It was a good King Rail day this morning at Orlando Wetlands Park (for
directions see or check Bill's
book).  Four rails were seen and 5 more heard only. One of the seen birds
was standing on the trail in front of me with its feathers puffed up and one
wing extended.  It quickly deflated as I approached.

Four Swallow-tailed Kites were seen in the nest area.  At least one juvenile
was fledged from the nest, maybe two.  I'm still not certain.  The kites all
looked like they were doing some serious molting.

Spotted 3 Limpkins and 9 Least Bitterns. Most of the usual species were
present.  I counted 150+ Purple Martins with some apparently still in the
nest cavities.

Juvenile/immatures seen:  Green Heron, Tufted Titmouse, Red-winged
Blackbirds, Boat-tailed Grackles, Common Moorhens, Great-crested
Flycatchers, Black Vulture and unfortunately, E. Starlings.  The Black
Vulture still had much fluffy, beige down covering it's head. Some of the
down was so long it was almost curly.

Last weekend I did the OWP/Christmas BBS route.  We found Bluebirds,
Brown-headed Nuthatches and breeding Red-headed Woodpeckers on the route.
Still some good habitat in the rural area surrounding the park.

Cheri Pierce
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