The month of August is a good time to investigate the fields, farms and flooded lands of what is described as the Everglades Agricultural Area, in western Palm Beach County. Bill Pranty in his 'A Birders Guide to Florida' (2005) tells us that these flooded fields attract thousands of wading birds, migrating shorebirds and larids. Coveted rare species include uplands sandpiper, buff-breasted sandpiper and Wilson's phalarope. The uplands and buff-breasted sandpipers should appear latter in the month on the sod farms. Today we hoping to find the phalaropes.
|American White Pelicans|
These flooded cane fields were our destination today, as Bob Pelkey and I were in search of these seasonal birds. Our first stop of the day was a visit to the 'cypress stand' along the
at its junction of SR-827, at sunrise. The cypress stand is a noted spot for
barn owls and I've seen some here in the past. But not today. We did see
several Barn Swallows, a couple of Bank Swallows, Meadowlarks, Red-winged
Blackbirds, Tricolored Herons and a calling Bobwhite. Miami Canal
Along CR-827 and the bordering Bolles Canal we had calling King Rail, Green Herons, A Purple Gallinule, Common Gallinule, Common Yellow-Throats, more Bank and Barn Swallows, Killdeer, a Limpkin and a very large Bobcat.
|Bobcat seen in the cane fields|
|Purple Gallinule along the Bolles Canal|
Along US-27 we found a large flooded areas featuring Black and Gull-billed Terns, Black-necked Stilts and American White Pelicans. We also found a Caspian Tern, Solitary Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpipers, Least Sandpiper, Semipalmated Plover and Black-bellied Whistling Ducks.
The Purple Swamphen has just been renamed the Gray-headed Swamphen,
to more accurately describe the particular purple swamphen species seen in south Florida
|Pair of Black Terns|
Our final, and very fruitful stop was a series, of what appeared to be, formerly flooded, but now muddy and wet fields along Brown's
It had to have been this location that two days ago, a pair of 's
phalaropes were reported. We did not find any but there were thousands of birds
present. Waders were here in huge numbers including Wood Storks, Roseate Spoonbills, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, White
Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Tricolored Herons, Green Herons, Cattle Egrets, Great Blue
Herons and Black-crowned Night-herons. Migrating shorebirds included Least and Western Sandpipers, Pectoral
Sandpipers, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Long-billed Dowitchers, Spotted
Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper, American Avocets and hundreds of Black-necked Stilts, many with young
of various stages of growth. Wilson
|American Avocet with Black-necked Stilt|
Others sightings here included Mottled Ducks, American White Pelicans, Bald Eagle, Common Nighthawk, a Black Skimmer, Black Terns, Gull-billed Terns, Barn Swallows, Brown-headed Cowbirds, Red-winged Blackbirds and Boat-tailed Grackles.