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It was a glorious morning at the Viera Wetlands with huge numbers of birds,
many in breeding plumage, some nesting, and many out of their nests.
We counted at least 10 least bitterns, many adults in breeding plumage and
four or more immatures that we studied through the scope. To find these go
immediately left as you approach the first dike.
We counted 20 or more black-crowned night herons of which half were
immatures.  For a while every bird flying was a bc nightheron and two dead
trees were festooned with them.  Unfortunately, no one had a camera.
Phyllis Mansfield found us a beautiful purple gallinule and as we looked at
the reeds that it left, discovered a nest almost completed.  We watched
carefully to be sure that it wasn't a grackle nest but although there were
hundreds of grackles nesting, none approached this nest.  We'll go back to
check this out further.  To locate the nest, continue left on the dike.  Just
before it makes a turn to the right, there's a cabbage palm at the edge of
the water.  Look straight out to a small island of reeds just before the palm.
Continuing around this first corner were four caracara on posts.  Two were
adults and two immatures.
At the next right we found a bobolink in the fennel at the water's edge.  We
had expected or hoped for many but were glad to see that beautiful male.
Three of the impoundments were a sea of wading birds with gorgeous plumes.
The little blues had "neon" blue bills. There were lots of baby coots and
moorhens.  Mother Nature at its best.
At the last impoundment Marty Newton found a limpkin.  We carefully checked
all the glossies just in case.........
Over at the ponds we were happy to see the first impoundment very dry and
full of semi-palmated plovers, semi-palmated sandpipers, least sandpipers,
(no westerns) a few sanderlings, a solitary sandpiper, a few least terns,
lots of black-necked stilts screaming, and one lone lesser scaup.  We heard a
bobwhite  and saw two bald eagles but did not see one single raptor today.
We weren't sorry we skipped looking for warblers today so someone else will
have to report on that.  Mary Nicolay, Jan Allen, Mary Helen Mayo, Phyllis
Mansfield, Marty Newton and

Nedra Sekera
Melbourne FL

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