Monday, March 19, 2012

More Florida March Break Birding...

I had been calling this bird a "crested caraca" instead of its proper name: "Crested Caracara" (kara-kara). I find I mis-pronounce many birds until someone corrects me out in the field. This phenomenon happened with Pileated Woodpeckers King Eider, and Surf Scoters.
Vierra Wetlands

Just days before I had planned to visit Vierra Wetlands, I had read an incredible posting from a Florida blogger named Scott Simmons about his recent trip to Vierra Wetlands. Sadly, my day was nowhere near as amazing as his. It had rained all day on my second day in Florida and the following day, the wetlands were only open to foot traffic, so I was not able to really drive the dykes as I was wishing to do. Besides seeing Least and American Bitterns, Scott had even seen a Grey Kingbird!

I must have seen 50+ species at Vierra Wetlands. Too many to list, but Loggerhead Shrike, Bald Eagle, and Glossy Ibis were noteworthy finds. I thought I saw a Black necked Stilt (at a great distance) but I think its just a Greater Yellowlegs.

Cocoa Beach Seashore
I was hoping to see a Northern Gannett, especially with some strong east winds blowing off  the ocean, but no such luck. Sandwich and Royal Terns were easily found while walking along the beach.
Note the black beak with light tip and smaller size of the Sandwich Tern

Rudy Turnstone
Brown Pelican
Royal Tern (295)
Sandwich Tern (296)

Merrit Island 

Assorted Shorebirds & Gulls
Reddish Egret
Eastern Meadowlark
Little Blue Heron

Disappointing... but I went at 6pm

Brevard Zoo

Captive Birds:
Scarlet Ibis, Maked Plover, Kingfisher (Laughing Kookaburra?)

Hal Scott Preserve
In a similar fashion to the aforementioned Blogger for Vierra, Hal Scott Preserve has a fantastic photographer on Flicker (D. Bales) who had Brown Headed Nuthatches, Bachmans' Sparrow, and Red Cockaded Woodpeckers at this location. Again, I had no such luck, but literally walked about for 30 minutes, not getting too far from the parking lot. A nice find at least was a Yellow Throated Warbler.
Yellow Rumped Warbler
Yellow throated Warbler
Pine Warbler
Eastern Bluebirds
Northern Cardinal
Shingle Creek trail (mid-Orlando)
I drove out at 7am to see this local trail on my last day in Orlando. A Florida birding Listserve posting mentioned Swallow-tailed Kites just days before I walked this trail, but the only raptors I saw were Red-shouldered Hawks.

Eastern Phoebe
Tufted Titmouse
Downy Woodpecker
Carolina Wren
Northern Mockingbird
Palm Warbler
Yellow bellied Sapsucker
White Ibis
Red shouldered Hawk
Wood stork
Cedar Waxwings

I think its been warmer in Windsor over the last week than in Florida. This is amazing weather. The fruit tries are blossoming in March!

Good Birding,

Life list Summary:
Crested Caracara (294)
Royal Tern (295)
Sandwich Tern (296)


  1. I'd like to see a Caracara. I know someone who just happened to be on Pelee Island when one showed up. Talk about luck!
    Nice birds for your trip.

  2. You did well at Viera-- too bad about the washout, but it's an amazing place. Congrats on the new additions, too.



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