Hello Florida Birders:

My partner and I just spent the holidays with my in-laws in Jupiter. We 
also had a few tourist days around Miami and the Upper Keys. This was 
not a birding trip, but I did visit a few areas to try and catch up with 
some of the south Florida specialties. Here are the main highlights:

28 December 2005

At Crandon Park- North Beach, Key Biscayne, there were 10+ Wilsonís 
Plover roosting in the early morning on some exposed coral . Also 
present were one Piping Plover and at least 75 Semipalmated Plover (as 
well as several other assorted shorebirds). We parked at the North 
Parking lot and walked north along the beach (past where they groom the 
beach)- the birds were about 1/2 mile or so from the parking area. We 
had one Great White Heron on the way to the plovers. At the Crandon 
Park- Marina, I had 2 Common Mynas, a male Baltimore Oriole, and 3 
Magnificent Frigatebirds soaring with vultures.

Later at the University of Miami, near the Lowe Art Museum, there were a 
couple of figs with fruit and among the various doves coming into feed 
were 3 Hill Mynas and 2 Spotted Orioles. Yellow-chevroned Parakeets were 
also present.

29 December 2005
We visited Fairchild Tropical Garden in the later morning and at a 
fruiting fig near the park entrance were 8 Hill Mynas (at least 12 were 
present in the park that day) and 8 Yellow-chevroned Parakeets.

30 December 2005
We drove to Key Largo for the day. Our first stop was the hammock forest 
at the Port Bouganville entrance to Key Largo Hammock State Park. Had 
very good luck with White-crowned Pigeon here, with at least 5 birds, 
some perching in the open. Also present was one Great Crested Flycatcher 
and 2 Common Ground-dove.

Later we joined a glass bottom boat tour at John Pennekamp Coral Reef 
State Park. Many Great White Herons were present on the way to Molasses 
Reef, where we stopped to gaze at the coral community. The seas were 
absolutely flat! The biggest surprise were 8 (including 2 adults) Brown 
Boobies roosting on the wooden tower near the reef, along with many 
Magnificent Frigatebirds.

On the drive through Plantation Key, I saw one Western Kingbird.

31 December 2005
On our way back to Jupiter, just south of junction of I-95 and Florida 
Turnpike a dark phase Short-tailed Hawk was soaring right over the highway.

Lastly, on January 1, 2006, on our way to Jonathan Dickinson State Park, 
I saw one Florida Scrub-jay (not too far south of park boundary). I know 
they are becoming rather rare in the area, so thought someone would want 
to know.

Of note- Common Mynas were very common along US-1 from Miami to 
Homestead- I saw 2-3 birds at nearly every stoplight and up to 10 birds 
at one McDonald's. I also noted several near the Miami airport on 
another day. White-winged Doves were everywhere Jupiter and north. I 
don't recall seeing any last year during my holiday visit, whereas 
Eurasian Collared Dove was very abundant. This year there were few 
collared doves in Jupiter (although it was abundant in the greater Miami 
and Upper Keys area).

If anyone would like more details on any of these sightings, please let 
me know.

Cheers, AJ

Alan J. Knue
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Seattle, WA, USA

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