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Saw the female Eurasian Kestrel yesterday with the many other fine folks that
arrived. It was a bit foggy for a while but started to burn off between about
9:30 and 10. Can't say the sun ever showed through brilliantly before most of
the people had left.

A male American Kestrel was nice enough to land very close to the EUKE and
eventually they were on the wire at the same time so an almost side-by-side
comparison was possible. She was doing a lot of preening. Tail feathers were
fanned for a good portion of the time while on the telephone pole and wire so
the barring patterns were very distinguishable along with the black (dark)
subterminal band. (didn't notice any white/tan on the tip, as illustrated in
NG. It was evident on the AMKE.) Once the light got a little better, it was
also possible to discern the yellow sere through a good spotting scope. the
single facial stripe was evident.  She eventually flushed to several perches
out in the field and sometimes sat with her back to us. This was great to see
the darker wing-ends contrasting with the brown (and barred) back. Could see
this in flight, too.

After this great experience, several folks discovered White-crowned Sparrows
outside the gate along the south fenceline. Additional birds: E. Meadowlark,
RTHA (2), Brown-headed cowbirds, MODO, TUVU, RWBB, Catbird, Tree Swallow, and
N. Harrier (2).

I jopined up with Teresa Fiorillo and Phyllis Mansfield and we inquired about
some local birding spots and found 2 really great county parks: Magnolia Park
-maybe 3-5 miles south on 437 (Binion Rd.) from Lust Rd, and Trimble Park
-farther north off 441 (follow signs), in between Lakes Beauclair and
Carlton, NW corner of Orange Co. Both have campgrounds also. Then we went on
to Mead Gardens --I was hoping for the Wilson's Warbler but to no avail. We
did see some good birds though. The top had to be the 18+ WOOD DUCKS between
the 3 parks, a BROWN THRASHER at Trimble, and a HERMIT THRUSH at Mead
Gardens. then there was the huge number of CHIPPING SPARROWS on the ground at
Magnolia Park--50 plus is probably underestimating. Also TUFTED TITMOUSE at
Magnolia.

Yellow-rump Warblers were absolutely everywhere. Other warblers incl. Palm,
Parula, Common Yellow-throat, and one Black-and-white. also had White-eyed
and Blue-headed Vireos. the only other sparrow was a single Swamp at Magnolia
Park. Four woodpecker species and Ruby-crowned Kinglets rounded out the
"hits" for the day. for a complete list, contact me privately.

All-in-all a great day with good company and no rain while we were birding.

Magnolia Park (34 spp)
Trimble Park (32 spp)
Mead Gardens (16+ spp)
Total species (spp) 56 + the Eurasian Kestrel.


Sarah Linney
Cocoa, FL
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