This morning about 15 of us braved the chilly temperatures and northerly
winds for a birding field trip to the Viera Wetlands. I'd like to think that
it was me that drew that many people but alas I feel I have to accept the
fact that it was probably for a chance to see the "Viera Swallow."

We started out along the northern berm and I was planning to cut through the
middle until Ken Allie mentioned the possiblity of Purple Gallinule towards
the western corner. So we went all the way west and cut down between the NW
pond and the SW pond, where Andy Ballard caught up with us. At the next
intersection, we proceeded basically south, past the 2nd observation tower,
and over to the southern berm for hopes to see a record-making swallow.

We did not see the swallow but did see its Mexican-race Cave cousin. There
were several other great birds we saw as well including PURPLE GALLINULE,
(F), and GADWALL (F). An otter was also observed.

Here's the list as best I remember, 43 species:

Pied-billed Grebe
Gt. Blue Heron
Great Egret
Little Blue Heron
Green Heron (everywhere!)
Black-crowned Night-Heron - 1, imm.
White Ibis
Glossy Ibis (more seen than whites)
Wood Stork
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
*Gadwall - 2, female (Thanks Andy and Ken)
Mottled Duck
Blue-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Greater Scaup - female (Thanks Andy)
Hooded Merganser (flyover)
Northern Harrier
Bald Eagle - 2 or 3 adults & 2 imm
Red-shouldered Hawk (several)
Crested Caracara - 2
Am. Kestrel (several, esp over field to south)
Purple Gallinule - 6+
Common Moorhen
Am. Coot
Sandhill Crane (in sod fields to north)
Greater Yellowlegs
Ring-billed Gull
Caspian Tern (seen by some) - 1
Forster's Tern - 2 or 3
Belted Kingfisher
Eastern Phoebe
Loggerhead Shrike
Tree Swallow - 6+
*Cave Swallow - 1 or 2 (Mex. race, very buffy rump and sides)
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Palm Warbler
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Boat-tailed Grackle
Am. Goldfinch - 3, flyover

After the field trip, Ken Allie and I decided to see what might be around the
north ponds (since we were there anyway) and only added these 3 species:
Lesser Yellowlegs, Savannah Sparrow, and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (in Brazilian
Pepper as go up to ponds).

Thanks to everyone who came out this morning. Hope to see you again on a
field trip. Sorry about the mangrove swallow not showing, others there are
equally disappointed I'm sure.

Sarah Linney
Cocoa, FL
[log in to unmask]

p.s. *Lifers for me and several others I think. Have probably overlooked
Gadwalls before.

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