOUTH FLORIDA MBWeeks PHOTO GALLERY

~

also see the Florida II MBWeek Photo Gallery

(http://www.mbwbirds.com/florida-ii.html)



Audubon’s Shearwater, en route to Dry Tortugas (2015, George Lahr photo)

juvenile American Flamingo, STA-2 impoundment (2015, KRE photo)

Purple Swamphen (2018, Bill Marengo photo)

Swallow-tailed Kite (2011, KRE photo)

Wood Storks, Wakodahatchee Wetlands (2015, KRE photo)

Magnificent Frigatebird, Garden Key (2016, Jim deWaal Malefyt photo)

Masked Boobies, Hospital Key (2015, Dennis Randall photo)

Anhingas, Wakodahatchee Wetlands (2015, Dennis Randall photo)

immature Snail Kite, Lehigh Acres (2015, KRE photo)

Purple Gallinule, Wakodahatchee Wetlands (2015, KRE photo)

Limpkins, Wakodahatchee Wetlands (2015, Pete Hoeger photo)

Brown Noddy, Garden Key (2018, Jeff Stephenson photo)

Shiny Cowbirds, Garden Key (2018, Bill Marengo photo)

Spot-breasted Oriole, Kendall (2015, Pete Hoeger photo)

*          *          *



SOUTH FLORIDA MBWEEK

April 17 - 27, 2016

Summary by Craig Mandel (with edits by Kim Eckert)


The overall weather on this South Florida MBWeek was pleasant, with only one day above 95 degrees and the first part of trip being cool enough for jackets for most of a day. The nice weather also showed in the lack of migration for most of the trip, as our only day with a good number and variety of migrants was on our trip to the Dry Tortugas, where we had 18 species of warbler and 4 thrush species on Garden Key.  


Many of the key birds were difficult to find, but we did prevail on all but a few. Limpkins were observed at Harns Marsh, as well as an immature Snail Kite. We were successful on our second trip to Black Point Park, getting close looks at Mangrove Cuckoo. At Babcock-Webb we enjoyed long looks at the resident Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, Brown-headed Nuthatches, and Bachman's Sparrows.  

     

The Florida Scrub-Jays were cooperative, landing on our vehicles before we could get out and then giving everyone a chance for close encounters. We found baby Muscovy Ducks, Egyptian Geese, and Purple Swamphens, a female Spot-breasted Oriole on a nest, and many of the other species observed were singing on territory.


There were several vagrants to chase on this trip, with the first-North-American-record Cuban Vireo being the most interesting. The bird was at Fort Zachary State Park on Key West from the 19th to the 24th, and we had the good fortune to arrive at the park on the 24th! We were also able to relocate the first Pacific Golden-Plover ever recorded in Florida and the pair of Smooth-billed Anis nesting at Loxahatchee NWR. But we did miss the Thick-billed Vireo, which had been observed at John U Lloyd State Park, and the Zenaida Dove remained out of sight during our visit when it was presumably sitting on a nest with its Mourning Dove mate in attendance.


Our boat trip to and from the Dry Tortugas unfortunately had no Audubon's Shearwaters or Bridled Terns, although the captain of the boat did slowly pass by Hospital Key so we were able to see the Masked Boobies which nest there along with a loafing Brown Booby. But while not much was on the water, we made up for it on land at Garden Key. The recently reported Black Noddy was seen well through our spotting scopes, and our last-minute looks at the roosting Chuck-will's-widow was certainly a highlight for many of us as well.


We observed 181 species in all for the trip, plus we had a few other "non-countable" species which may require another Florida trip if the ABA considers them countable in the future. Both Herb & Noel observed their 600th ABA-area species, it was Diana's first trip to Florida and she had the most life birds (48), while Don observed the fewest (5) since he had birded in Florida before. And I finally found my lifer Limpkin – and enjoyed all of the "Eye-talian" restaurants!


