Orlando Week 3

Post interesting sightings here - note: Do NOT post grid references for breeding birds - thank you.

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Imber Eye
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Location: Potterne
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Orlando Week 3

Postby Imber Eye » Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:21 pm

The week has quickly passed and I find myself in the office from early to late. I even was working through the England game and judging by the radio commentary on ESPN I was better off testing Standard Repair Actions than watching the game. I will be watching the game this morning though. I was beginning to despair about my hotel list but I have now added great White Egret. There are some other species tantalising close but not quite close enough. Bird watching was left to the weekend only. On Saturday I went to 3 Lakes Wildlife Management Area then followed Joe Overstreet to the end; any further and I would be swimming in Lake Kissimmee (which is nowhere near the town of Kissimmee). As ever it was a long hot day with no respite. The day started well with Wood duck on the lake as I turned onto the freeway near the hotel. It was also very good on arrival at 3 Lakes. As I was trudging down the track a car pulled alongside and a very nice lady asked if I was here for the birds. It turned out she works and lives on the WMA. She kindly pointed out the tree where the Red-cockaded Woodpecker had a nest this year where the young had recently fledged and also tuned me in to the Bachman Sparrow. Now I did not see the woodpecker and I think I had a brief glimpse of the sparrow so a bit of a dip though I did search around for a long time. There were plenty of Mockingbirds, some Red-bellied Woodpeckers but I already ticked them. There were plenty of Bobwhite calls and Eastern Towhees but no matter where I walked in the area there were no recently fledged black and white woodpeckers! They weren’t there when I tried later as well. I did make up for it with a Red-headed Woodpecker and lots of Bluebirds. I even saw a Barred Owl by a creek. I also spotted a particularly large gator in a river that had looked very inviting for a swim or paddle; it lost its attraction once I spotted that head! I did get to have spectacular views of Swallow-tailed Kites and Great Crested Flycatcher at different locations. En route I met a party of 4 which include a very old lady (even by my standards) and I met them again at the end of Joe Overstreet. It turns out she heads up the Seminole County Audubon Society; a useful contact when things turn to desperation. The highlight of the day was at the end of the road. In a tree there were two juvenile Bald Eagles (I had seen an adult high in the sky earlier) and in the water surrounded by Sandhill Cranes were 2 Whooping Cranes. I celebrated with yet another bottle of water especially as a Purple Gallinule also put in a brief appearance. On Sunday I went out on a boat ride around LakeToho with my friend Bill and some of the team. On the island we found a Great Horned Owl and a few houses down from Bill’s there were some young Screech Owls. On Shingle Creek there was a Limpkin attacking a large snail which are the food for Snail Kites (for the first time there was not one around). As usual there were Ospreys in all directions and a Bald Eagle put in an appearance flying around. We curtailed the trip as the storms around looked like one would head our way. It did but as we headed north we only managed a few drops unlike Saturday night where a 10m dash from the car to the door resulted in a complete drenching. The storms are just something to be seen with lots of thunder and lightning with very heavy rain. Total species seen now stands at 71.

Wandering Tattler
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Location: Beverley, East Yorkshire
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Orlando Birding

Postby Wandering Tattler » Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:34 am

Andrew,

Sounds as though you have made some real progress this week! Reference the Cockaded Woods, they often nest in loose colonies of a few pairs. They also have the habit of rising early and then roaming all day. Best time to see the birds appears to be dawn and dusk at their nest sites, which are normally marked with obvious painted markings in Florida. Reference the Whooping Cranes, I would check on the birds' credentials, as they should now be in northern Canada. There are/have been some reintroduction schemes in the USA, with mixed success as they used foster Sandhills in the early days and the young birds then tried mating with Sandhills on which they were imprinted. I believe most sources believe that the wild Canadian birds mostly winter in Texas. I would love to be wrong because it would be great if these rare birds were now doing well in the wild. Good luck with the woodies, persistence will be worth it!

Tim


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