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Hi Folks,
It's been a long time since you all heard from me.  I've been doing more
fishing than birding of late, but I plan on picking up the slack as my place
of work and surrounding SW GA spots (Birdsong for one)  is host to some
great winter sparrow birding (or so I hear)... anyways, back to the subject
at hand:  I agree with Tom about St. Marks... for the State of Florida my
only other hotspot would be the Everglades.  A hotspot being defined as
reliable at anytime.  As with the glades, everytime I have birded St. Marks,
I wasn't disappointed.  As for the entire Country however, I would have to
nominate Bosgue del Apache NWR in Central New Mexico.  Regardless of season,
I have never had a poor day birding, and it's the diversity of birds and
habitats that make it such a great spot.  In case you're wondering, I've
birded the Keys (& S. FL), Southern NM, and SE Arizona extensively.
Peace,
PS
I hope you are all well!

C.K. Borg
Bainbridge, GA
[log in to unmask]





>From: tom curtis <[log in to unmask]>
>Reply-To: tom curtis <[log in to unmask]>
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: [FLBIRDS] Birding Hotspots
>Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 15:01:36 -0500
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>
>A few days back Matt Reid mentioned birding hotspots.  I have spent several
>days collecting facts and would like to nominate St. Marks NWR as no worse
>than third in the US and would recommend it as THE best spot in the US for
>a beginner.  I have birded St. Marks nearly 250 times during the last three
>and a half years.  Why do I keep going back?  Having birded the Rio Grande
>Valley, places like Presque Isle on the Great Lakes, southern California
>around the Salton Sea, and the Maine coast in the winter, I would have to
>say that St. Marks has the most bang for the buck.
>
>1. Habitat - you can go from flatland pines, through flooded hardwoods and
>Cypress swamps, past grassy fields and freshwater impoundments, all the way
>to saltwater marshes and the gulf coast in seven miles.  I have never seen
>another place with such habitat diversity in such a short distance.
>2. Ease of use - excellent paved road, with readily accessible
>trails.  Miles of levees through all kinds of habitat.
>3. Number of bird species - the official list only contains 275 species
>with another 31 listed as having been seen just a few times on the
>refuge.  The unofficial list is at least 320 species.  This based on what I
>have found (264 spp.) plus what Noel Wamer has on his list.  I'm sure Jack
>Dozier and others may be able to add to this total.  Keep in mind that my
>list only includes the Wakulla unit (the seven miles of road mentioned
>above).  How does this compare to other places?  Ding Darling lists 238
>spp. on their official list, Merritt Island lists 330.
>4. Number of birds per time spent - It is possible to see 100+ spp. in a
>few hours without driving more than a few miles.  I have done 100+ 27 times
>on the refuge, at least once in every month of the year except August
>(mainly because I usually spend a couple of weeks in August in the Rio
>Grande Valley) so it is possible to do a century day almost any day of the
>year just on the refuge.  It can also be very efficient, last Friday
>evening I only had 45 minutes of daylight to bird and got 57 spp., better
>than one species/minute.  Overall, my average is 69 spp. per trip.
>
>I'm sure others will disagree with my assessment, but overall, I would have
>to rank SMNWR as one of the best spots in the US for birding.
>
>Have fun,
>
>Tom Curtis
>[log in to unmask]
>
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