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It was related to be by long-time volunteer at the Audubon Corkscrew
Swamp Sanctuary, Ed Coombs, that he saw a Swallow-tailed Kite fly over
the Blair Center on Friday, Feb. 18th. Ed states that this is "right on
time" for returning SWKIs at Corkscrew. Has anyone seen one earlier than
this date this year in Florida? Unfortunately, no Swallow-tailed Kites
were seen today (Sunday) at the sanctuary. However, there are up to 300
nesting Wood Storks that can be viewed off of the observation platform
from the boardwalk. You'll need a scope. Other good birds seen today at
Corkscrew were one White-winged Dove (along Sanctuary Rd.), Purple
Gallinule, 7 species of warblers, Brown Thrasher, Indigo Bunting, both
Night-Herons in numbers, plus the "usual" great Crested Flycatchers,
Tufted Titmouse, Gray Catbirds, White-eyed and Blue-headed Vireos,
Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, eastern Phoebes, Carolina Wrens, American
Goldfinches, Pileated, Downy & Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Yellow-bellied
Sapsucker, etc. A Hispid Cotton Rat (Sigmodon hispidus) was also a nice
find.

After leaving Corkscrew, Arthur Wilson and I headed east on C.R. 846
(Immokalee Rd.) to bird the eastern boundary of Collier County on C.R.
858. We found seven Western Kingbirds and four Scissor-tailed Flycatchers
either along C.R. 858 or on Wainwright Rd. in front of the Hendry County
Correctional Facility. Other birds in the area included a dozen Sandhill
Cranes, three Wilson's Snipe, one Crested Caracara, one Limpkin, a small
flock of American Robins & Cedar Waxwings, four Eastern Meadowlarks, a
Northern Harrier, 75 Northern Rough-winged Swallows, one Red-tailed Hawk,
one Roseate Spoonbill, and two Greater Yellowlegs.

Almost forgot. At the FSU/Collier County Agricultural Extension Service
near the Collier County Fairgrounds, up to 75 Purple Martins are nesting
in the martin condos on the service's grounds.

Lastly, I knew it was going to be a good day of birding when Arthur and I
saw a male Ruby-throated Hummingbird at 7:15AM in my yard, visiting a
Bottlebrush Tree -- only the second one I've seen in the hood in five
years.

Good birding.

Vince Lucas
Naples
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