Here are some additions to what has already been posted about the birds I chased this weekend:

The meadowlark was first heard right around sunrise on the other side of the railroad tracks, and it then flew to the pond.  The pond held White-crowned, Song, and Savannah Sparrows.  There might have been more Brewer's Blackbirds than I reported and less Rusty.  I saw about 20 pale gray rumped female Rusty, and a 10-15 drabber female type birds.  I could only pick out one with a dark eye.  Most of the birds appeared to be males, and I called all birds with a bronzed color on the back Rusty, although reading more they might have been Brewer's.  I also saw a lot of males that I assumed were Rusty since they looked similar to the other birds I called Rusty.  Maybe more experience and paying more attention to common species out west will help me learn more about them.  After I left the blackbirds, I went back to the meadowlark spot to see if anyone was around, and ran into Ron Smith who had the bird in the field with the red roofed house.  Vesper Sparrows and a White-throated were also seen somewhere in the area.

Ponce de Leon Springs State Park had about 8 Juncos two Golden-crowned Kinglets, and little else.  Boat ramps on 81 had Winter Wren, many Hermit Thrushes, Golden and Ruby-crowned Kinlets, Pine Warblers, and many other birds.  Tilly Landing looks like it will be a great spot for breeding species.  After this I hit the coast.  Eagle Harbor had the usual suspects, Horned Grebe, Red-breasted Merganser, Bufflehead, and Common Loon as well as a somewhat surprising Chickadee.  Indian Pass held more common birds like Chipping Sparrow and Brown Thrasher.

The eider in St. Augustine is very easy to see.  When you are in the area, head south to Vilano Road, then go east to the beach.  A four wheel drive is not required at all as the sand is very hard.  Go south and the 'road' forks near a grassy area, stay south and go to the end to the only green marker in the harbor.  I first saw the bird at 6:52 and studied it until 7:10 then left to chase the Hammond's.  The bird I saw looked a little odd having a whitish supercilium, which might mean it is a young female.  The bill shape looked right for Common, and it also had a gray tip on the end of the bill.  

The eider is only about a 2 hour drive, and 15 minute jog to the Hammond's spot.  Every now and then a flock would pass through the area where we were waiting.  Blue-headed Vireo and Yellow-throated Warbler were the most unusual species until the Hammond's showed up.  At about 9:50 an Eastern Phoebe gave a few calls indicating that it was not happy about something.  It calmed down and I watched it for a while before it was chased off by a flycatcher about half its size.  I called Terry and Bob down and we watched the bird fly around for a few minutes, at first down low, then about 20 feet up in a tree.  At one point it had landed down low for a little bit, but when I got back with the scope it had left.  We were not able to relocate it in the next 10 minutes, and I was tired and decided to head home.  Once I got home I had some food and a nice nap.  As of now there are no birding plans next weekend.

Good Birding and Chasing
Andy Bankert
Melbourne Beach, FL 

FLORIDABIRDS-L Listserv mailing list information:
Member  photos  I:
Member  photos II:
For archives:
Set nomail: Click:  mailto:[log in to unmask] Type: Set floridabirds-L nomail
Listowner: Click:  mailto:[log in to unmask]