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I had the afternoon off so I decided to go in search of some Collier  
County birds to add to my Collier County Big Year list. I started out  
by stopping at Eagle Lakes Community Park in Naples, first going to  
the western most impoundment nearest the Whistler's Cove Apartments.  
I found a White-rumped Sandpiper among the few dozen Least  
Sandpipers. Ka-ching! Nothing else of note at that impoundment.  
Afterward, I went down to the "main" impoundment -- the one with the  
gazebo, straight out from the parking lot. There I ran into visiting  
Illinois birder Brian Herriott who was looking for Shiny Cowbirds  
among the Bronzed & Brown-headed Cowbirds, Red-winged Blackbirds and  
Boat-tailed Grackles. After about a half-hour of searching, we  
finally found a stunning male Shiny that perched-up on a Bald Cypress  
for us and we had crippling scope views of it. For me, it was the  
first Shiny Cowbird I'd seen in Collier County in over four years. Ka- 
ching! We scoped out the shorebirds and others in this impoundment  
and managed to find 2-3 Stilt Sandpipers (ka-ching!) as well as  
several Long-billed Dowitchers, Lesser Yellowlegs and Black-necked  
Stilts. Also of note, there were two American White Pelicans resting  
on a small islet in the impoundment and a few Brown Pelicans were  
flying around as well. Other birds present: one Black Skimmer, one  
Mallard (feral), >12 Mottled Ducks, an equal number of Blue-winged  
Teal, plus all of the "usual" waders, etc. I had hoped for some  
migrant Bobolinks but no luck.

Afterward, I drove down to the Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk with  
visions of trees dripping with migrating warblers, Red-eyed Vireos,  
etc. etc. No such luck! The place was as dead as I've ever seen it.  
NOT ONE WARBLER OF ANY KIND! Outside of a few Barn Swallows I saw  
from the parking area along US Rte. 41, I didn't see any migrants.  
The eagles have fledged and were busy flying around above the  
boardwalk screeching. I heard several Tufted Titmouse(s), Great  
Crested Flycatchers, Red-bellied Woodpeckers and a waterthrush  
species and saw a Red-shouldered Hawk, both vultures and a few waders  
but that was it.

Oh well, adding three new county birds to my Collier County Big Year  
list was a nice way to spend the afternoon! And for anyone keeping  
score, my CCBY list total now stands at 172 species.

I almost forgot, this morning after taking my friend to the dialysis  
center, I was driving by the North Naples Waste Water Treatment Plant  
on Goodlette-Frank Road and on the sound side of the bridge, I saw a  
flock of about 75 Cedar Waxwings eating the fruit of some sort of  
exotic tree. I wish I could ID that tree! Underneath the tree and  
along a weedy dry swale, I saw over a half-dozen brilliantly blue- 
colored Indigo Buntings. Nice to see that they are still here.

Cheers.

Vince

Vincent Lucas
Naples, FL
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/leppyone/
http://www.caloosabirdclub.org



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