I realise that after one week the number of species was looking rather limited. I therefore decided to do something about it. Wednesday night we held a BBQ at the hotel for the Brit team. The hotel provided the BBQ , beans, beer and wine and we provided the meat and chef. The only bird was an Osprey flying over with a large amount of Spanish Moss in its claws; not the positive start you might have expected. I already had that on my list so I will have to do better. On Thursday night I went to see a friend who has a house on the bank of Lake Tohopekaliga near Kissimmee. On the way there I added Meadowlark. On the island outside the house the young egrets were busy flapping their wings getting ready to fly. I did not get time to add much more as I spent the evening inside the house; there is plenty of time to get the birds when we go out on the boat next weekend. However the list was not moving on so on Friday morning I did a good session around the hotel and saw lots of Grackles and nothing new except for a small alligator in the pond which I can see out of my window. It was only a very small one but mummy cannot be too far away! Whilst on the subject of gators I visited Lake Jessup on Saturday morning. As I drove across the long bridge crossing the lake I saw more gators in the water and Ospreys perched on posts. I was driving to a small wildlife area with a public boat launch. After a quick scope of the water and reeds (more herons, egrets and crackles) I spent a good hour plus near the car park. Here is a small mixed wood of palm and old trees. There were several Red-bellied Woodpeckers which were very noisy. I then stalked other noises and eventually had a good view of a Pileated Woodpecker. It was the pings and cheaps that were more difficult to see but eventually I had brief views of a White-eyed Vireo skulking in the top of the canopy picking insects off leaves. I also added a new bird for my Florida list – Northern Rough-winged Swallow which sat on the nearby wires. Saturday afternoon was spent in the Tilted Kilt http://www.tiltedkilt.com/index.php?itemid=19
watching the football game in a fantastic atmosphere. Not the bird watching you might expect. I left deflated. On Sunday I visited Merritt Island (my second favourite site) and spent several hours on the Black Point wildlife drive http://www.fws.gov/merrittisland/Drive.html
. I saw several Reddish Egrets dancing and in one location saw Least and Forster’s Terns as well as Semiplamated Plovers and Sandpipers. There were plenty of Black-necked Stilts, Killdeer, Spoonbills, egrets and herons. I decided against a walk through the woods on the Island due to mosquitoes attacking as soon as I entered the trail though they did taste blood. I did take time to see the Manatees which are found in the Haulover Canal; fortunately they were resting in the shallows at their favourite point. The species list now stands at 54 which is slightly more respectable and possibly difficult to add to.