Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A Visit to the Conch Republic and Vicinities - Part 2

Saturday, May 23rd

Saturday morning we headed out very early to make a run all the to Key West by 8:30. Before starting out Florida City,  Bob Pelkey could hear  a calling Chucks-will-Widow. The first bird for the day.

We did reach Ft Zachary Taylor Historical State Park on Key West by 8:30. Noted that there lots of feral jungle fowl (chickens) in the lower Keys. Another non-native that is found here were large numbers of invasive Green Iguanas. Some quite large.

We spent the remainder of the morning birding the park. White-crowned Pigeons were numerous, here and all through the Keys. Also present today were a few Eastern Kingbirds, Grays Kingbirds, Least Terns, Grackles and Magnificent Frigatebirds. Bob was able to add Bald Eagle, Barn Swallow and American Redstart.  

Green Iguana in Key West
 By noon we were heading back toward the Upper Keys. Made a stop at on Middle Torch Road on Summerland Key. Last year, at this spot we were getting good photos of Black-whiskered Vireos. The vireos continue to be active at this location, but today they would stay deep in the brush.  This would prove to a theme for the rest of the day.

White-crowned Pigeon

Part of the moat surrounding the bastions of Ft Zachary Taylor
Least Terns were active all around the fort

I believe that these blossoms are a species of Indian Blanket. Seen at Ft Taylor

Gray Kingbird

Coast Guard Cutter Thetis is stationed out of Key West
Royal Tern
                                                                                                                At the Marathon government center, Least and Roseate Terns have returned to nest up on the roof . 

This Roseate Tern is sporting a set of legs bands
Unable to read the leg bands code 

Roseate Tern

Roseate Tern

Next, at Key Largo, we stopped at Dagny Johnson State Park. This site contains the largest tract Caribbean Hardwood Hammock left in the Keys. We found the park to be very quite. Only heard Northern Cardinals, White-eyed Vireos and a pair of Mangrove Cuckoos. The cuckoos refused to leave the dense hammock for a photo op.

Lastly was a stop at the toll booth on Sound Card Road to look for Cuban Golden Warblers in the mangroves. We could hear the yellow warblers, but could only coax a Prairie Warbler to pose for the camera.

Red Junglefowl (Domestic type)
Magnificent Frigatebird
Double-crested Cormorant
Brown Pelican
White Ibis
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Common Gallinule
Laughing Gull
Least Tern
Roseate Tern
Royal Tern
Rock Pigeon
White-crowned Pigeon
Eurasian Collared-Dove
White-winged Dove
Mourning Dove
Mangrove Cuckoo
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Eastern Kingbird
Gray Kingbird
White-eyed Vireo
Black-whiskered Vireo
Fish Crow
Purple Martin
Northern Mockingbird
Common Myna
European Starling
Yellow Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Boat-tailed Grackle

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