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Subject: Cape May Warbler- Alligator Farm- St. Augustine
From: "Thomas J. Dunkerton" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Wed, 29 Mar 2006 21:58:03 EST
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Hey Everybirdy, 
 
  Was up St. Augustine way yesterday and stayed overnight and  decided to hit 
the "Alligator Farm".  While I'm not a fan of coralling  animals, I wanted to 
see the rookery.  While unloading Giacomo from the car  in the parking lot, 
my wife and I heard a Great-crested Flycatcher  calling.  After strolling along 
the boardwalk a while we heard a Northern  Parula up above us by the kid's 
area.  I began scanning the trees for  movement when I happened upon a Cape May 
Warbler (male) high up in the  tree.
  The rookery was nice, not as large as I had anticipated.  Still  some nest 
building going on but did see one Great Egrets nest with a couple of  chicks 
in it.  A first for me was hearing the odd gurgling sound that  courting Snowy 
Egrets make.
 
  Headed south and hit the north entrance to Shiloh Marsh just around  5:30 
p.m.  Of course, it's about 1.7 miles in before the scenery opens up a  bit but 
there was quite a bit of activity along the way, particularly the first  5 
miles or so.  Still a few large flocks of mixed Northern Shovelers and  
Blue-winged Teal and some 100+ White pelicans.  there was a spot or two  where there 
were large flocks of shorebirds but quite a ways back and in need of  a scope 
which we did not have.  It's pretty safe to assume they were mostly  Least 
Sandpipers and Dunlin with some others no doubt but the flock as a whole  must've 
numbered about 4000+.  What we could see would certainly fill any  voids that 
may need to be filled! ;-)
  What we saw:
5+ Marbled Godwits
40+ Willets
100+ Long-billed Dowitchers
10+ Semipalmated Plovers
4+ Black-bellied Plovers
40+ American Avocets
both Yellowlegs everywhere!
1 Bonaparte's Gull
8+ Reddish Egrets
12+ Great Blue Herons
2 Bald Eagles (1 immature)
10+ wilson's Snipe
10+ Mottled Duck
3 Lesser Scaup
1000+ American Coots
20+ Pied-billed Grebes -least amount I've seen out there thus far
1 Roseate Spoonbill
 as well as other expected waders.
 
See you out there!

Thomas J.  Dunkerton
Titusville, FL
_www.pbase.com/boidpikchas_ (http://www.pbase.com/boidpikchas)  

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