Itinerary


April 17 - Arrival at RSW at 11:30 am for most of the group; afternoon at Harnes Marsh, plus Muscovy Ducks and Nanday Parakeets at Manor Park; dinner at Two Meatballs in the Kitchen and the first of 3 nights in Fort Myers.


April 18 - Babcock-Webb WMA, Cape Coral Scrub-Jay/Burrowing Owl/Monk Parakeet areas, and our first stop at Bunche Beach; dinner at Pincher's Crab Shack.


April 19 - Sanibel Island, Ding Darling NWR wildlife drive & Bailey unit, Eagle Lakes Park, and Tiger Tail Beach; dinner at La Grotta Italian Grill.


April 20 - Return to Bunche Beach and Harnes Marsh, La Belle area, Six Mile Bend Sod Farm near Belle Glade, and John U Lloyd State Park; dinner at Zara Jazz Café and night in West Palm Beach.


April 21 - Loxahatchee NWR, Green Cay, Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Cutler Ridge Cave Swallow spot, Black Point Park & Marina, and drive to Florida City; dinner at Capri and first of 3 nights in Florida City.


April 22 - Return to Black Point Park & Marina for Mangrove Cuckoo, city views atop the Ocean Bank & brief fly-by of White-winged Parakeets, Fuchs Park, Kendall neighborhood, afternoon at Everglades National Park, incl. Shiny Cowbird and Manatees at Flamingo; dinner at Bangkok Cuisine Thai Restaurant.


April 23 - Return to John U Lloyd State Park for second unsuccessful Thick-billed Vireo try, Markham Park, Key Biscayne, successful second trip for White-winged Parakeets at Ocean Bank, and Brewer Park; dinner at Applebee's (!).


April 24 - Card Sound Road, Key Largo Botanical State Park & vicinity, Marathon Government Center, and Fort Zachary's Cuban Vireo; dinner at the Stoned Crab and first of two nights in Key West.


April 25 - Garden Key in Dry Tortugas National Park via Yankee Freedom Ferry, and Marathon Airport nighthawks; dinner at Mangia Mangia.


April 26 - Return to Marathon Government Center, Long Key State Park, Wildlife Rehab Center, Shark Valley, and drive to Fort Myers; dinner at Two Meatballs in the Kitchen and night in Fort Myers.


April 27 - Final morning at Six Mile Cypress Slough and return to Bunche Beach; afternoon departures for home from RWS.



Bird List


Boldfaced species = Florida "specialties" of primary interest

[species in brackets = "non-countable" exotics]

n = nest seen

y = young seen


Black-bellied Whistling-Duck

Egyptian Goose (y; Fuchs Park)

Muscovy Duck (y)

Wood Duck

Mottled Duck (y)

Blue-winged Teal


Northern Bobwhite (heard and seen by some at Babcock-Webb)

[Red Junglefowl (y; Key West)]


Common Loon


Pied-billed Grebe


Wood Stork (n, y, Wakodahatchee)


Magnificent Frigatebird (especially at Garden Key)


Masked Booby (n, y; Hospital Key)

Brown Booby (from the Yankee Freedom)


Double-crested Cormorant (y)


Anhinga (n, y)


American White Pelican

Brown Pelican


Least Bittern

Great Blue Heron (incl. “Great White Herons”)

Great Egret

Snowy Egret

Little Blue Heron

Tricolored Heron

Reddish Egret (n; incl. white morph at Bunche Beach)

Cattle Egret

Green Heron

Black-crowned Night-Heron (n)

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (n, y)


White Ibis (y)

Glossy Ibis

Roseate Spoonbill


Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture


Osprey (n, y)


Swallow-tailed Kite

Snail Kite (imm. at Harnes Marsh and a pair west of Shark Valley)

Bald Eagle

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Cooper's Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk (y)

Red-tailed Hawk


Purple Swamphen  (y; Wakodahatchee)

Purple Gallinule (y)

Common Gallinule (y)

American Coot


Limpkin (y; mainly at Harnes Marsh)


Sandhill Crane (y)


Black-necked Stilt (n; sitting on nest at Wakodahatchee)


American Oystercatcher


Black-bellied Plover

Pacific Golden-Plover (first Florida state record!)

