Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Trip to Florida and Grand Bahama, Part 1: Florida Feb 5-6

White Ibis, Green Cay Wetlands, Boynton Beach, FL, Feb 5, 2017
Palm Warbler (western), Evergreen Cemetery, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Feb 5, 2017
Black throated Blue Warbler, Richardson Park, Wilton Manor, FL, Feb 5, 2017
White eyed Vireo, Richardson Park, Wilton Manor, FL, Feb 5, 2017
Anhinga with nest material, Green Cay Wetlands, Boynton Beach, FL, Feb 5, 2017
Blue winged Teal, Green Cay Wetlands, Boynton Beach, FL, Feb 5, 2017
Just back from a week or so in Florida and the Bahamas and it was a great trip with warm, sunny weather and some great birds.  We headed down to Fort Lauderdale on Sunday the 5th arriving there midday to sunny and warm weather. After a quick bite to eat we made a couple brief stops to look for some unusual species being seen in the Fort Lauderdale area (including a Bananaquit, Black throated Gray Warbler and Hooded Warbler). The first stop was at Evergreen Cemetery to try to find the Black throated Gray Warbler which I eventually found traveling with a mixed species flock but I missed getting a photo of it after a brief look and never managed to track it back down. Lots of other warblers in the cemetery including Yellow throated, Prairie, Palm (both western and eastern) and Yellow rumped Warblers plus Northern Parula. Our next stop was a bit more to the north to Richardson Park where I managed to hear the Hooded Warbler but missed on finding the Bananaquit (thought I might have heard it once but could never see it). Despite missing the Bananaquit I was happy to find the Hooded Warbler and a female Black throated Blue Warbler as well as a few Blue crowned Parakeet (an exotic species that was introduced to the area and appears to be established) plus a Spot breasted Oriole (a long established exotic in south Florida). The parakeet and oriole were both new species for me becoming #1251 and #1252. Our final stop in the afternoon was even further north up to the Green Cay Wetlands, which is a fantastic spot for bird photography. We spent a couple hours there and added a number of species but nothing out of the ordinary. Overall for the afternoon of the first day I had a total of 63 species with ten species of warbler (adding Common Yellowthroat and Pine Warbler for the day at Green Cay).
Wood Stork, Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Boynton Beach,  FL, Feb 6, 2017
Purple Gallinule, Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Boynton Beach,  FL, Feb 6, 2017
Black and White Warbler, Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Boynton Beach,  FL, Feb 6, 2017
Orange crowned Warbler, Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Boynton Beach,  FL, Feb 6, 2017
Gray headed Swamphen, Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Boynton Beach,  FL, Feb 6, 2017
Neotropic Cormorant, Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Boynton Beach,  FL, Feb 6, 2017
Yellow throated Warbler, Evergreen Cemetery, Ft Lauderdale, FL, Feb 6, 2017
Blue crowned Parakeet, Evergreen Cemetery, Ft Lauderdale, FL, Feb 6, 2017
Red masked Parakeet, Evergreen Cemetery, Ft Lauderdale, FL, Feb 6, 2017
The first full day of vacation we spent in Florida hitting a few new spots as well as repeat visits to a couple others. We started at Wakodohatchee Wetlands in Boca Raton. The man made wetlands there are a smaller version of the Green Cay Wetlands we visited yesterday and held a few new species. The rarest bird there was a continued Neotropic Cormorant that has been present on and off for a couple years now. The area also featured a large congregation of nesting Wood Storks (over a hundred individuals present) plus a number of nesting Anhingas, Double crested Cormorants and Great Blue Herons. It was great to see so many storks nesting here as this species has been in decline. Beyond the nesting species I ran across a mixed flock containing a number of warblers including my first American Redstart, Black and White Warblers and Orange crowned Warbler. We left the wetlands late morning and made it over to the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center along the coast. Very quiet bird wise due to the crowds but still managed to add one more new warbler, a Northern Waterthrush. Even without many birds it was still interesting to see work being done there on sea turtle research as well as sea turtle rescue. After a brief stop for lunch we returned to Richardson Park once again to try to find the Bananaquit I missed the day before but once again struck out. In fact I had no luck finding anything unusual there so we moved on to another repeat visit, this time to the Evergreen Cemetery in Fort Lauderdale. My goal here was to try to get some photos of the Black throated Gray Warbler there. Despite much effort I never managed to find the bird but did have another nice mixed species flock and got some additional photos. All was not lost for the stop as I added another established exotic to my list with a group of Red masked Parakeets flying past which I managed to get photos of as well as photos of a few Blue crowned Parakeet. Overall I ended up with 77 species (with three life birds and nine new species to my state list) in Florida in just a few days with 14 species of warblers among the total.

Next up the trip to Grand Bahama....

No comments:

Post a Comment