Sorry for the belated posting. Yesterday (Tues 4/5), I led a birding
fieldtrip to St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge south of Tallahassee for
the 18th Eastern Black Bear Workshop (yes, they enjoy things with
feathers too). Had a great time watching folks from North Carolina,
Tennessee and Connecticut revel in our Florida birds, and celebrate a
few new lifers while they were at it.

In total we had 94 species, during our leisurely 7 hours.


Common loons-- two flyovers in stunning breeding plumage
Scissor-tailed flycatcher-- just N of the T-dike, visible from the road,
being harrassed by barn swallows (we decided they had tail envy)
Prothonotary-- very obliging at the twin bridges
Northern harriers-- two foraging over the T-dike area
Dozens (literally)of Prairie warblers-- blazing yellow in the oak at the
Orchard oriole-- in the lighthouse oak
Whimbrel, oystercatchers & Wilson's plover-- on flats behind the
Least bitterns-- on Mounds Pool 1 and one at lighthouse marshes
Marsh wrens-- singing behind lighthouse
Bald eagles everywhere
Sora-- everywhere
Blue grosbeak-- a few miles back on primitive hiking trails

Scads of shorebirds on Tower Pool-- semipalmated & black-bellied
plovers, dunlin, least sands, willets, black-necked stilts, dowitchers,
pectoral & stilt sands... didn't have the time to sort through them all.
Looks like the refuge is trying to draw down the water levels on this
pool, so it should be good shorebirding at high tide this weekend.

What a lovely day!
Happy birding to all...

Julie Wraithmell
Tallahassee, FL

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