Hopefully I have been in touch individually with everyone who responded to my
recent RFI with birding advice for central Florida. The outpouring of
information was tremendous. This is a great network. I hope I can return the
favor someday if any of you travel up to the mid-Atlantic.

As often happens I overestimated the number of places I could actually bird,
and the very wet weather sometimes interfered with my plans. But I had a
great time and found many of my most-wanted birds. I spent one morning at
Emeralda Marsh, hoping for the whistling-ducks, which I missed. But this is a
great place for marsh birds. I found Purple Gallinule, Limpkin, and Mottled
Duck, all life birds. Also saw many 'gators, and an amazing number of Least
Bitterns -- I stopped counting around 15. In Maryland we call that a lifetime
supply. Peter May was a great help on this location.

At the St. Sebastian River Buffer Preserve I saw my life Red-cockaded
Woodpecker, Florida Scrub-Jay and Bachman's Sparrow. David Simpson gets the
credit for these. It was a great morning in a beautiful flatwoods landscape.

At Merritt Island NWR I had distant but decent looks at Reddish Egret and
Roseate Spoonbill at the rookery on Mullet Head Island. Also saw my first
Eurasian Collared-Dove (a bird we're waiting for any day now in MD). And
shrikes, which I don't see very often.

On my final day, a last-ditch evening effort produced 3 Snail Kites at
Southport Park on Lake Toho. They helped to make up for some of the birds I
missed, such as Caracara, Swallow-tailed Kite and Burrowing Owl.

I'm already looking forward to a return trip, when I should be even better
prepared. Please feel free to contact me if I can be of any help with
MD/DE/VA. Thanks everyone!

Joel Martin
Baltimore, MD
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