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        St.Petersburg Audubon Trip--Myakka River State Park, Jan. 29, 2005

        About a dozen people went on the trip to Myakka River SP yesterday.
        The water was high, with no mud banks to feed upon, and no ducks
        or shorebirds were seen.  A total of 55 species were observed.

        Species of Note:

        LIMPKINS-3   At the dam area.  One was observed catching, and
                eating about 10 snails during 20 minutes.  The other 2
                were in the grass, south of the dam, on the east side.

                I was happy to see these three, as last July, I with my
                sister and brother-in-law, observed the LIMPKIN
                family, who, over a period of a half hour, paraded
                through the flooded area in the woods beyond the
                picnic area, behind the concession building.  They
                were strung out, and many separated by 30 to 40 yards.
                And at least three are still there.

        BALD EAGLES:  A pair, with one initially in the nest.  This is located
                on the left side of the dirt powerline road, that is locked
                to auto traffic, going south from the paved road. It is
                beneath the upper canopy of one of three tall pine trees,
                and is the right pine tree--as you face east (ie the left side
                of the dirt road walking south).

                When we were returning to the paved road, the eagle in
                the nest started stretching its wings, and flew a short
                distance, landing in one of the other pine trees in the
                cluster.  That is when the second of the pair was spotted.

        BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON:  One was seen on the far side of
                the drainage ditch, on the west side of the powerline
                road, sleeping in a bush.  It was mature.

        PINE WARBLER:  This was seen in the trees by the first river access
                area, on the right, after the south entrance.

        BLUE-HEADED VIREO:  This striking bird was seen in the trees, by
                the left side of the road going to the above parking area,
                from the entrance station.

        GREAT-CREASTED FLYCATCHER:  This bird was seen by two
                observers, in the same first river area.

        N.PARULA:  This bird was observed near the end of the nature
                trail, with a flock of YELLOWRUMPED WARBLERS, and
                BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS.

        RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS:  We ate our picnic lunch, on the north
                side of the road, about a quarter mile before one reaches
                the nature trail area--which is located on the opposite side
                or the road, when entering from the south entrance.

                 The hawks were seen perched, and flying. Two exhibited
                 courtship behavior.

                After the trip terminated in Myakka,   I went to the country
                club located south of Rt. 72, on the east side of I-75,
                going south on Ibis Road, which takes a left jog about
                half way of the 1 1/4 miles distance.  This is the home of
                of our Gulf Coast  flock of BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING
                DUCKS.

                Walking down the golf cart path, giving preference to the
                golfers, and being on the lookout for flying golf balls, (I lived
                by a golf course in Maine, before moving to Florida,), I
                safely walked south to the small island in a pond.  At
                first I though there were just DC CORMORANTS, plus
                wading birds present.  But closer inspection revealed
                small groups of BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING DUCKS,
                with just a few standing.  I did not walk around the pond,
                because of the golfers, but was able to count 25.  It was
                the middle of the afternoon, and hopefully the greater
                number were out feeding.

        Jim Swarr=JimS    St. Pete Audubon

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