Today my Audubon Chapter birded a new site on the Great
Birding Trail.  Bluffton Ridge Recreation Park is part
of the Lake George Forest area off Highway 40 just east
of Astor.  We were amazed at the beauty of the area and
just as amazed at the wonderful birding.  We had 51
species between the gate and the fishing pier, 2.5 miles
down the road.  The road was in excellent condition and
is such that a person not able to walk very much could
fully enjoy the birding from the car.  There is a
variety of habitat from forest, to open fields, to the
St. John's River.  We had 3 surprise birds: A Golden-
winged Warbler, a Magnolia Warbler and an Orchard Oriole.
Our total trip list was 56 species:

Eastern Titmice
Eastern Phoebees
Bald Eagles
Turkey Vulture
Black Vulture
Loggerhead Shrike
Palm Warblers
Pine Warblers
Great Crested Flycatcher
Great Egret
Little Blue Heron
Gray Gnatcatchers
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk (and nest just south of 40 in forest)
Common Yellowthroats
Eastern Towhees
Great Catbirds (many, many!)
Ovenbirds (many)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
White-eyed Vireos
Northern Parula
Black and White Warbler
Downy Woodpeckers (many)
Red-bellied Woodpeckers
Northern Flickers
Piliated Woodpeckers
Double-crested Cormorants
Sandhill Cranes
Great Egret
Great Blue Heron
Carolina Wrens
House Wren
American Kestrels
Wild Turkeys
Mourning Doves
Northern Mockingbirds
Red-headed Woodpecker
Carolina Chickadee
Common Grackles
American Crows
Red-winged Blackbirds
Blue Jays
Eastern Meadowlark (heard, not seen)
American Redstarts
Northern Cardinals
Belted Kingfisher

Species seen before and after Bluffton Ridge area:

Green Heron
Boat-tailed Grackles
Snowy Egret
House SparrowsEastern Bluebird

The marathon birding crew were: Ray Scory, Rachel
Ramsey, Lois Robinson, Lois Pouchet, Kevin Doxstater,
and Meret Wilson.

We think a return trip in early November would be a
great idea to see what else will turn up.

Meret Wilson
Ormond Beach, FL
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