Southern Florida
26 Apr-8 May 2009
by Henry Detwiler

Two great weeks of birding from Key West to Gainesville with expert Swedish birders--what could be more fun!

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized photos.
183 species seen
. Click here for bird checklist.

SATURDAY-SUNDAY, Apr 25-26, 2009

Ft. Jefferson
Avifauna at Ft. Jefferson

Teet and his birders arrived Saturday evening, and we headed down to our motel in Florida City. Early the next morning we were off to the Everglades, where a fine array of beasts and birds awaited us.

American Alligators basked next to Anhingas, some of which were still on nests and feeding their young. Waders were abundant, and at Flamingo we saw many shorebirds, Black Skimmers, and three American Crocodiles. Later that afternoon we headed to Black Point State Park, where we also saw a few manatees.

American Alligator
American Alligators


MONDAY - WEDNESDAY, Apr 27-29, 2009

Gray Kingbird
Gray Kingbird

western spindalis
Western Spindalis

On Monday we drove down to the Keys, getting Black-whiskered Vireo at the Key Largo Botanical Gardens. Once at Key West we made a beeline for Ft. Zachary, where a fine selection of warblers entertained us. Two days later we were back, and scored with this Western Spindalis!

 Black-throated Blue Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler

The boat ride to and from Ft. Jefferson was pretty rough, but the birds were great. We saw Brown and Masked Boobies, Sooty Tern, Brown Noddy, Merlin, Sharp-shinned Hawks, and a host of migrating passerines.

Indigo Bunting
Indigo Bunting in Sea Grape

Magnificent Frigatebird
Magnificent Frigatebird (juvenile)

THURSDAY, Apr 30, 2009


This striking Red-bellied Woodpecker moved through a blooming tree looking for insects.

At Ding Darling NWR on Sannibel Island we were treated to a host of fine birds and other animals. Several raccoons ambled along the shoreline looking for crabs and other delicacies.

red-bellied woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

roseate spoonbill
Roseate Spoonbill

A Brown Anole scampered up this tree and then flashed his dewlap at me several times.

We got excellent looks at a number of shorebirds and waders, including this gorgeous Roseate Spoonbill--one of several which flew over the road before settling down in the bay before us.

Brown Anole
Brown Anole

At Hickey Creek Mitigation Park we located Pine Warblers and two pairs of Florida Scrub Jays. At the magnificent Corkscrew Audubon Sanctuary we enjoyed the cool boardwalk and had wonderful looks at the large and colorful Pileated Woodpeckers. Running about on the muddy pond remnants were several Northern Waterthrushs.


palm warbler
Palm Warbler

FRIDAY-SATURDAY, May 1-2, 2009

At Babcock Wildlife Area we found our first Limpkin, Sandhill Cranes, Brown Thrashers, and heard numerous Chuck-Will's-Widows that evening. Our final morning was spent at Loxahatchee NWR, where we watched Snail and Swallow-tailed Kites, an American Bittern, and our first Purple Gallinules.


purple gallinule
Purple Gallinule

In addition to the beautiful birds were a number of interesting insects, ranging from multicolored grasshopper to damselflies to fancy butterflies.

All too soon, we had to say goodbye to the majority of our Swedish friends. Fortunately, Douglas & Ingegerd and Don & Lena remained for another week of birding this fine state.

great blue heron
Great Blue Heron


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