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Last Sunday I reached an obsessive/compulsive milestone by recording my
500th birding trip to St. Marks NWR since 1-1-00.  My (unattainable) goal
is to see every species that has ever been seen on the refuge.  The average
trip involved about 7.5 hours, two runs from the visitors center to the
lighthouse with numerous stops in between, approximately 3 miles of
walking, and netted 72 spp.  Total number of calendar dates covered -
323.  Total species count - 295 + "Great White Heron" (only counting
between visitors center and lighthouse).  Best day - 137 spp on April 22
2004.  Best monthly total 196 for April.  43 of the species seen are listed
as being rare on the refuge list, 10 spp.are on the list of species seen
only once or a few times, and 15 are not included in the list at all.  One
species, Boat-tailed Grackle, has been seen on every trip.  Most surprising
miss - Canada Goose.  Best year -2005, 249 spp.  Neatest bird -
Groove-billed Ani.  Bird I was most glad to find - Limpkin.  Bird that is
not on the list, but should be added - Bronzed Cowbird (I have seen this
species at least six times).  Most frequently encountered birder - Marvin
Collins.  Next target birds - Upland Sandpiper and Long-billed Curlew.

Have fun,

Tom Curtis
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