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Hi All,

I spent the last couple of days at Sanibel Island visiting my parents while
they were on vacation. In the mornings I did some birding and came up with a
few good sightings

7/11 Ding Darling - many of you are familiar with breeding bird surveys where
every half mile you get out of the car, look and listen for birds and record
what you see. Along the same lines I decided to try something similar along
the wildlife drive, but stopping ever quarter mile instead. I started at 7:30
and my goal was to see how many Mangrove Cuckoos I could find. I did very
well finding a total of six!! Here is the break down: near the Mangrove
Overlook I saw one and heard two more, at the 1.5 mile marker I saw and heard
two and at the 2.5 mile marker I saw one. Of the four that I saw (I got great
looks at them!) two seemed to be 1st year birds as they didn't have a
distinct black mask. Other good sightings were 16 Black-Whiskered Vireos,
lots of Prairie Warblers & Gray Kingbirds, a few Reddish Egrets and Roseate
Spoonbills and a lone White Pelican.
7/12 Bailey's Tract - I went here looking for butterflies and only found one
interesting sighting: Mallow Scrub Hairstreak. But there were lots more
Black-Whiskered Vireos, Gray Kingbirds, Prairie Warblers and Eastern Towhees.
At both places the Vireos seem to stop singing by about 9:30 if it's sunny.
In the evening I walked the beach near the condo and saw a few Frigatebirds
and a pair of Snowy Plovers that had one fuzzy chick.
Including the two Cuckoos from last Sunday, I got a total of 8 Mangrove
Cuckoos in less than a week, I think I'm all Cuckooed out now!
Good Birding,
Brian Ahern
Tampa, FL.
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