Such a great trip, I forgot about last Friday afternoon.  I took the
afternoon off since I thought it would be prudent to get at least a few
hours of sleep before heading to the panhandle again.  Of course, I
immediately saw the opportunity to go birding.  I headed across the state
through the Polk county area and Lakeland to chase the Lark sparrow and
Bronzed cowbird.  I found the sparrow spot that was reported on the
Christmas Bird Count and checked unsuccessfully along the road before the
drainage ditch.  I then headed to the other side and eventually found a
group of Savannah sparrows.  There were two Clay-colored sparrows in the
group but no Lark sparrow.  About 15m past the group I saw a large-headed
sparrow with a long rounded tail fly up into a bush on the fence line.  I
thoroughly checked the bush to no avail.  I only got a silhouette of the
bird, so I could not discern any tail pattern or other characteristics.
Could this have been the lurking Lark.  The world may never know.

Next on the agenda was the country club in Lakeland where the winter
resident Bronzed cowbirds were reported.  I checked with Mr. Kim at the bar
and stayed in the parking lot as instructed.  There were several Boat-tailed
grackles and Red-winged blackbirds around, but no red eyes looking back at
me.  At least not that I knew of.  I decided that I would have to get on my
way in order to make time.  There were some wrong cowbirds (Brown-headed) on
an antenna along the road on the way out.  I decided to check a few other
roads in the neighborhood.  Across the lake from the club on Lakeview road,
I think, I did find a male Bronzed in someone's yard.

The last stop was the restaurant on the SW corner of US19 and SR52 for the
rumored Budgie roost.  There were several House sparrows and collared doves,
but no Budgies that day.

One year bird out of three.  I'm sure I will pick up the others before the
year is out.  249 total at this point.

David Simpson
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Sebastian, FL