Charlie Ewell of Cape Coral visited Gainesville today in search of his first-ever Mississippi Kite, but since kites are aloft throughout the day there was no hurry about seeing them, so we started the morning at Newnans Lake. We went first to the Windsor boat ramp, which was notable mainly for the huge congregation of waders in the phalarope cove: I counted 217 Great Egrets. A few shorebirds flew past, but most of the shorebird action was at Gum Root Swamp. Our list from the latter location included: Great Egret 68 (thus, a total of 285 at the two sites) Glossy Ibis 1 Roseate Spoonbill 1 Black-necked Stilt 29 Greater Yellowlegs 6 Lesser Yellowlegs ~110 Short-billed (presumably) Dowitcher 7 Caspian Tern 1 Forster's Tern 1 I'm fairly certain I saw a Stilt Sandpiper as well, but it disappeared before I could get a diagnostic look. The vegetation that's taking over the mud between the cypresses and the shoreline is interesting: some pickerelweed, a surprising number of what I took to be seedling cottonwood trees, and tons of willows. If the willows take hold and grow up, we won't be able to see the lake anymore. We went on to the La Chua Trail, where we got Charlie his Mississippi Kite before we even left the parking area. We walked down onto the Prairie anyways, and found Howard Adams on a tractor, mowing an area beside the collapsed culvert for the contractor who's supposed to start repairing it shortly. Howard hopes the trail will be reopened sometime in September or October. Not that there will be much to see at Alachua Lake. There's still no water anywhere but Alachua Sink, which is filled with alligators (three of them bellowing, head and tail elevated). Charlie and I saw nothing else of interest but a couple Indigo Buntings and two American Coots (in the Sink). Our last stop was San Felasco Hammock, where we walked the first part of the loop trail off the parking lot. Perhaps because it was early afternoon things were very slow. We found a male Hooded Warbler singing, two Red-eyed Vireos, and nothing else of note. No early Black-and-white Warblers, no Louisiana Waterthrushes, no Acadian Flycatchers or Yellow-throated Vireos, even. Rex Rowan 2041 NE 15th Terrace Gainesville, FL 32609 Everyone should have a hobby; I however prefer an obsession.