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Subject: Weekend trip from Sarasota to Punta Gorda
From: Judy Fisher <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Judy Fisher <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 17 Jan 2008 13:10:57 -0500
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Spent the weekend birding from Sarasota to Punta Gorda with Justin.

Started at Pinecraft Park for the Bell's Vireo which eventually was seen
after waiting with a group of other birders.

Ackerman Park (stopped both days, Pranty page 139) produced 17 Glossy Ibis,
9 Savannah Sparrow, Limpkin, Black-crowned Night-heron, 2 Ruddy Duck.  At
the Celery Fields, in the closest pond to the Gazebo was a Lesser
Yellowlegs.  Also, lots of Tree Swallows, Black-belled Whistling Duck,
Ring-necked Duck and one Blue-winged Teal.

Being the weekend, we only stayed a short time at Myakka River State Park
looking for the Ani and Pipit.  No Ani or Pipit but saw Long-billed
Dowitcher, Killdeer and Hooded Merganser.

Next, stop was in Punta Gorda, on Colony Point Drive where we watched two
very close Burrowing Owl by stopping along the road and without getting out
of the car. (Pranty page 191)

On to Babcock-Webb WMA (Pranty page 188) and onto Oilwell Grade.  Beyond the
RCW wooden sign on the left and the marked tree on the right, we found some
activity at the intersection of the first right turn to Crooked Lake.  Here
we had a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, several Brown-headed Nuthatch in with the
Pine Warblers.  We looked for other flocks and headed back to the RCW wooden
sign and the marked tree mentioned above.  We sat quietly on stools and at
5:25pm 2 Red-cockaded Woodpecker came into the area, one stopping in the
trees close to the hole and the other flying over our heads and in a ways
probably close to one of the other marked trees.  We concentrated on
watching the marked tree and hole on the side opposite the road from the RCW
wooden sign.  They called back and forth but stayed out of sight until at
5:30pm one of the birds flew right into the hole we were watching without
pausing to give us good looks.

We came back the next morning and watched the hole again.  At 7:15am, the
bird came out and spent 15 minutes working the area trees before flying
across the road and flying out of sight.  We birded along Oilwell Grade and
Tram Road and found more Pine Warbler, Brown-headed Nuthatch, lots of
Robins, Common Yellowthroat, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Eastern Meadowlark, Bald
Eagle, Phoebe, Ground-Dove.  When we came back through Oilwell Grade, we
stopped again at the turn mentioned above to Crooked Lake.  This time we
found 2 Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Pine Warbler and 1-2
Grasshopper Sparrow.

Hoping to find  Hairy Woodpecker, we traveled a little further down rt 41 to
the Yucca Pens Unit (map available from Babcock-Webb).  Looked for Hairy
Woodpecker on the short drive to the entrance.  Not finding any, we drove
the dirt road to the left just after reaching the pay station.  We didn't
find any Hairy Woodpecker but we did find another Red-cockaded and another
Brown-headed Nuthatch.

Ended up back at the Celery Fields, where at 4:15pm an owl that might have
been a Short-eared flew across from left to right, too far out from the
Gazebo to be sure.  After that, several people showed up with loose dogs.
At 5pm, a Barn Owl flew right to left but didn't stay over the fields and
instead headed over the pines on Fruitville or Coburn Rd.  At 5:05pm
Sandhill Crane started to come into the first pond and eventually totaled 13
birds.  Two King Rail called from the closest pond at 5:17pm and it started
raining.

Judy

Judy Fisher
Seminole, Fl

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