Wilson's Plover (Bunche Beach)

Semipalmated Plover

Piping Plover

Killdeer


Spotted Sandpiper

Solitary Sandpiper

Greater Yellowlegs

Willet

Lesser Yellowlegs

Whimbrel (Bunche Beach)

Marbled Godwit

Ruddy Turnstone

Red Knot (distant looks at Bunche Beach)

Sanderling

Dunlin

Least Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Short-billed Dowitcher


Laughing Gull (y)

Herring Gull (leader-only)

Brown Noddy (n, y)

Black Noddy (nice looks from top of Fort Jefferson as it sat next to a Brown Noddy)

Sooty Tern (n, y)

Least Tern

Caspian Tern

Roseate Tern (good looks at Marathon on our second try)

Royal Tern

Sandwich Tern

Black Skimmer


Rock Pigeon

White-crowned Pigeon

Eurasian Collared-Dove

Common Ground-Dove

White-winged Dove

Mourning Dove


Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Mangrove Cuckoo (seen well at Black Point Park)

Smooth-billed Ani (pair at Loxahatchee NWR)


Eastern Screech-Owl (heard-only by some along Card Sound Rd)

Great Horned Owl (y; Babcock-Webb)

Burrowing Owl (Cape Coral)


Common Nighthawk

Antillean Nighthawk (mostly heard at Marathon airport, seen by a few flying with a

     bat)

Chuck-will's-widow (roosting near Fort Jefferson)


Chimney Swift


Ruby-throated Hummingbird


Belted Kingfisher


Red-headed Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Red-cockaded Woodpecker (n; very cooperative pair at Babcock-Webb)

Northern Flicker

Pileated Woodpecker


Crested Caracara (y)

American Kestrel

Merlin

Peregrine Falcon


Monk Parakeet (n; Cape Coral)

Nanday Parakeet (Manor Park and nearby feeders)

White-winged Parakeet (from Ocean Bank roof)

[Mitred Parakeet (Fuchs Park)]

[Red-masked Parakeet (Brewer Park)]

[Yellow-chevroned Parakeet (best at Fuchs Park)]


Great Crested Flycatcher

Eastern Kingbird

Gray Kingbird


Loggerhead Shrike


White-eyed Vireo

Cuban Vireo (first North American record seen well at Fort Zachary)

Red-eyed Vireo

Black-whiskered Vireo (best at Card Sound Road)


Blue Jay

Florida Scrub-Jay (Cape Coral)

American Crow

Fish Crow


Purple Martin

Tree Swallow

N. Rough-winged Swallow

Cliff Swallow

Cave Swallow (still regular at Culver Ridge Road)

Barn Swallow


Tufted Titmouse


Brown-headed Nuthatch (n; Babcock-Webb)


Carolina Wren (n)


Blue-gray Gnatcatcher


Red-whiskered Bulbul (Kendall)


Eastern Bluebird

Veery

Gray-cheeked Thrush

Swainson's Thrush

Wood Thrush


Gray Catbird

Brown Thrasher

Northern Mockingbird


European Starling

Common Myna


Cedar Waxwing


Ovenbird

Worm-eating Warbler

Northern Waterthrush

Black-and-white Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler

Common Yellowthroat

Hooded Warbler

American Redstart

Cape May Warbler

Northern Parula

Magnolia Warbler

Yellow Warbler

Blackpoll Warbler

Black-throated Blue Warbler

Palm Warbler

Pine Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Prairie Warbler

Black-throated Green Warbler

Wilson's Warbler


Eastern Towhee

Bachman's Sparrow


Scarlet Tanager

Northern Cardinal

Indigo Bunting


Bobolink

Red-winged Blackbird

Eastern Meadowlark

Common Grackle

Boat-tailed Grackle

Shiny Cowbird (Flamingo only)

