Updated: Oct 1, 2020
Work brought me to the Florida gulf coast for a couple of days. In my off hours and the weekend that followed, I managed to see my family as well as go on a birding adventure from Tampa down to the everglades (just barely). I saw a bunch of birds (109 species, including 5 life birds and 32 species I hadn’t seen in FL before), and as always, many provided pretty spectacular up-close looks.
Here are some highlights (loosely chronological):
Lots of loud Limpkins (lifer) at Lettuce Lake park and elsewhere (plus one of my all-time favorite photographs of an American Alligator);
An epic procession of over 400 Magnificent Frigatebirds over Fort De Soto;
A road trip to marshland habitats at Celery Fields and Harns Marsh, the latter hosting at least 10 Sandhill Cranes, many Glossy Ibis, a Purple Gallinule, and other great birds;
A 5-plover morning (Black-bellied, Snowy (lifer), Wilson’s, Semipalmated, and Piping) at Honeymoon Island;
Roseate Spoonbills, Wood Storks, Reddish Egrets, and other awesome waders basically everywhere;
Lots of ducks, especially farther south, that were tantalizingly close to pure Mottled Ducks (a would-be life bird) but all of which appeared to have at least some trace of Mallard parentage; and
Surprisingly good variety of migrant warblers (12 species over the weekend).