Date: April 28, 2015
Weather: partly sunny
Temperature: start 60º
Wildlife count: Swamp Rabbit, Squirrel, Gators, Bullfrog
Year List: 284
Birds: Black-necked Stilt, Marsh Wren, Blue-winged Teal, Green Heron, Snowy Egret, Fulvous and Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, Gull-billed Tern, Laughing Gull, Long-billed Dowitcher, Cattle Egret, Stilt Sandpiper, Dunlin, Lesser Yellowlegs, Tri-colored Heron, Neotropic Cormorant, Killdeer, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Nighthawk, Mourning Dove, Northern Mockingbird, Boat-tailed & Great-tailed Grackles, Eastern Kingbird, Gadwall, Pied-billed Grebe, American Coot, Virginia Rail, Tree Swallow, Common Yellowthroat, King & Clapper Rails, Orchard Oriole, Savannah Sparrow, Barn Swallow, Roseate Spoonbill, Little Blue Heron, Eastern Meadowlark, Seaside Sparrow, Ruddy Turnstone, Willet, Whimbrel, American Golden Plover, Mottled Duck, Black-bellied Plover, Yellow Warbler, Purple Gallinule, Broad-winged Hawk, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Brown Pelican, Sanderling, Herring Gull, Black Tern, Reddish Egret, Pectoral Sandpiper, Baltimore Oriole, Scarlet Tanager, Red-eyed Vireo, Black & White Warbler, Gray Catbird, Summer Tanager, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Swainson’s Thrush, Blue-winged Warbler, Golden-winged Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Wood Thrush, Eurasian-collared Dove, Cooper’s Hawk, Blue Jay, Philadelphia Vireo, Black-throated Green Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Tennessee Warbler, Acadian Flycatcher, Ovenbird
Today was our last day to bird, as we will be working the rest of our time here. So, we hit a lot of our favorite haunts. We drove to Frozen Point and heard or saw half of the six rails at the refuge. Next we drove past Rollover Pass, as the tide had covered all of the flats where the birds usually stay. Stopping at Subway, we took our lunch to go, and ate at the beach watching several shorebirds enjoy the food brought in by the large waves, finding several shorebirds in the Audubon Shorebird Sanctuary.
When we got out to the 17th Street Jetty, there were NO birds – the tide was just too high, and there were no mudflats. Rollover Pass tide was still high when we got back there, though a few flocks of gulls and terns were beginning to arrive as just the tops of the flats were appearing – we didn’t stay.
At High Island, we began at Boy Scout Woods and had some good luck and then took one more round of Smith Oaks. Many of those trees are over 100 years old, including one that is fenced with a plaque that indicates the tree was 100 years old in 1988. It is covered with ferns and provides food and shelter for many warblers – what a treat to be there and see that lovely canopy and beautiful birds.
Dinner was BBQ ribs and cheesy potatoes – it was just good! We sat around the fire for a little while, but it is quite cool and windy, so we didn’t stay too long. It has been a wonderful day of birding.