I made the drive to St Marks today in hopes of encountering a fallout ahead of the approaching front. I ended up with 101 species which isn't bad considering warblers were almost non-existent. I started at Tiger Hammock Rd in just after sunrise. First up was a Willow Flycatcher calling just beyond the end of the pavement. At the powerline right-of-way there were 3-6 chats being very vocal. Actually getting a decent look at one took about an hour. Many birds were singing and calling in the area but almost none were visible. They weren't even moving about much.
At St Marks, the large number of teal present last Thursday were gone. Only one bird was seen. I did not see a single pied-billed grebe or least bittern and herons in general were scarce. A merlin was seen perched in a dead tree just north of the Lighthouse Pool. An Acadian Flycatcher was singing in the dried up swamp just south of the visitor's center (and just north of the 2 bridges).
I was not able to locate either the phalarope or the white-faced ibis (I saw no ibis all day). Shorebird numbers at the Tower Pond were down from last week but still respectable. Only 5 yellowlegs were seen. The best bird in the pond was a Baird's Sandpiper feeding with a small group of Dunlin near the observation platform.
At the lighthouse, early in the morning, I found 1 Cape May warbler feeding in the grass. Common Yellowthroat was the only warbler occurring in any number. Next was Blackpoll with 3 birds seen individually throughout the day, all in the tower area. Two Black-and-White's were also see at different times. A few Parula's were singing in different areas. One Black-throated Blue was found just before sundown. The highlights were on Blue-winged, seen around noon in the company of a Blackpoll, and a nice male Magnolia seen around 6 pm. All were in the Tower Trail area.
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