Since I had limited birding time today (morning only), I decided to do a
loop in the East Everglades.  This area is quite underbirded, and we had
discovered a nice wetland area on the Tropical Audubon trip a couple of
weeks ago.  Since the area is little known except to a few Miami birders,
I'm including a detailed description of my path.

I headed out on W. Kendall Dr., to Krome Ave.  I followed Krome south to
168th St. (Richmond), which is the road to Chekika.  Chekika is currently
closed, so when I got to the end of 168th at 237th, I turned south, away
from Chekika.  237th Ave. proceeds south to 216th St.  Although it goes a
little farther, that is basically the end, and I followed 216th east for
1/2 mile, when I turned south on 232nd.  Another mile brought me to a nice
wetland area.  Water is apparently being diverted from the L-31N canal
into the Everglades.  I'm not sure if it ends up in the Shark River Slough
or Taylor Slough.  The diversion project has created a hill that is
excellent for viewing the wetland area.  After birding here, I continued
south on 232nd, which jogs west near the Homestead General Airport.  It
remains paved until behind the airport.  Then you continue to follow the
gravel road over the canal, and around the airport (north, then east) to
get to 217th Ave. (which is paved).  If I were continuing to the main park
entrance, I would follow 217 down to the Ingraham Highway.  Instead, I
checked briefly for Burrowing Owl at the airport, and then took 296th
(Avocado) over to Mary Krome Park to check for Hummers (only
Ruby-throated), then headed back up Krome for home.  I covered about 45
miles in about 3 1/4 hours.

If you're planning on relying on the DeLorme map for that area, my advice
is don't.  It's just accurate enough to get you lost!  So far as I know,
there's no way across the L-31N between 168th and the Homestead Airport.
I tried this yesterday from 216th to 168th.  (They also don't show 232nd
correctly, nor do the park boundaries on the map conform with actual the
boundary markers.)

I stopped at Publix on W Kendall Dr. at 167th Ave, to do my week's grocery
shopping.  I noticed 100 or so Turkey Vultures taking to air across W.
Kendall Dr., and stopped to scan them.  It contained 3 or 4 Swainson's
Hawks, a light morph Short-tailed Hawk, and an adult Red-tailed Hawk.
The birds continued to kettle up, so I got excellent views of the hawks,
including some nice comparisons with both the Short-tailed and Swainson's
in the same binocular field.  A nice way to end the day's birding!

I ended the morning with 60 species.

The East Everglades was very birdy, and not just waders.  I made many
brief stops, and one long stop at the wetlands.

I didn't take 237th north of 168th today.  We did this 2 weeks ago.  Our
most interesting birds then were a couple of Snail Kites.

Since few bird this area, I'll end this with a list of what I saw in the
East Everglades.

At the wetlands stop, I found:
  Pied-billed Grebe
  Double-crested Cormorant
  Great Blue Heron
  Great Egret
  Tricolored Heron
  White Ibis
  Glossy Ibis
  Wood Stork
  Gadwall (2, a very good bird for Dade)
  American Wigeon (1)
  Blue-winged Teal (roughly 50)
  Green-winged Teal (4)
  Lesser Scaup (rougly 25. distant.  I had expected Ring-necked, but they
     weren't.  Some ducks had to be left unidentified due to distance.)
  Bald Eagle (1 adult)
  Red-shouldered Hawk
  Common Moorhen
  American Coot (lots!)
  Barn Swallow (there may have been other swallows too)
  House Wren
  Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  Palm Warbler
  Common Yellowthroat
  Eastern Towhee
  Savannah Sparrow
  Indigo Bunting
  Boat-tailed Grackle
Needless to say, some of these were also seen elsewhere.

Other birds seen in the East Everglades were:
  Little Blue Heron
  Green Heron
  White-tailed Kite (along 237th)
  Northern Harrier
  Sharp-shinned Hawk (2, 1 was chasing a Flicker)
  American Kestrel
  Merlin (1)
  Purple Gallinule (1, in a stand of Alligator Flag)
  Eurasian Collared-Dove
  Mourning Dove
  Common Ground-Dove
  Red-bellied Woodpecker
  Northern Flicker
  Eastern Phoebe
  Loggerhead Shrike
  American Crow
  Northern Mockingbird
  European Starling
  Northern Cardinal
  Red-winged Blackbird
  Eastern Meadowlark

John H. Boyd III                               [log in to unmask]
Dept. of Economics                             Phone: 305-348-3287
Florida International University               Fax: 305-348-1524
Miami, FL 33199