Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Arizona (No), Florida (Yes)

It is day 26 late in the evening, and I am not in Arizona yet because at the 11th hour last Sunday nite (it was actually just that, 11 PM), I decided to take a detour into south Florida to try to pick up the 2 life birds that I missed the 1st week of January. And I am very happy to say that this morning I picked up first the La Sagra's flycatcher that has been hanging out at Bill Baggs State Park on Key Biscayne for the last week or so. And as has been the pattern so far this year, I was joined by birders from Boston (MA), Seattle (WA), and Jonesboro (AR). For all of us it was a life bird (again for non-birders, that means the 1st time you see a species). One or two La Sagra's show up in Florida annually.

Then I made a few stops in route to another key location where I was able to see (picture above) a red-footed booby. In December this bird was brought in injured to the Pelican Harbor Seabird Station, a rehab center here in Miami, and then was released after it recovered. The bird continues to return at times during the day when the rehab center feeds its injured birds, and this now healthy booby is still taking advantage of the food available. The red-footed booby is normally seen only occasionally in the Dry Tortugas which are located 70 miles west of Key West, Fl. While checking out the booby, I also met 4 birders who are "snowbirds" here in Florida.

I finished up my day having dinner at a cuban restaurant which proved to be a good "local" food choice. I had a perfectly seasoned piece of grilled red snapper accompanied by some delicious black beans and a seasoned rice. I finished the meal with a tasty flan.

I will be birding here again tomorrow, and then I will head over to Arizona in the evening. The bird count for the week is now up to 58 species, the YTD number is now 212, and new life birds YTD are up to 5. Stay tuned!

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