Thursday, January 14, 2010


Bronzed Cowbird

Bronzed Cowbird - note the red eye
This cold spell, along with a minor ailment, had kept me from doing very much birding for the past few days. On Tuesday the 12th, temperatures were rising up to the 50s, so I went to Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary hoping for painted buntings and warblers. Arrived about 11:00am and the parking lot was already rather full. Found that the freeze had burned much of their butterfly garden. Spent about two hours and had some good sightings including a male Painted Bunting and an Ovenbird at the bunting house. There was also a good variety of warblers like American Redstarts, Palm, Yellow-Rumped, Norther Parula, Black & White and Common Yellowthroat. There was a large mixed flock of American Robins and Common Grackles just past the ponds. My list includes --Anhinga, Great Egret, Little Blue Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, White Ibis, Wood Stork, Red-shouldered Hawk, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Great Crested Flycatcher, White-eyed Vireo, Blue-headed Vireo, Carolina Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Northern Parula, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Pine Warbler, Palm Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Common Yellowthroat, Painted Bunting, Common Grackle

I had been very keen to try and relocate the Bronzed Cowbirds in Clewiston, so I left right from work on Wednesday, the 13th, morning to find them. I really should have gone home and get my sleep, but I wanted to collect a hit on the cowbirds for my new year count, before they dispersed. Arrived at the levee park in Clewiston about 9:00am and the temp had to be about 45 degrees, but no cowbirds were about. Figured that I would wait a reasonable time and was rewarded with a few nice ticks. Like the pair of limpkins that flew down the channel and the sora that kept calling from the marsh on the opposite side of the channel. Lots of gulls and a lone royal tern, plus brown pelicans and cormorants. Then the cowbirds arrived. Found a red eyed Bronzed Cowbird who was not to cooperative in getting his photo taken. Another all black cowbird may have been a shiny cowbird as I it seemed to lack the red eyes of the bronzed, but I could not get a definitive look. My Clewiston list - Pied-billed Grebe, Brown Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant, Anhinga, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, White Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Northern Harrier, Sora, Limpkin, Killdeer, Laughing Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Royal Tern, Rock Pigeon, Belted Kingfisher, Fish Crow, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Boat-tailed Grackle, Bronzed Cowbird, Brown-headed Cowbird

On the way home I rechecked the feeders in Alva and a nice chat with the home owners, who invited me to attend a scheduled birding event in March. Was able to Add Indigo Buntings and White-Winged Doves.

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