After I was finished birding in the keys, I had a couple of days to bird farther north in Florida. I had a couple of targets in mind so I figured I'd slowly work my way around to those.
First things first, I woke up in the Everglades, packed my junk, and headed out. Shortly after leaving the part (as in, 1/4 mile), I noticed a kingbird perched up high along the side of the road. This was no Eastern Kingbird. I turned around and alas, it turned out to be a TROPICAL KINGBIRD (although I initially thought Western):
That was a surprise for me, I hadn't expected THAT species here in Florida. While I was reveling in the moment, I noticed a second flycatcher in the same tree. You can see it here in the lower right part of the photo:
And yes, this was no Great Crested Flycatcher either! It was an ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER; another new state bird. What a haven for rare flycatchers, apparently.
This RED-SHOULDERED HAWK didn't want to be left out of the action though. In fact, both the kingbird and the flycatcher persisted in harassing this lizard-eating fiend:
After that stop, I headed for the Pembroke Pine area. Once I arrived, I actually noticed more butterflies than birds (it's been known to happen). Here's the showy ZEBRA HELICONIAN:
... and a JULIA HELICONIAN:
Another southeastern species, there were several OCOLA SKIPPERS around with their obviously long and narrow wings:
This BAND-WINGED DRAGONLET was a new species for me as well:
Although they can sometimes be elusive, the last several trips I've made to Florida have yielded gobs and gobs of LIMPKINS. This trip was no exception. Here's a relatively tame one:
However, my target today was a life bird, the newly ABA-countable PURPLE SWAMPHEN. If you know where to go, they are extremely easy to see. I was fortunate and spotted this bird no less than 1 minute out of my car. Here's a picture of the oversized and giant, purple gallinule-type thing:
The next day I really needed to find NANDAY PARAKEETS. Stay tuned....