Yesterday, Naples birder Alan Murray and I spent the day birding  
various locales in South Florida i.e. Lucky Hammock, Everglades N.P.,  
Cutler Wetlands & Dump Marsh. At or near Flynn's, we ran into the  
Brevard County Audubon group. Not much was happening at Flynn's  
except for a raucous Brown Thrasher and that we had up to 3 Cave  
Swallows (race undetermined) fly-over us among the many Tree Swallows  
present. These birds were unexpected. A stop at Lucky Hammock & the  
Annex didn't produce much except a stunning pair of Painted Buntings  
and several warbler species including Ovenbird, Northern Parula,  
Prairie, Yellow-rumped and Palm. The Bell's Vireo was a no-show at  
the Annex but we did manage to find two Purple Gallinules and several  
more warblers including two American Redstarts. Afterward, the  
Brevard group found several Grasshopper Sparrows near the beehives at  
the beginning of Aerojet Rd. and Alan and I had a Barn Swallow fly- 
by. We all then ventured over to SW217th Avenue just south of the  
Schnebly Winery where Brennan Mulrooney found the Yellow-headed  
Blackbird near the horse farm earlier in the week. Alan & I were too  
impatient to stay long enough to find the YHBL, but the Brevard group  
met with success. (Later in the day Alan & I would return to this  
locale where we would find the YHBL). We did see at least one other  
Cave Swallow fly-over at the YHBL locale.

As an aside, I note that the House Sparrows have completely taken  
over and pushed out all of the Purple Martins at the condos/houses at  
Robert's Is Here fruit stand west of Homestead. I've mentioned that  
this was happening to Robert in the past but he didn't seem to be too  
concerned even though he touts this locale to be the "Southernmost  
Purple Martin House in the USA" (which it isn't BTW).

Alan and I then ventured in to E.N.P. where birding was about the  
worse I've ever seen it in the park. The Anhinga Trail didn't produce  
much except the usual waders & nesters with the exception of a fly- 
over Swallow-tailed Kite. A lack of birds would be the theme  
throughout the day at E.N.P. The utter desolation at Flamingo had me  
floored. It will take years before this place gets back to normal  
IMHO, provided no other hurricanes hit the place. Best birds (if you  
can call them that) were Blue-headed Vireo & Yellow-throated Warbler  
at Mahoghany Hammock, one lone Roseate Spoonbill among the myriad  
White Ibis & other white birds at Eco Pond (which remains closed  
indefinitely). An American Crocodile at the Flamingo Marina along  
with perhaps a thousand Laughing Gulls was the other highlight of our  
E.N.P. experience. Oh, almost forgot, we did see many, many Orange- 
barred Sulphurs all over E.N.P. and we had a nice Baracoa Skipper  
right by our picnic table at Long Pine Key Campground while we ate  
our lunch. Leaving E.N.P. we went to get the YHBL as previously  
mentioned and then made a beeline for Cutler Wetlnds where we finally  
saw a few ducks and shorebirds. (Thanks Trey for the directions!)  
Highlights at Cutler Wetlands were two Roseate Spoonbills, a number  
of both Lesser & Greater Yellowlegs, Northern Shoveler, Mottled Duck  
& lots of American Coots. We next tried to find Dump Marsh from  
Trey's instructions. We finally did find it. Note to Trey: After  
heading south on SW97th, one crosses TWO canals not one and then  
turns left and parks at the gate to walk into Dump Marsh. Highlights  
at Dump Marsh, in the waning light, were one Black-necked Stilt, four  
dowitcher sp. (which one though -- too distant to tell), one Ring- 
necked Duck, Blue-winged Teal and a fly-over adult Bald Eagle. We  
ended the day with a little over 80 species but the birding was not  
what I usually come to expect for the areas we visited.

Vincent Lucas
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"Look out for the builder-man turning this into a wasteland" -- Bruce  
Hornsby from "Look Out Any Window"

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