Wanted to do some birding today and the reports of tundra swans in St Johns County, a common eider at Flagler Beach, a masked duck at Veira Wetlands and a La Sagra's Flycatcher in the Everglades National Park were very tempting as Florida Rarities. But the logistics were too difficult as I had some things to attend to in the morning. So I recalled a posting on BirdBrains about Bronzed Cowbirds in Clewiston.
Before heading to Clewiston I had to make a stop up by Lake Placid and did stop a couple of places along the way to bird, including Alva. Here I checked out a dependable location for Red-Headed Woodpecker, which are not common in this area. Next, a few blocks away, the White family of Alva maintances several bird feeders in their front yard, were Painted Buntings, Indigo Buntings, American Goldfinches are often found as well as White-Winged Doves. My Alva list includes - Sandhill Crane, Red-headed Woodpecker, American Crow, Northern Cardinal, Indigo Bunting, Painted Bunting, Eastern Meadowlark, American Goldfinch.After leaving Lake Placid was able to arrive in Clewiston at 2:45pm. I was following these instructions from Ed Kwater as he posted to BirdBrains on November 15th.
This afternoon at around 1.00 pm I found two Bronzed Cowbirds along the Lake Okeechobee levee in Clewiston. They were with two Brown-headed cowbirds. To get to the spot take route 80/27 from South Bay into Clewiston and turn right (north) on Francisco Street. After a couple of blocks turn left onto Hoover Dike and follow this round past a small marina and up onto the levee. The birds were in a line of small oaks at the base of the levee on the bank of the canal below the levee. They were still there when I left at 2.30 pm. They were not very active but were very tame and were calling repeatedly.
I drove directly to the levee and park next a tree were at least two Bronzed Cowbirds were setting with several Brown-Headed Cowbirds and a few Boat-Tailed Grackles. The Bronzed Cowbirds were Lifer #275 for me. I plan to return next month to seek them out for my 2010 year list as they will probably move along in the Spring. My Clewiston list includes - Double-crested Cormorant, Anhinga, White Ibis, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Ring-billed Gull, Rock Pigeon, Belted Kingfisher, Fish Crow, Palm Warbler, Common Grackle, Boat-tailed Grackle, Bronzed Cowbird, Brown-headed Cowbird