Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Finally a Spot-breasted Oriole
This morning I picked up my friend at 9:15 AM at the Miami airport, and we headed over to the Baptist Hospital area again to search for the spot-breasted oriole. As we were slowly driving down the street I noticed a guy with a large camera lens looking up in a tree. I pulled over and said, "you don't happen to have a spot-breasted oriole in that tree?". He said that in fact he did. We jumped out and were able to get the top photo above. This made for a fine beginning to our day. My friend also got to see a red-whiskered bulbul and hill mynas.
We drove on down to Everglades NP for an afternoon of birding. It was warm but not too humid with a mild breeze and mostly sunshine. We surprisingly saw only 1 swallow-tailed kite (bottom photo above). While looking for a bronzed cowbird we found 4 shiny cowbirds mixed in with the brown-headeds. We also saw some marbled godwits and willets with an almost full plumage black-bellied plover and a turnstone that was only partly shifted over to its summer garb.
At Anhinga we got a short glimpse of the smooth-billed ani before it flew off. Overall, there were far fewer birds there than earlier in the year when I had made other visits. At dusk we found a hunting barn owl, and several chuck-will's-widows.
12 new birds were seen for this week of which 2 were new birds for the year--spot-breasted oriole and chuck-will's-widow. Tomorrow we start very early to drive the 2 hours down to Sugar Loaf Key to look again for a mangrove cuckoo. Stay tuned!