Sunday, December 18, 2016

Corkscrew Swamp 12/13--Short-tailed Hawk

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Photos: Shari Zirlin
We journeyed down to Corkscrew Swamp, an Audubon sanctuary, once notorious for its slaughter of egrets for their plumes to be used in hats and now a symbol of the origins of the environmental movement. The swamp itself appears impenetrable, but a long winding boardwalk brings you through its various habitats. We were hoping for Painted Bunting, which Shari and I have seen there the previous times we visited but dipped on that bird. However, after we saw a Pileated Woodpecker, Shari's first for the trip, I looked up into the flock of circling vultures and found one bird that did not fit. Not much of a tail, white underparts, black wing tips: Short-tailed Hawk, a lifer for Mike. Happy to return the favor of my life birds for which Mike is responsible.
Pileated Woodpecker
Another birder, Nan, came along as the three of us were walking the boardwalk and stopped to talk to Shari. She really wasn't seeing many birds she said. Until that point neither were we, but just then the birding picked up a little, and Mike, being the natural-born trip leader that he is, got her on some birds she wouldn't have seen on her own like a Limpkin and a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron. I found her a phoebe and then, while we checking out some flitting warblers what we thought was going to be another Blue-gray Gnatcatcher turned out instead to be a Northern Parula, a bird I don't think she'd ever seen. Nice to get that kind of warbler in December, even if it is common in those environs.
We only managed 26 species for the trip but a lifer and a year bird is always worth the trek.
Wood Stork  1     F/O
Anhinga  5
Great Egret  1
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron  1
White Ibis  2
Black Vulture  2
Turkey Vulture  10
Red-shouldered Hawk  3
Short-tailed Hawk  1
Limpkin  2
Mourning Dove  1     Heard
Red-bellied Woodpecker  5
Downy Woodpecker  1
Pileated Woodpecker  2
Eastern Phoebe  1
Great Crested Flycatcher  1
White-eyed Vireo  5     Heard
Tree Swallow  10     F/O
Carolina Wren  3     Heard
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  4
Gray Catbird  3     Heard
Common Yellowthroat  2     Heard
Northern Parula  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler  1
Common Grackle  1     Heard
American Goldfinch  1     Heard

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