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November 28, 2008

Today I birded with Paul, Carol and Ellie, we birded my yard, s.w. 312 st. and 212 ave.,C-111 canal, briefly Lucky Hammock, Everglades as well as Dump Marsh.  We had some nice birds today with good looks at most of them.  My yard had three Ruby-throated Hummingbirds but none of the hoped for cowbirds that I have had.  We had great looks at two Scissor-tailed Flycatchers along s.w. 312 st. near s.w. 212 ave.  One was a nice adult with a really long pretty tail, the other seemed to be a young bird.  We also had great looks at an immature Broad-winged Hawk.  Tricia came by to also see the Scissor-tailed Flycatchers and to bring my son Philip a really cool bird toy, thanks Tricia!   At the C-111 canal we had a soaring light morph Swainson's Hawk, we did not stay to look for more.  We also had great looks at the Yellow-headed Blackbird.  We did a quick drive by of Lucky Hammock and saw what may have been another Swainson's Hawk way off to the west side of the farm field.  We went into the Everglades to search for the Rusty Blackbird, we were not able to find it. 

The above photo was taken on Sunday November 23, 2008

While looking at Mrazek Pond in the Everglades, a calling Pine Siskin flew over.  This was a most unexpected bird that I have not seen in Florida before.  There was a nice assortment of ducks at Mrazek Pond, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Lesser Scaup, American Wigeon.  There was also American Coot, Pied-billed Grebes, Moorhens as well as some more common waders.  We ate lunch in Flamingo enjoying looks at one of the American Crocodiles.  After lunch we cruised around Flamingo looking for other cool birds.  We had both dark and light morph Short-tailed Hawk and the standard always present Red-shouldered Hawks. 

From the Everglades we headed to Dump Marsh, Roberto Torres called to say that there was as Snow Goose as well as the Tropical Kingbird.  While we were still in the truck we saw a Loggerhead Shrike land on the fence next to us.  It had a Shrew in it's beak that it promptly impaled on barbwire!

 We walked to the back side of the water treatment plant and saw the immature Snow Goose. 

We searched high and low for the Tropical Kingbird but could no locate it.  There were Cave Swallows flying over the old landfill to the west of the water treatment plant.  While we were looking at the Snow Goose, all of the birds started to take flight.  I knew that there must have been an eagle or peregrine around.  While using Mr. Paul's beautiful lens, I was able to take photos of an incoming Bald Eagle that spooked the goose as well as the other birds.
The Bald Eagle landed near the south end of the marsh, it looked like it came in for a drink.  It then departed, not long after that the Snow Goose flew back in allowing us to take some nice flight shots.

It was a wonderful day of birding with great people, it could have been good for a celebratory libation of a beer, I think Paul, Carol and Ellie decided that 7&7 may have been the better choice!!


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