Bronzed Cowbird (Eagle Lakes Park only)

Brown-headed Cowbird

Spot-breasted Oriole (n; pair at Brewer Park)


House Finch


House Sparrow


Partial list of other critters (mostly compiled by Don Kienholz):


Eastern Cottontail

Marsh Rabbit

Eastern Gray Squirrel

White-tailed Deer

Bottlenosed Dolphin

Manatee – female with young at Flamingo

River Otter

Raccoon

Bobcat

 

American Alligator

Florida Softshell Turtle – laying eggs along roadsides in Everglades

sea turtle, sp. – from the Yankee Freedom

Peninsula Cooter

Red-bellied Turtle

Night Anole

Brown Anole

Carolina/Green Anole

Green Iguana

Peninsula Striped Snake – on trail at Ding Darling

Banded Water Snake – under water in tidal creek at Long Key State Park

Brown Water Snake – getting eaten by Great Blue Heron

Black Racer – snake crossing road

Everglades Racer – snake seen by some at Shark Valley trail

Bullfrog

Pig Frog

 

Barracuda – Key West hotel marina docks

Nurse Sharks – Stone Crab restaurant

Florida Gar – Nine Mile Slough

Pipefish

flying fish, sp. – from the Yankee Freedom

Koi – canal at Cave Swallow site


Horseshoe Crab


Julia

Zebra Longwing

Gulf Fritillary

Peacock

swallowtail, sp.



*          *          *


Cuban Vireo, Key West (2016, Jim deWaal Malefyt photo)

Black Noddy, Bush Key (2015, KRE photo)

Roseate Tern, Marathon (2015, KRE photo)

White-crowned Pigeon, Stock Island (2018, Bill Marengo photo)

Mangrove Cuckoo, Black Rock Point (2018, Bill Marengo photo)

Chuck-will's-widow, Garden Key (2015, KRE photo)

Nanday Parakeets, Fort Myers (2015, KRE photo)

White-winged Parakeet, Miami (2018, Jeff Stephenson photo)

Gray Kingbird, Key West (2015, Roy Zimmerman photo)

Black-whiskered Vireo (2018, Jeff Stephenson photo)

Florida Scrub-Jay on Dennis Randall’s hat, Cape Coral (2015, KRE photo)

Red-whiskered Bulbul, Kendall (2011, Vija Kelly photo)

Common Myna (2018, Jeff Stephenson photo)

Also see the PHOTO GALLERY

following the summaries of the 2018, 2016, and 2015 MBWeeks


__________



SOUTH FLORIDA MBWEEK SUMMARY

April 15 - 25, 2018

(Summary by Craig Mandel, with minor edits by KRE)


While the warm and sunny weather was enjoyable for birding, it did little to bring in any vagrants or migrants. The only good day for migrants was on the first day of the MBWeek, April 16, when most – but not all – of the group experienced a good fall-out of warblers on Sanibel Island. (The remaining few participants had been treated to over a foot of snow and delayed flights back in Minnesota, unable to make to Florida until late afternoon of the 16th, thus missing this fall-out.) But we did all finally arrive and were back on schedule on the second day of the tour.

 

At Babcock-Webb WMA the Red-cockaded Woodpeckers were still in their usual location, but they were less than cooperative, with only a few of the participants getting a good look. On the other hand, the Brown-headed Nuthatches and Bachman's Sparrows were more obliging, and we were able to hear and see both species up close. Later in the afternoon we went to the Cape Coral Florida Scrub-Jay location and were able to see five of these jays along with some Burrowing Owls. The Monk and Nanday parakeets were also easy to find, so we had time to visit Harns Marsh where a Snail Kite was observed along the canal near the park. We got some great looks at the bird and watched it flying for several minutes. And, I kept my winning streak intact by seeing Limpkins (my former jinx bird!) at Harns Marsh for the second trip in a row.


