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Greetings All,
 
Walking clockwise around Stoney Bayou Pool #2, upon crossing the 5-Way 
intersection, one juvenile Golden eagle was observed soaring with a pair 
of Turkey vultures.  The threesome approached from the East, circled 
around us and departed to the North.  Field marks used to distinguish this 
bird from subadult Bald eagles were the dark tail with white base above 
and below, white patch at base of primaries from above and below, and 
lighter colored head compared to the body.  In addition, the head size was 
noticeably smaller and shaped differently than a Bald eagle.  The time was 
approximately 10.30am. According to the USFWS St. Marks bird checklist, 
this species is  "rare" in abundance. 
We walked the back dike towards the South then turned East (right) for the 
return leg (at the T-intersection with E. Stoney Bayou Pool) and about a 
half mile later, a male Vermilion flycatcher was observed from 12.35pm to 
12.55pm.  The bird was hawking insects from a leafless thicket to the 
right (the Stoney Bayou side) and returning to the same perch almost every 
time.  We creeped ever closer until at about 10 meters distance, he flew 
across our path into a pine tree on the south side of the dike.  He 
appeared to be feeding just as successfully on that side so it might be 
worth searching there as well.  According to the checklist, this species 
is "occasional" in fall and winter.
 
Thanks to all the folks continuing to post sightings of these special 
winter visitors.
 
Sincerely,
Chris Mason and Bonnie Hall
Tallahassee

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