Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ft DeSoto Park

On Monday, September 21, 2009 my daughter Melissa and I traveled up to St Petersberg from Ft Myers to bird Ft DeSoto Park. The park is on Mullet Key near to the Skyline Bridge in Tampa Bay. We had a good birding day back last April during the spring migration. We missed out on having a great day like when birders hit the island during a "Fall-Out" of large flocks of exhausted migrants. But we did OK especially with the ficus tree at the headquarters building. Our list for that day included Mottled Duck, Red-breasted Merganser, Brown Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant, Magnificent Frigatebird, Great Egret, White Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Osprey, American Coot, Black-bellied Plover, Willet, Marbled Godwit, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Least Sandpiper, Dunlin, Short-billed Dowitcher, Laughing Gull, Least Tern, Common Tern, Royal Tern, Mourning Dove, Common Ground-Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Fish Crow, Tree Swallow, Gray Catbird, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Palm Warbler, American Redstart, Kentucky Warbler, Hooded Warbler, Summer Tanager, Northern Cardinal, Indigo Bunting, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Boat-tailed Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, Orchard Oriole, House Sparrow

But as for a good fall migration day we seemed to be a bit early and had zero luck with only finding a few Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers, a few eastern Kingbirds and a couple of Gray Kingbirds. However the shorebirds were very good. We easily found the resident Long-Billed Curlew and was happy to locate Caspian Terns at both the East Beach and North Beach locations. We don't see Caspian Terns down in Lee County. In fact I hit it as my lifer just last February over at STA-5 in Hendry County. It was a good day with terns with five species. It would have been nice to locate a Black Tern, but it is probably already too late in the season. I thought that I had a Lesser Black-Backed Gull at North Beach, but could not get a good viewing, but did have one perched on a pole road-side as we were leaving for the day. Again these gulls don't come further south to Lee County, so it was a good catch.

My list for this visit - Brown Pelican, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, White Ibis, Wood Stork, Black-bellied Plover, Wilson's Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Willet, Long-billed Curlew, Marbled Godwit, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Laughing Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Caspian Tern, Common Tern, Forster's Tern, Royal Tern, Sandwich Tern, Mourning Dove, Belted Kingfisher, Pileated Woodpecker, Eastern Kingbird, Gray Kingbird, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, European Starling


  1. Tom, It's quite exciting to have found a fellow bird enthusiast so active as yourself in the SWF area. I hope to meet up with you sometime soon. Noting your comment in your very entertaining blog that you have not seen the Caspian Tern in Lee County, I'd like to inform you that I observed it at Lovers Key State Park in late April 2008. You may see my photograph of it at my pbase site (easily found by clicking "tree view" in the upper right of the pbase page).

  2. Tom, I been given a tip of the wild "green macaw" that is possibly commonly seen on Cape Coral. I think the bird may actually be the Chestnut-fronted Macaw. I'll let you know if I find it.