Friday, March 11, 2016

In Search Of South Florida Vagrants

There have been some extraordinary sightings of unexpected bird species these past few months with one in particular that was being reported at the end of February resulting in this report.


The Northern Parula above (image 1) was photographed at Long Key State Park in March 2016.

Tom Obrock and I made a trip to Long Key State Park on 1 March to chase the Zenaida Dove, a Caribbean vagrant, with the bird possibly only the fourth known record of this species in Florida. The Zenaida Dove remained elusive along the Golden Orb Trail where it had been reported numerous times. Tom and I gave up after nearly four hours of watching the trail. Mark McShane, visiting from Atlanta, was met this day. He told me that this was his second trip to observe the bird.


The Northern Parula above (image 2) was photographed at Long Key State Park in March 2016.


The Northern Parula above (image 3) was photographed at Long Key State Park in March 2016.


The Gray Catbird above (image 4) was photographed at Long Key State Park in March 2016.

Mark would finally make the score with his third trip from Atlanta to see the mega rarity on 5 March as he reported to eBird. I'm glad his friend was able to convince him to make the ridiculously long drive again. I thought that it would seem unlikely the dove would make an appearance with all of the foot traffic on the trail. Seabird McKeon noted that he had great views of the Zenaida Dove on 10 March with no pressure from photographers. Since Tom had already unsuccessfully searched for the Black-faced Grassquit while I was watching for the dove, we moved on to our next destination.


The Osprey above (image 5) was photographed at Long Key State Park in March 2016.


The Gray Catbird above (image 6) was photographed at Long Key State Park in March 2016.


The Julia Butterfly above (image 7) was photographed at Lucky Hammock in March 2016.

Tom and I arrived at Lucky Hammock outside of Homestead with hopes of finding a previously reported Brown-crested Flycatcher. An audible of that highly desirable species was the best that could be had. I caught sight of what I believe was a Baltimore Oriole in flight across the road, but was not able to relocate it bird for a photo. Our last stop of the day was my first visit to Castellow Hammock Park located west of Cutler Bay. With hope of finding the Buff-bellied Hummingbird, it was present as indicated by its call, but remained elusive for a photo-op. I did pick up one life bird on the trip with the the Yellow-chevroned Parakeet. This was a near sixteen hour day of birding and driving which will not be replicated by me.


The Viceroy Butterfly above (image 8) was photographed at Lucky Hammock in March 2016.


The Yellow-rumped Warbler above (image 9) was photographed at Lucky Hammock in March 2016.


The Yellow-chevroned Parakeet above (image 10) was photographed at Castellow Hammock Preserve in March 2016.

Please be sure to be reminded about this weekly Southwest Florida Wildlife Blog with the email gadget located at the top of the page.


The Ruby-throated Hummingbird above (image 11) was photographed at Castellow Hammock Preserve in March 2016.

9 comments:

  1. Loved #3...the Northern Parula !
    Thanks Bob.
    Adele

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Adele. It was surprising to me that the bird paused for a brief few seconds.

      Delete
  2. What a strenuous trip that will surely help build positive birding karma for your next excursion! Excellent closeups of the warblers, Bob! A quick trip to Puerto Rico will yield both the Zenaida Dove and the Grassquit where I have observed them at El Yunque and Cabo Rojo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Hemant. I appreciate your supportive feedback. I'm not sure how I would "report" in this blog such species photographed outside of the confines of the Florida border as a mission has been to photograph all the bird species that live in or pass through the state. I'll ponder the welcome dilemma when the time comes I suppose.

      Delete
  3. looks like you had an amazing week,superb photography.
    Love the Nothern Parula, wow!
    Greetings,
    Maria

    ReplyDelete
  4. What fantastic photos! We are heading to this part of Florida in late March/early April from the UK, so hopefully will be able to track down some of these species you mention!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Steff. I recommend you use the following website to assist with your trip planning . . . https://public.myfwc.com/maps/birdtrip/default.aspx
      Enjoy your visit!

      Delete