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Hey everyone,

As soon as the rain was gone at about 2:00 PM, I was sick of being inside.  So I grabbed my binoculars and headed out to Leu, then Mead Gardens to see if the weather had changed the migrant scene.  The passerines weren't too impressive, but the real fun was the dark morph Short-Tailed Hawk at Leu Gardens:

Anhinga
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Green Heron
Osprey
Red-Shouldered Hawk (mostly vocalizing, watching and diving at the...)
SHORT-TAILED HAWK (1 dark morph, I probably watched it for 20 minutes or so.  Some of the time the bird was way high, at other times right in the treetops over my head, grabbing at prey.  At one point it grabbed something - looked too small to be a bird - began to eat it on the wing, then dropped it and stooped down to catch it again at about lower canopy level.  It also spent a lot of time soaring over Lake Rowena.  It was REALLY cool to see the Short-Tailed and the Red-Shouldered together; the flight style, shape of the wings, and mastery of the wind currents were so different.  The Short-Tailed easily glided and manuevered in the gusty weather, while the Red-Shouldered's flight seemed stiff and hesitant by comparison.)
Common Moorhen
Mourning Dove
Red-Bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Red-Eyed Vireo (6-7)
Blue Jay
Tufted Titmouse
Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher (15-20)
Northern Parula (2)
Yellow-Throated Warbler (4)
Prairie Warbler (1)
Black-and-White Warbler (2)
Northern Cardinal
Red-Winged Blackbird
Common Grackle

Mead and Leu Gardens are located in Winter Park and Orlando respectively, north-central Orange County.  The weather, by the way, was my absolute favorite: comfortable, breezy, cloudy!!  If only it were like that here everyday...  Maybe someday I'll live in Portland or Seattle.

Good birding!

John Thomton
Orlando, Orange Co. 
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