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Rex and everyone --

There are a couple of other Alachua County reports, of one or two pairs
nesting at Orange Lake in 1911.  Like the report of 1500 pairs, the observer
was Oscar Baynard.  He was the warden at Orange Lake Bird Islands (first
sanctuary ever owned by the National Audubon Society) at the time, and later
one of the great early figures in the Florida State Park system and also in
the Boy Scouts in Hillsborough County.  I don't think his reports were
fabricated; I think he was young and inexperienced.
A. H. Howell, Alexander Sprunt Jr. and Robert Porter Allen apparently
accepted his record of 1 pair, which was "corroborated" by P. B. Philipp.
But there was no photograph or published description of the nesting birds,
and I doubt that they were correct.  I've seen the egg sets at FMNH too, and
they are not Reddish Egret eggs.  Too small.

Good sighting!

Rich Paul
Tampa
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----- Original Message -----
From: "Rex Rowan" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, June 04, 2005 7:34 PM
Subject: [FLBIRDS] Reddish Egret at Gainesville.


> Early Friday afternoon a local birder saw an immature dark-morph Reddish
> Egret (i.e., a Grayish Egret) fly into Chapmans Pond in SW Gainesville.
> He was puzzled by the bird, but its identity didn't dawn on him until
> Judy Bryan spotted it this morning and spread the word. It was still
> being seen this afternoon, mostly at Chapmans Pond but occasionally at a
> shallow pond across the fence immediately to the west.
>
> This is a first Alachua County record. Reports of ca. 1500 pairs nesting
> here in 1907-08 were almost certainly fabricated. Stevenson and
> Anderson's "The Birdlife of Florida"  regarded four "Reddish Egret" egg
> sets collected at that time as "open to question." A few years ago Dr.
> Tom Webber of the Florida Museum of Natural History followed up on those
> egg sets: they were examined by the curators of the museums in which
> they are currently housed and pronounced Little Blue Heron (1 set) and
> Tricolored Heron (3) eggs. Not, you know, that anyone really cared. The
> point is, first county record! Yay!
>
> Rex Rowan
> Gainesville
>
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