Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Arrived just at sunrise at Babcock-Webb Wildlife Management Area in Charlotte County, with the intention of locating the endemic Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers. Babcock-Webb contains a population of these endangered birds which are best found around their nest holes either at sunrise or sunset. These nest hole trees are well labeled with white rings painted on the tree trunks as well as the nest colonies being mapped out for those seeking this rare bird. My last four trips to Babcock-Webb had been fruitful in locating multiple RCW sightings. I have to thank Jeff Bouton for his informative emails on how best to find the birds. First step is to be at the nest sight at sunrise and then to listen closely for the squeaky voice of the emerging birds.

Upon arrival at BW the bird life was already vocal and active. Least Terns were seen harassing Sandhill Cranes on an island in Webb Lake and Common Nighthawks, Bachman's Sparrows, Eastern Towhees, Pine Warblers, Bobwhites and Eastern Meadowlarks and be heard as I drove to the nearest RCW colony site, which had been so fruitful for me. However, today I was not able to locate any of the woodpeckers. Thought that I could hear, very faintly, a RCW vocalize, but was not able to find the bird.

Other good sightings at BW today were several Bald Eagles (adults and juveniles), a Greater Yellowlegs on Webb Lake and a couple of Brown-Headed Nuthatches. Besides missing the RCW, I also had the eastern kingbird and Florida kestrel on my wish list for this visit, but did not have any sightings.

My count at BW today was 36:
Species List: Northern Bobwhite, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Sandhill Crane, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Least Tern, Mourning Dove, Common Ground-Dove, Common Nighthawk, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Great Crested Flycatcher, Loggerhead Shrike, Blue Jay, Purple Martin, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Eastern Bluebird,
Northern Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher, Pine Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Eastern Towhee, Bachman's Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, Eastern Meadowlark, Common Grackle andBoat-tailed Grackle
Full-screen Babcock Webb WMA, Charlotte County, Flor Latitude = 26.828819 Longitude = -81.964230

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