Saturday, February 24, 2001, Nancy and Ed Lawler and I
birded three remarkably good Osceola County sites not
previously mentioned, to my knowledge, as birding hot spots.

Cypress Lake Landing and "fish camp", two miles west of
Canoe Creek Rd. at the end of Cypress Lake Rd. (DeLorme
p.86, D-2):  As we were watching warbler activity (parulas,
Yellow-throateds, Black and White, Palms) in the shoreline
cypresses, two Crested Caracaras flew over us at tree top
level then picked up a thermal and soared northward. Along
the sandy shoreline were terns, gulls, sandpipers, pipits.
We saw three Bald Eagles here.

Whaley's Landing on Lake Tohopekaliga at the southern
terminus of CR 525A (DeLorme p, 86, C-2): You have to really
want to go there in order to find it!  But it's worth the
effort. We saw 10 (!) Bald Eagles here, 5 adults and 5
immatures. One of the immatures took a coot. This caused an
altercation with an adult which was followed by "riot"
envolving the others. Finally an immature flew off with the
coot, being chased by another immature eagle.. The coot was
dropped but caught in mid-air. Meanwhile - two Snail Kites
were foraging in the distance. The usual good birds were
there, too - herons, ibises, Wood Storks, Sandhill Cranes
and Blue-winged Teal (200+), Ringed-Necked Ducks (23) and
Mottled Ducks (6).

Chisolm Park, a short distance west of SR 15 on East Lake
Tohopekaliga (DeLorme p.86. B-2): We saw five (!) Snail
Kites here. They were foraging in the reeds to the south and
to the north of the sandy swimming and volley ball beach.
The were very close in and did not seem to mind all the
people and boats nearby. This is the easiest place I know to
see Snail Kites!

A big "Thanks" goes to the British birder who mentioned
Whaley Landing while talking to us and to the Osceola County
Parks Dept. worker at Overstreet Landing who told us about
the kites at Chisolm Park.

Best Wishes,
Dot Freeman, Orlando