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After today's Caloosa Bird Club's field trip to Bunche Beach and Lakes
Park (Lee County), several of us accompanied Marie Gonsalo to Ft. Myers
Beach (behind the Holiday Inn -- cf. Pranty) to look for the two female
Black Scoters that she saw yesterday. Marie keeps improving on those
Black Scoter numbers because today, there were four Black Scoters seen on
the Gulf about 1/2 mile south from where one crosses the white sand beach
behind the Holiday Inn. The birds were much further out in the Gulf then
they were yesterday when Marie saw two of them as well as on Friday, when
she initially saw one. A scope is needed to adequately see these birds.
Nice going Marie and thanks for reporting these birds! They are a year
bird for me and a "first" for me for southwest Florida, where, unlike the
Atlantic Coast of Florida, any scoter is uncommon here. Ken Klotz spied
an adult Bald eagle flying high over the Gulf.

Earlier at Bunche Beach, we tallied some nice birds including all of the
expected shorebirds and waders. At least one (and possibly two)
Long-billed Curlews, all the plovers including Piping and Snowy, several
Marbled Godwits, an immature Merlin, about a half-dozen Common Loons,
approximately 20 American White Pelicans and four Red-breasted Mergansers
were seen. Noticeably absent were Black Skimmers (they were all at Ft.
Myers Beach!) and once again, Red Knots. Where are these birds this
winter?

At Lakes Park I found a Swainson's Thrush eating the red berries off of
some non-native tree (not a Dahoon Holly) in the Fragrance Garden. This
bird stayed put for over 10 minutes allowing everyone to have decent
looks at him. Other birds included two Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, a male
Black-throated Blue Warbler, a Pileated Woodpecker, a small flock of Pine
Warblers with several American Goldfinches thrown in and an Eastern
Phoebe. We only had one Yellow-rumped Warbler. here's another species
which has been absent from SW Florida this winter compared to other years.

All in all, it was a great day to be birding in southwest Florida.

Cheers.

Vincent Lucas
Naples

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