I set out this morning to look for the Vermilion Flycatcher on
Government Road using the directions posted to Floridabirds-L by
David Thurston on 10/28.  After an an hour of  driving I arrived my
destination at about 8:30 and pulled in to the right of the locked
and posted gate. From this point of view I looked down the row of
fence posts along the right side of the road on the other side of the
gate, one that about about a hundred feet in front of me was topped
by a spot of brilliant orangy red.  My primary mission had been
accomplished before I'd even unbuckled my seatbelt and unpacked
my binoculars, let alone getting out of the truck, stretching my
legs, savoring the morning, surveying the area, and planning my
search.  The masked ember stayed in plain view for about fifteen
minutes snatching insects from the middle of the road, switching
from one side of the road to the other with each foray, always
alighting on a fence post.  It finally flew towards me disappearing
behind a clump of Sabal Palms just to the right of the gate.  After
about another fifteen minutes of trying to out wait and out flank the
bird for an even closer view, I began working back and forth along
the fence line about a hundred yards either side of the gate, just in
case the flycatcher had given me the slip.  This was accomplishing
little more than running up my phoebe count until a flock of
Kingbird/Flycatcher type birds flew in from the East and dropped in
near a powerline out of sight behind some Oaks.  A quick jog up
the fence line revealed that this flock consisted of three Scissor-
tailed Flycatchers (one in bright plumage with very long tail
feathers) and about seven Western Kingbirds, it also turned up the
vermilion again on the powerline behind the palms.  These stayed
around long enough for me to get out the scope and check the
kingbirds for something more interesting, about the time I was
pretty sure they were all western's the tribal police stopped by to
see what I was up to.  One of them new about the Vermilion
Flycatcher from last year and the visit was friendly, but they let me
know that crossing the fence line into the pastures wouldn't be
tolerated.  After a couple of hours exploring up the road, finding
plenty of interesting habitat but no unusual birds, just a Greater
Yellowlegs and a flock of 65 Rough-winged Swallows I retraced my
path to Alligator Alley, a stop to check of the vermilion site a little
before 11:00 AM showed that he was back on the fence posts but
the scissor-taileds and kingbirds had moved on.

Yesterday many of the usual suspects assembled at Birch State
Park to see what was about, we found eleven species of warblers,
none of which would be unusual during the winter.  There were
several Yellow-rumped Warblers and an Orange-crowned Warbler
along with a Ruby-crowned Kinglet.  A stop at Evergreen Cemetery
did add a couple of legitimate migrants to the day list; a Scarlet
Tanager and a Tennessee Warbler along with a sign of the late part
of  migration, a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.

On Friday afternoon 11/1 there were about a half dozen Smooth-
billed Anis in the grass along the side of the perimeter road south
of Ft. Lauderdale International Airport.

Bryant Roberts
Davie Florida

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