From Tigertail Beach (a few shorebirds and nice looks at Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Blue Grosbeak), we headed to West Palm Beach, searching around Immokalee and La Porte for the elusive Short-tailed Hawk en route. Just as we were about to give up, we spotted a Short-tailed in flight over Highway 27 just east of the town of La Porte. On our next day of birding in the West Palm Beach area, there were lots of nesting Wood Storks at Wakodahatchee Wetlands and some Northern Gannets at Boynton Inlet. We also picked up Cave Swallows at their traditional location on our way to Florida City.

 

The next couple days we searched for Miami-area specialties, and we were able to count lots of Florida counties on license plates as we paused at an uncountable number of traffic signals. But we also were able to find Mangrove Cuckoos at Black Rock Point, White-winged Parakeets nesting on the east side of the Ocean Bank, a Red Whiskered Bulbul, and Spot-breasted Orioles at their most recent eBird locations. (Plus as an added bonus, we ate at an Applebee's!)

 

On our drive down to Key West, Black-whiskered Vireos were seen at Card Sound, but the Roseate Terns had not returned to their nesting site at the Marathon Government Center. We also stopped at a number of locations searching for White-crowned Pigeons, only to discover after dinner there were dozens of them on Stock Island. It was interesting to watch as they fed on some fruiting trees close to the road.

 

We enjoyed a pleasant day on our trip to Garden Key in the Dry Tortugas. Our boat trip gave us the usual pass by Hospital Key so we were able to see the Masked Boobys nesting there. En route there were also a few Northern Gannets, Magnificent Frigatebirds, and some probable Roseate Terns. At Fort Jefferson itself we had a very good look at a Brown Booby and a Short-eared Owl (of the Antillean subspecies?). On the coal docks there were lots of Brown Noddys, but the hoped-for Black Noddy was a no-show that day for us and the other birders present. But there were Shiny Cowbirds by the fort and a nice mix of warblers (22 species in all on the MBWeek) inside.


 

Itinerary

 

April 15 - Most of the group was able to arrive in Fort Myers today (first of three nights in Fort Myers).

 

April 16 - Sanibel Island-Lighthouse Point, Bunche Beach, Harns Marsh, and Six Mile Cypress Slough (dinner at La Grotta Italian Grill).

 

April 17 - Babcock-Webb WMA, Cape Coral's scrub-jay / Burrowing Owl / parakeet areas, and Harns Marsh (dinner at Two Meatballs in the Kitchen).

 

April 18 - Fred Coyle Park and Tigertail Beach in the morning; afternoon drive to the East Coast via a Short-tailed Hawk just east of La Porte (dinner at Torero's Restaurant; night in Palm Beach Gardens).

 

April 19 - Loxahatchee NWR, Green Cay, Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Cutler Ridge Cave Swallow site, and Ocean Inlet Park (dinner at Bangkok Restaurant; first of three nights in Florida City).

 

April 20 - Black Rock Point Park & Marina for Mangrove Cuckoo, Ocean Bank for White-winged Parakeets, Bill Baggs State Park, and Kendall (dinner at Applebee's!).

 

April 21 - Return to Black Rock Point Park & Marina, Brews Park, Kendall and North Miami for bulbuls and orioles, and Cutler Wetlands (dinner at Sonny's BBQ / Capri Restaurant).

 

April 22 - Card Sound Road, Key Largo Botanical State Park & vicinity, Marathon Government Center, and Fort Zachary in Key West (dinner at Hogfish Restaurant; first of two nights in Key West).

 

April 23 - Boat trip to Garden Key in Dry Tortugas National Park via the Yankee Freedom, and evening Marathon Airport nighthawk search after our return.

 

April 24 - Return trip to Fort Myers via Marathon Government Center, Wildlife Rehab Center, Shark Valley section of the Everglades, and Eagle Lakes Community Park in Naples (dinner at La Grotta Italian Grille and night in Fort Myers).

 

April 25 - Bunche Beach and some small Fort Myers parks on our final morning; afternoon departures for home.


