I got down to Everglades National Park for Friday and Saturday, camping at Long Pine Key. Some of the more interesting birds seen were Orchard Oriole, Blackburnian Warbler, and Shiny Cowbird
On Friday morning at the Lucky Hammock "annex" five FOTS Orchard Orioles were seen along with three "empids", none called or sang but the one I saw the best looked like an Acadian Flycatcher. Other birds seen in that area included my FOTS Ovenbird, and about twenty Banks and a couple of Cliffs among about a hundred Barn Swallows on wires between Lucky Hammock and the "annex".
At Royal Palm Hammock nothing much of interest was seen on Anhinga Trail then a long heavy thunderstorm curtailed birding for the next few hours and I never got to check Gumbo Limbo Trail or Old Ingraham Highway. The most interesting birds seen along Research Road as the rain tapered off were five Purple Martins sitting on a wire, these were the first martins I've seen in the last few weeks.
In the Long Pine Key area the Liguus Tree Snails were active on this wet gray afternoon. An Eastern Screech Owl called from the hammock northeast of the campground and in the pines family groups of Eastern Bluebirds, Pine Warblers, Eastern Towhees, and Brown-headed Nuthatches were all around as Northern Bobwhites called from nearby. Eastern Nighthawks had been conspicuously absent despite the wet dark weather but at about seven PM several rose from the pinewoods and headed eastward, during the next hour about sixty nighthawks passed over the campground heading east, only a couple called and then only once or twice. After this flight no more were seen or heard and I believe those seen during the sunset flight were departing migrants.
Saturday morning at Mahogany Hammock there were a few common early fall warblers including a first fall male Blackburnian Warbler that was a FOTS. Eastern Kingbirds were numerous in and around the hammock feeding on Strangler Fig and Poisonwood fruit and many more were seen along the main road between Mahogany Hammock and West Lake apparently feeding in the Poisonwoods along the road.
About a dozen White-crowned Pigeons were seen along the highway between Nine Mile Pond and Snake Bight Road but none were seen in the Flamingo area. A brief check along the first few hundred yards of Snake Bight Road turned up seven species of warbler including Prothonotary and my FOTS Black-throated Blue.
At Flamingo a pair of Shiny Cowbirds was easy to find as they fed with a flock of Brown-headed Cowbirds along the main road between the Marina and Visitors Center turnoffs. Eco Pond is still closed but a Gull-billed and several Black Terns could be seen from behind the barricade hunting over the pond. Several Pectoral Sandpipers were in the flooded area north of the marina and west of the bridge along with a few Lesser Yellowlegs and peeps.
Bear Lake Road is closed to motor vehicles and probably will be until at least late December. A hike down the road and trail turned up Yellow Warblers near the north end of Bear Lake Road and a nice mix of warblers in the middle section including a Worm-eating Warbler. Near the north end of the road I saw my FOTS Summer Tanager. Bear Lake Trail was as overgrown as I've ever seen but is walkable thanks to fishermen who have kept some semblance of a path open, besides three Chuck-wills-widows nothing of interest was seen on the trail that wasn't seen on the road.
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