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FLORIDABIRDS-L  July 2011, Week 1

FLORIDABIRDS-L July 2011, Week 1

Subject:

June Challenge - Roberto Torres Miami-Dade

From:

Trey Mitchell <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Trey Mitchell <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 1 Jul 2011 09:10:28 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (73 lines)

First, congratulations to everyone who participated in the June Challenge,
from Miami-Dade to the other Florida counties, and to locales outside the
state and even the country. Your efforts getting out there have turned the
"slowest" month of the year into one of the most exciting times to bird all
year. Although the competitiveness among the counties, individuals, or even
with your own prior years' results drove us that extra mile to get "one more
bird", our camaraderie as birders makes us all part of the same team. 

Here in Miami-Dade, our Marielitos Team, plus its honorary members, blew
past our last year's tally of 139. We took some lessons learned during our
first June Challenge in 2010, and set up a game plan that appears to have
worked. Although for the first couple of weeks it looked as if the drought
was going to kill our chances for some species, including Snail Kite and
Least Bittern among others, it looks at though it may have helped. Thanks to
lower than normal water levels for this time of year, we had shorebirds in
Cutler Wetlands that we missed last year, including White-rumped Sandpiper
and a very welcomed Red Knot. We got 20 shorebird species this year,
compared to only 12 in 2010. The only shorebird we didn't get that perhaps
we should have was Willet, and we looked hard for this one! It's only
fitting that our last bird of this June Challenge was a shorebird: Angel and
Mariel found 5 Sanderlings this afternoon, just hours away from the end. 

This June Challenge had some notable and unexpected sighting. Two of the
most unexpected, for me at least, were a Sora and a Belted Kingfisher. On
the flip side, we birded local migrant traps early in the month this time
around in hopes of catching some late neotropical migrants, but alas we
found none. Not surprising, since we hardly had any during migration either!
What's the difference between Matheson Hammock in April and Matheson Hammock
in June? Answer: Absolutely nothing! 

Being a coastal county, and having access to a boat, gives Miami-Dade an
unquestionable advantage with pelagics, and we had 5 more species than last
year thanks to doing 2 trips this time. We may have had the only ABA
difficulty 4 bird in Florida this month with the Red-footed Booby seen on
June 12. Also seen on that trip was a Leach's Storm-Petrel, a species only
added to the county list almost three years to the day on June 14, 2008. 

Now, the moment you've all been waiting for: our final tally. According to
my list, we finished with 152 ABA species, plus an additional 29 species on
non-countable exotics. I will post the list of species on a separate post. I
have not seen the results from most of the other counties, but I do know
that at least one county was way ahead for most of the month, then
neck-and-neck with us as we caught up. Regardless of where we finished, we
had a blast, as I'm sure folks in other counties did as well. The libations
are on me! (Wait, how many birders do they have in Pinellas again?) 

Congrats on a job well done everybody.

Roberto Torres
Miami Florida

Sent by Trey Mitchell for Roberto





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