Orlando Week 6

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

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Imber Eye
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 8:08 am
Location: Potterne

Orlando Week 6

Postby Imber Eye » Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:07 pm

This was a slow week though I had to put the miles in to get the target bird. Not only did I spend hours in a car I also had to tab in to be greeted by lots of Meadow Larks but no target bird. Saturday had started very early to get to Three Lakes ready for Red-cockaded Woodpecker as daylight beckoned. Not a sight of one nor even a glimpse of the Bachman’ Sparrows that were singing around me. Bearing in mind it was a very tiring Friday I was not amused. I then headed further south to Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park. On the road leading to the park I spied a couple of Crested Caracaras. The park used to be a bombing range. It is a massive area with one short road from the entrance to the camp site and office. It has one of the dry prairie habitats on the Florida trail as well as the normal swamp and wetland. The bombing range is now further west. I asked the ranger on duty where I might find some of the birds I was looking for and he pointed me in a direction to where there is a fence line. A couple of snakes, a gator, and several species I had seen before was not what I was after so I gave up as the noon day sun was taking its toll. Last week I was excited by Nighthawks but here they were sat on posts. It actual was not a final given up as I crawled by the farmer’s cattle fields as I drove out of the Park looking at all the fence posts. There on a post on one of the fence lines was the target bird – a Burrowing Owl which also put on a short flight for me before disappearing into the grass. The Grasshopper Sparrow was also a no show but then again there aren’t many there and most of the area where I walked was not really suitable habitat. The ranger had not seen one – definitely not a birder. I then pushed my luck for anything else turning up by travelling further south to Lake Okeechobee mainly just to have a look but besides a lot of egrets and other water birds there was nothing special. At the northern end of the lake there is a large viewing platform which has been built out over the water. In the winter I imagine it would be great place to view wildfowl amongst the plants growing on the water. There was a massive egret roost off to one side which must be a sight at dusk. Having been out in the middle of no-where I decided for a more suburban approach and visited Mead Gardens in Orlando. This was a lovely park complete with a stream, gardens, and a mix of trees and of course swamp with one remaining boardwalk still used. There used to be a large network but it has been cut off and is now overgrown. There were quite a few birds including Pileated Woodpecker and a family of Tufted Titmouse but not a sight of a Hummingbird which according to the list supposedly nests in the Gardens. There were some very nice houses around the Park which could have an interesting garden list. I did see Daisy Duck this week but I suppose I cannot include her. The list according to my records is now 89 species; a frustrating number.

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