Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Northern Pintail - Cockroach Bay Road

Tuesday January 25th

   My original plans for today was to visit Everglades National Park, Lucky Hammock and other sites in Dade County. Some species I was targeting included Short-tailed Hawks, White-tailed Kites, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Purple Gallinule, Common Myna, White-crown Pigeon and Smooth-billed Ani.  But the timing was not right, needed to stay closer to home. So elected to bird Babcock-Webb Wildlife Management Area.

Hunting Scoreboard at the check-in at Babcock-Webb
    Got on site at Babcock around 7am.  The place was very quite.  After spending the whole morning birding I missed out on locating the red-cockaded woodpeckers. Other more commonly seen species were missed or only heard including eastern meadowlarks, eastern towhees, house wrens and ibis'. Did get five warblers including large numbers of Yellow-rumped and Pine Warblers.  Also seen were a few Palm Warblers, single looks at a Common Yellowthroat and a Prairie Warbler. A couple of these large mixed flocks also had a few Brown-headed Nuthatches, Eastern Bluebirds and Downy Woodpeckers. Three pairs of Sandhill Cranes were seen and several Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets found throughout the wildlife area. Found my largest flock of American Robins to date with around eighteen foraging in a live oak grove. Found the first River Otter I have ever seen at Babcock-Webb. Also saw a sunning Black Racer and American Alligator.
My List -(36)
Pied-billed Grebe,Wood Stork, Anhinga, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron, Turkey Vulture, Red-shouldered Hawk, American Kestrel, Sandhill Crane, Killdeer, Mourning Dove, Common Ground-Dove, Belted Kingfisher, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebe, Loggerhead Shrike, Blue Jay, Tree Swallow, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Pine Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Palm Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Savannah Sparrow,Northern Cardinal, Eastern Meadowlark, Boat-tailed Grackle

   Well the Babcock-Webb trip was okay but not great.  So instead of heading home I chose to extend the trip after all by heading north to Cockroach Bay Road up on Tampa Bay. A recent report had canvasback duck, american pipits and potential american black duck here. Arriving about noon to find heavy winds as a part of an on coming winter storm front. The first mitigation pond appeared empty.  But a quick scan revealed a lot of hunkered down birds. An immature Bald Eagle rose from one of the islands to the discomfort of many of the waterfowl, which also rose into the air. I was able to easily spot a male Northern Pintail along with many Lesser Scaups, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler and American Coots. Further observation revealed a female Canvasback duck, plus was able to add Lesser Yellowlegs, Long-billed Dowitcher and Ring-billed Gull. The second pond was able to add two American Black Ducks, many Mottled Ducks, two Forster's Terns, several Green-winged Teal, a couple of Mallards and a couple of Gadwell.  The Cockroach Bay Preserve lake further down the road was able to add Ring-necked Duck, Hooded Merganser, Osprey, Northern Harrier, Brown-headed Cowbirds and Roseate Spoonbill. The extended trip to Cockroach Bay, allowed me to add thirteen species of waterfowl, but I did miss on the expected black-bellied whistling duck.
   After my two hour drive home, made a final check on the ponds on Domestic Street were I was able to add the Black-bellied Whistling Duck as a juvenile flew in as I was scoping the coots, lesser scaups and ring-necked ducks present here.

My List (41) -
Northern Shoveler, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Hooded Merganser, Anhinga, American White Pelican, Great Egret, Little Blue Heron, Cattle Egret, Glossy Ibis, Gadwall, Mallard, Mottled Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal ,Canvasback, Pied-billed Grebe, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Snowy Egret, White Ibis,  Black Vulture, American Kestrel, American Coot, Killdeer, Lesser Yellowlegs, Long-billed Dowitcher, Ring-billed Gull, Forster's Tern, Tree Swallow, Northern Mockingbird, Palm Warbler, Common Grackle, Roseate Spoonbill, Brown-headed Cowbird, Northern Harrier, Osprey, Bald Eagle, American Kestrel, Sandhill Cranes

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