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Hey everyone,

Thanks to everyone's great advice, I got great looks at Saltmarsh Sparrow 
(lifer) AND Nelson's Sparrow (new for FL) at Shiloh Marsh Road.  I was with 
my friend Stephen who is a casual birder and new to Florida, so I took him 
down to Merritt Island to show him some specialties, the Atlantic Ocean 
(he's from California, arrived only 2 weeks ago in Orlando), and I was very 
careful to point out every Pollo Tropical restaurant we drove by (I love 
that place!).  We did Shiloh Marsh Road, Manatee Overlook, Scrub Ridge 
Trail, Canaveral NS (Playalinda), and Blackpoint.  Below is a combined list 
of all species we detected during the day:

Mottled Duck
Northern Pintail
American Wigeon
Northern Shoveler
Blue-Winged Teal
Green-Winged Teal
Lesser Scaup
Ring-Necked Duck
Hooded Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Pied-Billed Grebe
American White Pelican
Brown Pelican
Northern Gannet (at least 30, some very close to shore with one adult 
sitting on the water)
Anhinga
Double-Crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Little Blue Heron
Tricolored Heron
Snowy Egret
Reddish Egret (1, Blackpoint)
Green Heron
Cattle Egret
White Ibis
Glossy Ibis
Roseate Spoonbill (11, some at Canaveral near the beach, some at Blackpoint)
Wood Stork
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Northern Harrier
Red-Shouldered Hawk
Red-Tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Common Moorhen
American Coot
Black-Bellied Plover
Willet
Ruddy Turnstone
Sanderling
Dunlin
Laughing Gull (large group of gulls and some Caspian Terns by stop 6 on 
Blackpoint)
Ring-Billed Gull
Herring Gull
Caspian Tern
Royal Tern
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Northern Flicker
Eastern Phoebe
Western Kingbird (1, flyover at Shiloh Marsh Road)
White-Eyed Vireo
Florida Scrub-Jay (group of 4 along Canaveral entrance, just after the 
ranger station on the left)
Fish Crow
Tree Swallow
Marsh Wren
Sedge Wren
House Wren
Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Yellow-Rumped Warbler
Palm Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Saltmarsh Sparrow (3, in marsh west of Shiloh Marsh Road - yes we went 
wading, it was fun!)
Nelson's Sparrow (2, same area)
Savannah Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Red-Winged Blackbird
Boat-Tailed Grackle
American Goldfinch

Shiloh Marsh Road (now that I'm an expert...sort of) is in extreme SE 
Volusia County.  Take I-95 north or south to Exit 231.  Take whatever road 
that is east to Hwy 1 (about a mile), then take a left on Hwy 1, heading 
north.  You'll go over the railroad tracks, and right at the bottom of the 
overpass, there is a gravel road on the right with a sign on it saying 
"Wildlife Refuge Day Use Area" or something like that.  This is Shiloh Marsh 
Road.  Take this road south (watch for potholes) all the way to a gravel 
parking area.  Park here.  Folks say there are Saltmarsh and Nelson's 
Sparrows in the marshes right here.  You can also hike out into the marsh 
and watch them pop up as you walk or just stand somewhere out in the marsh 
near the water's edge and wait for awhile.  We had rubber boots, but I don't 
think the water ever got so high as my ankles.

The other sites are on Merritt Island in NE Brevard County near Titusville.

Thanks again and good birding!

John Thomton
Orlando, Orange Co.

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