Three intrepid birders accompanied me on a Tampa Audubon trip to south
Florida in search of Florida specialties June 28-30.  We had a very
successful trip, with most of the sought after birds showing well,
though several took considerable work.  Our route took us down the
center of the state to Homestead where we overnighted and then out into
the Keys.  We stayed overnight in Marathon, and then made the long trip
back to Tampa.  Weather was cooperative, except for some rain in the
Avon Park/Sebring area on the way down and a torrential downpour as we
approached Tampa on the way back.  We recorded 106 species for the trip.
 Here are the highlights in the order that we saw them:

Florida Scrub-Jay - several near Archbold Biological Station
Crested Caracara - Two adults and an immature along FL731 south of Archbold
Swallow-tailed Kite - many along FL74.  200+ together along the entrance
road to Holey Land WMA
Smooth-billed Ani - one along Perimeter Road at the Fort Lauderdale Airport
Snail Kite - three at Water Conservation Area 2 near Markham Park
Purple Swamphen - one at Water Conservation Area 2 near Markham Park
White-winged Parakeet - 20+ at Baptist Hospital
Hill Myna - five at Baptist Hospital
Cave Swallow - 30+ at the Cutler Ridge exit off the turnpike
Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow - at least three singing birds, one of which
showed very well in the scope along the road to Flamingo 0.7 miles past
the entrance to Mahogany Hammock in Everglades National Park.  They were
on the left side of the road.  If you want to try for this bird, you
need to go very early.  We initially heard them at about 6:30AM.  You
need a scope to get reasonable views
Roseate Tern - one adult in breeding plumage on the sand bar at Flamingo
White-tailed Kite - one at the very end of Research Road in Everglades
National Park
White-crowned Pigeon - hundreds in the Keys, particularly early and
late.  Also numbers in Everglades NP
Magnificent Frigatebird - 50+ on 6/29 while we were driving out the
Keys, including one at eye level
Common Myna - several in the Keys.  Seen on Upper Matecombe Key and in
Black-whiskered Vireo - many heard, but they required considerable
effort to see.  Eventually we got good looks on No Name Key off Big Pine Key
Antillean Nighthawk - one showed extremely well at the end of the
Marathon airport.  We had this individual at 7:15 PM while the sun was
still up.  At one point it was only about 30 feet over our heads and
everyone was able to see all the marks.  The bird called continuously
while we watched
Mangrove Cuckoo - one at the traditional site near the end of the road
on Saddlebunch Key off Sugerloaf Key
"Cuban" Yellow Warbler - one showed very well after considerable effort
at the end of Geiger Road off Boca Chica Road in the outer Keys (not
sure which Key this was)


David Powell
Brandon, FL
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