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Arrived at 0800, partly cloudy morning, temp in the 80's many insects. The
place is full of wildflowers and butterflies. The Birding Gods were with me
this morning.  I decided to look for the Babcock Webb trio (Bachman's
sparrow, red cockaded woodpecker and brown headed nuthatch) of which I had
only seen the B. sparrow before. Along Tucker's Grade, after Oil Well Grade
entrance (which is closed to traffic) I heard two Bachman's, I got off my
car, and after a short walk into the pines and palmetto scrub, I spotted a
very nice specimen singing its little head off; in the distance I heard two
more singing. After about 5 minutes it flew off. I resumed my drive through
T. G. and stopped to watch a noisy prairie warbler, in a few minutes, a pair
of red cockaded woodpeckers appeared (joy, happiness)!  walking around the
woods I saw eastern towhee, eastern bluebird and heard a northern bobwhite.
Further down the road I spotted a brown headed nuthatch, northern parula, and
a brown thrasher (love those "Sinatra" birds). Yellow throated warblers and
white eyed vireos were also heard. I went north on the road along the canal
at the end of T. G. (the sign was broken so I don't know the name) and saw
half a dozen alligators, one with a big fish flapping in its mouth and 5
black vultures perched on a slash pine. I also saw a wild pig there, smelly,
nasty creature. I headed back and on my way saw killdeer, eastern kingbird
and eastern meadowlark. Along the campground road I spotted a group of 3 or 4
b.h. nuthatches, There were great egret, great blue and tricolored herons in
the lake. At the other side of the lake a nice finale: a family of sandhill
cranes with two beautiful golden-brown chicks!

Jose Padilla,M.D. Ft. Myers, FL 33912. [log in to unmask]

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