Sometimes the Birding Gods shine on us. Today was the day. Lee County's
2nd & Florida's 4th(?) confirmed Surfird was seen this morning by many
local birders as well as a contingent from the Miami area and Wes Biggs
from Orlando among others. The bird (most probably a juvenile but this is
debatable) was seen and again photographed in a group of mostly Red Knots
at the Loggerhead Cay area on Sanibel Island very near the Song of the
Sea Resort. To reach this area, unfortunately, it is necessary to walk
approximately 1.5 miles north along the beach from the Sanibel Lighthouse
parking area (not the fishing pier parking area but the "regualar"
Lighthouse parking area.) Here are yesterday's instructions from Charlie
Ewell on how to find the area where the Surfbird is frequenting:

> Coming from I-75, take Exit 21 (this is the exit for SWFL International
> Airport) onto Daniels Road and go west approx. 6 miles to Summerlin Road.
> Turn left onto Summerlin and take this road all the way to the causeway toll
> plaza.  I think the toll is $3 or $4.  I have a reduced amount as a local,
> so I'm not sure of the exact amount.  To reach the lighthouse, turn left at
> the 4-way stop after entering the island from the causeway.  Take Periwinkle
> Way to it's conclusion and enter the lighthouse parking area to the right.
> Don't forget to pay the parking fee mentioned above.  Pranty p. 191; DeLorme
> p. 110, A2

A scope really isn't necessary as the bird is easily approachable within
a 100 feet or so. Try to get out to see this bird as soon as possible as
it may decide to leave at any time. On the other hand, it may stay for a
long period.

According to Stevenson & Anderson in "The Birdlife of Florida" (p.240),
there are 3 previous reports from the Gulf Coast: two in 1957 16-24 March
& again 2-4 April from Pensacola; one from Ft. Myers Beach (Lee County)
5-6 February, 1978. This current bird would represent Florida's only fall
record for this species.

Since I want to get this out, I'll not report on the other good birds
some of us had today at the Sanibel Lighthouse and lakes Park in Ft.
Myers. That I'll save for another e-mail.

Good luck in finding the Surfbird!

Vincent Lucas

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