Monday, October 5, 2009

Birding Trip to Fort George Island - Jacksonville, Florida

Joined up with a Duval Audubon Society bird tour Saturday, October 3rd on Fort George Island, lead by National Park Service Ranger, Roger Clark. Excellent event. Started at dawn riverside at Kingley Plantation Preserve, over to Ribault Club, then to Huguenot Memorial Park ending at various roadside sites near to New Berlin Road. Had four lifers including Carolina Chickadee, Yellow-Billed Cuckoo, Great Black-Backed Gull and Clapper Rail (only heard several over the course of the day actually). I recorded 84 hits, but the group recorded 105 hits for the day. Ironically our final, but unrecordable birds were three mute swans found on an isolated lake in a half-built out subdivision.

My List for the Day--- Wood Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebe, Brown Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant, Anhinga, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron, Reddish Egret, Cattle Egret, White Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Wood Stork, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Bald Eagle, American Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Clapper Rail, Common Moorhen, Black-bellied Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Spotted Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Willet, Sanderling, Pectoral Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Laughing Gull, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Caspian Tern, Forster's Tern, Royal Tern, Sandwich Tern, Black Skimmer, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Chimney Swift, Belted Kingfisher, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebe, Loggerhead Shrike, White-eyed Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue Jay, American Crow, Fish Crow, Purple Martin, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Swainson's Thrush, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher, European Starling, Tennessee Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, Pine Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Palm Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat, Summer Tanager, Northern Cardinal, Indigo Bunting, Painted Bunting, Common Grackle, Boat-tailed Grackle, Baltimore Oriole

Kingsley Plantation and Ribault Club are a part of Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve which is operated by the National Park Service. On the day we visited the local PBS station ran a documentary they created about this local National Park Service facility to compliment the the rollout of the Ken Burns "National Parks" documentary that PBS is now featuring. Our tour leader for the day was one of the national Park personal interviewed for the program.
The day following the Fort George Island event, my daughter and I ran up into Georgia to Crooked Lake State Park before heading heading back south to Ft Myers. Crooked Lake State park features salt marshes and upland forests.
We stayed for a couple of hours and the best sighting was a Hermit Thrush.
My list - Double-crested Cormorant, Great Egret, White Ibis, Osprey, Cooper's Hawk, Laughing Gull, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebe, Blue Jay, American Crow, Fish Crow, Tree Swallow, Carolina Chickadee, Carolina Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Hermit Thrush, Northern Mockingbird, Eastern Towhee, Northern Cardinal, Boat-tailed Grackle

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