Another Dade County Trip
Monday, March 15th
Wanted to take another stab at the Smooth-Billed Ani in the Everglades and the LaSagre Flycatcher at Key Biscayne. Started with a venture to Kendell for exotics, then over to Bill Baggs State Park for the flycatcher. Next to Mathesion Hammock Park for warblers and exotics. Followed with a stop in Florida City for Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, then to Lucky Hammock and the Everglades. A long day.
My goal here was to search the neighborhood north of the Kendell Baptist Hospital for Red-Whiskered Bulbuls. Was advised to try about 8:30am as the birds should be seen sunning themselves on wires and roof tops. Patrolled the neighborhood for about forty five minutes. Found shrikes, grackles, monk parakeets and flyovers of mitre parakeets, but no bulbuls. Checked the hospital campus were a great many red-Masked and Mitre Parakeets were active. The pond had a great many Muscovy Ducks, Ring-Billed Gulls and White Ibis. Of note was a Broad-Winged Hawk seen earlier along Krone Ave near Pembroke Pines.
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park - Key Biscayne
Arrived on site for the LaSagre Flycatcher about 10:30am, but failed to observe very much bird life at all.
The flycatcher was a no-show for the hour I spent here. The only other noteworthy bird on-hand was Northern Parula. See this link for a more successful viewing the day before - Caribbean Visitors, by an expert birder.
Matheson Hammock County Park - Coral Gables
Homestead - Everglades
Tried the scissor-tailed flycatcher roost in mid-afternoon in Florida City, but only found Loggerhead Shrikes and Mockingbirds. In Homestead I did find a single Common Myna. Headed over to Lucky Hammock, which is on Aerojet Road just east of the entrance to Everglades National Park. Was expecting to find a few raptors, hoping for Swainson's and short-tailed Hawks. It was very quite. Did find Cardinals and Gray Catbirds. A Great Crested Flycatcher was very active at the hammock. Did get to see a Red-Shouldered hawk, Northern Harrier and a white-morphed Short Tailed Hawk. Tried help some folks from Wisconsin relocate the short-tailed hawk, but it did not return before I left.
Headed into the park with goal of locating the Smooth-Billed Ani seen regularly on the Anhinga Trail at Royal Hammock. Had been informed that it wa regularly showing up later in the day, about 6pm. Had a little time so went to Mrazek Pond to see if and Pintails were still around. They were not. Only a few Blue-Winged Teal were present. Also tried for the Barred Owls at Mahogany Hammock. But they to were a no show. Ran into a couple who said they had seen the baby owls the past to days and were disappointed not to be able to get any photos today. So my bad luck has continued. Does not look good for the Ani.
Spent two hours at the Ani site at Royal Hammock till it was getting dark. Meet a fella from Kansas who was also disappointed on missing the bird. He spent most of the day here and had been told that the bird was present earlier.
Headed for home with my total hits on my target birds at zero. Gave Lucky Hammock one last try as Lesser Nighthawks, Short-faced Owls and a Barn Owl have been present at dusk. I may have heard a distant whip-per-will, but was not sure. Nothing else was seen.
A long long day.