Today, the two Vince's (V. Lucas and V. McGrath) decided to scout-out the
sod farms and flooded fields around the South Lake Okeechobee area in
anticipation of fall migration for shorebirds etc. We weren't as intense
as we normally are but managed 76 species with the following highlights:

Black-bellied Whistling Duck (20+) and Fulvous Whistling Duck (50+) -- in
a huge flooded area at the intersection of U.S. Rte. 441 and Hatton Hwy
in Palm Beach County. Also present were many Mottled Ducks, Black-necked
Stilts (with young) and quite a few waders. In the sod farms along Browns
Farm Rd. and U.S. Rte. 27 south of Belle Glade etc., the predominant
shorebirds were Black-necked Stilt and Killdeer. We managed one Lesser
Yellowlegs, two Semipalmated Plovers in these areas as well. Earlier, at
Ortona Locks and Dam along S.R. 80 in Glades County, we did manage one
Spotted Sandpiper. However, I want to emphasize that as the water levels
in the flooded fields recede in the coming weeks around South Bay/Belle
Glade, and fall migration begins in earnest, there is much good habitat
in these areas for migrant shorebirds. It should be a phenomenal fall
migration for them. Keep these areas in mind in the coming weeks.

Along the road that parallels the Bolles Canal west of of U.S. Rte. 27,
about two miles south of South Bay, we had (3) Barn Owls (in one tree) as
well as one Smooth-billed Ani, one Limpkin and one King Rail. This is a
good road to find these species. Common Nighthawks were omnipresent
anywhere there were telephone lines!

Other good birds for the day were:

Wild Turkey (x1) and Eastern Bluebirds at the Babcock Ranch off of S.R.
31 in Charlotte County; Northern Rough-winged Swallow (x2) at Canal Point
in Palm Beach County; Bachman's Sparrow (heard only) and Red-headed
Woodpecker at Old Venus in Glades County; Florida Scrub-Jay along S.R.
80A near La Belle in Hendry County; Northern Bobwhite along Bateman Rd.
in Lee County as well as Ortona Locks and Dam in Glade County; Crested
Caracara near the intersection of SW 28th Street & SW 32nd Avenue in
Okeechobee County; American White Pelican (20+) at Port Myaca Lock in
Martin Co.; and Swallow-tailed Kite along S.R. 80 in Clewiston.

We also saw a few interesting leps and herps but I'll save them for
another list at another time.

Anyone with further questions is free to contact me or Vince McGrath.

Good birding!

Vincent Lucas

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