Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Florida Everglades 2014 - Day 5

This morning’s goal was to get as many parrots as we could.  We picked Bob and Jan up at 7am so that we could get to the parrot roost trees before they took off for the day. So far, we’ve seen Scarlet-fronted, Red-masked, Crimson-fronted, Mitred, Yellow-chevroned, White-winged, Nanday, Green and Monk Parakeets.


The local Audubon group had posted that some Red-whiskered Bulbuls had been spotted around the corner from the tree where we’d seen the parrots.  So, we split up and set off searching every power line in the neighborhood.  Now, those of you who know me, also know that I am blind as a bat, and that my bird ID skills are mediocre at best.  Well, I saw a silhouette on a line that looked like a Blue Jay, but smaller, and put my binocs up and it was the Bulbul!  So, I immediately grabbed my camera and took this photo.
Then, I grabbed my phone practically hysterical; because I was afraid the bird would leave before anyone else could see it and confirm my ID.  So, I texted Jan, “O gpt it,!!!”  Yep, that’s what I typed – and then I dropped my phone – thank God I had just put it in an Otter Box.  As Katlyn would say, I was freaking out!  Dave’s nemesis bird was here and no one else was here to see it!  I grabbed the fallen phone and quickly called Dave and said, “I found it!  Get over here quick!” and I tried to tell him where I was, but it was probably manic garbledy gook.  By the time they arrived, the bird was gone, of course.  But, Dave heard them a block away, and we raced over and he snapped this photo. What a score!!! No more nemesis bird!

Our next destination was the Shark Valley at the northern edge of the Evergladees for Snail Kite.  On the way, Dave heard parrots and we zipped into a parking lot, and as we jumped out of the car he also heard a myna.  We looked around and there was a Common Myna walking toward us in the parking lot!

I don’t think I’ve mentioned that it has been cold here in Florida this week.  Not as cold as at home where the pipes in our house froze when the temperatures in southern Indiana dropped below 0F.  But, it’s still cold for Florida.  It has also been raining off and on and today, I had to wear my leggings under my pants and 4 shirts.  About a mile past the entrance to Shark Valley,

Dave yelled, “Jump out and look to your right!”  We fell out of the car and there flying over our heads was a male Snail Kite – unbelievable!  What a day!  First the bulbul and now the kite!  We’re kicking butt and taking names!

Since we were on the north side of Miami, we decided to try our hand at getting Purple Swamphens.  Outside the library at Pembroke Pines we found this Mottled Duck

and another Limpkin.

We then headed up the street to the Chapel Trail Nature Preserve

to look for Purple Swamphens.  The wind had picked up and it was unbelievably cold.  With rain falling, we started down the boardwalk.  This is a great nature preserve and a really nice boardwalk.  I would love to come back on a nicer day.  Dave found this Swamphen on the left side of the boardwalk, and then we found 3 others.

It was really fun to watch the Swamphens flatten down the plants they were walking on and then feed on young shoots they pulled up.  

This was a stellar day of birding.  We are now at 120 bird species for our trip!

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