 

Bird List (177 total species) 


(boldfaced species = a subjective list of Florida specialties of primary interest)

 

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck

Egyptian Goose

Muscovy Duck

Wood Duck

Blue-winged Teal

Mallard

Mottled Duck

Red-breasted Merganser

Northern Bobwhite

Pied-billed Grebe

Rock Pigeon

White-crowned Pigeon

Common Ground-Dove

White-winged Dove

Mourning Dove

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Mangrove Cuckoo

Common Nighthawk

Chuck-will's-widow

Chimney Swift

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

King Rail

Purple Swamphen

Purple Gallinule

Common Gallinule

American Coot

Limpkin

Sandhill Crane

Black-necked Stilt

American Avocet

Black-bellied Plover

American Golden-Plover

Semipalmated Plover

Killdeer

Ruddy Turnstone

Stilt Sandpiper

Sanderling

Dunlin

Least Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Short-billed Dowitcher

Long-billed Dowitcher

Spotted Sandpiper

Solitary Sandpiper

Lesser Yellowlegs

Willet

Greater Yellowlegs

Parasitic Jaeger

Laughing Gull

Brown Noddy

Sooty Tern

Bridled Tern

Least Tern

Gull-billed Tern

Caspian Tern

Common Tern

Royal Tern

Sandwich Tern

Black Skimmer

Wood Stork

Magnificent Frigatebird

Masked Booby

Brown Booby

Double-crested Cormorant

Anhinga

Brown Pelican

Great Blue Heron

Great Egret

Snowy Egret

Little Blue Heron

Tricolored Heron

Reddish Egret

Cattle Egret

Green Heron

Black-crowned Night-Heron

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

White Ibis

Glossy Ibis

Roseate Spoonbill

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Osprey

Swallow-tailed Kite

Snail Kite

Bald Eagle

Cooper's Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk

Short-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Great Horned Owl

Burrowing Owl

Short-eared Owl

Belted Kingfisher

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Red-cockaded Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Pileated Woodpecker

Crested Caracara

Merlin

Peregrine Falcon

Monk Parakeet

Nanday Parakeet

White-winged Parakeet

Eastern Phoebe

Great-crested Flycatcher

Gray Kingbird

Loggerhead Shrike

White-eyed Vireo

Yellow-throated Vireo

Red-eyed Vireo

Black-whiskered Vireo

Blue Jay

Florida Scrub-Jay

American Crow

Fish Crow

Purple Martin

Tree Swallow

Cliff Swallow

Cave Swallow

Barn Swallow

Tufted Titmouse

Brown-headed Nuthatch

Carolina Wren

Red-whiskered Bulbul

Eastern Bluebird

Swainson's Thrush

Gray Catbird

Brown Thrasher

Northern Mockingbird

European Starling

Common Myna

Cedar Waxwing

House Sparrow

Eastern Towhee

Bachman's Sparrow

Eastern Meadowlark

Orchard Oriole

Spot-breasted Oriole

Baltimore Oriole

Red-winged Blackbird

Shiny Cowbird

Bronzed Cowbird

Brown-headed Cowbird

Common Grackle

Boat-tailed Grackle

Worm-eating Warbler

Northern Waterthrush

Blue-winged Warbler

Black-and-white Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler

Tennessee Warbler

Kentucky Warbler

Common Yellowthroat

Hooded Warbler

American Redstart

Cape May Warbler

Northern Parula

Magnolia Warbler

Yellow Warbler

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Blackpoll Warbler

Black-throated Blue Warbler

Palm Warbler

Pine Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Prairie Warbler

Black-throated Green Warbler

Summer Tanager

Scarlet Tanager

Northern Cardinal

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Blue Grosbeak

Indigo Bunting

Painted Bunting

Dickcissel


Bridled Tern, Garden Key (2018, Bill Marengo photo)

Brown Booby, Garden Key (2018, Jeff Stephenson photo)

Burrowing Owl (2018, Bill Marengo photo)

Bachman's Sparrow, Babcock-Webb WMA (2018, Jeff Stephenson photo)