10 April 2013

Florida arrival

I spent March 24 and 25th driving from Texas, through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and down into Florida.  I kept track of some incidental bird sightings but didn't put any serious efforts into birding or listing.  Hence, I don't have any bird pictures to share from those days either.

However, the 26th was the day I drove from the Orlando area down to Miami to chase a new bird, the Code 4 THICK-BILLED VIREO at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.

I arrived at the park in the afternoon with high hopes, the bird was said to be reliable around dusk.  However, it was evident that birding was going to be a challenge; it was WINDY.  Enough so that I immediately became pessimistic of my chances of finding the target.  My fears were spot on, I missed the bird that evening along with the other birders present.  Not to worry, I'd return in the morning to try my luck again.  It would show up... right?  I mean.... it's not gone.... right?  Hmm...

While I was waiting for the vireo to show up, several things made appearances including the ubiquitous OSPREY.  Seriously, I think I've seen more Osprey than any other species during my years of birding in Florida; it's ridiculous how abundant they are:

There were some warblers around as well including BLACK-AND-WHITE, PALM, PRAIRIE, YELLOW-RUMPED, and OVENBIRD.  Here's a PRAIRIE WARBLER in the shade:

Even though I had missed the vireo, I was pleased to see a bunch of CAVE SWALLOWS overhead.  These belong to the "Caribbean" race which I had never seen before:

I went back to the hotel hoping against all odds that I'd snag the vireo in the morning.  And just like that, March 24-26 had passed.