My NJ birding friend Peter Burke and I made the drive through the  
back roads from Naples to STA-5, south of Clewiston, in a dense fog  
with visibility less than 100 yards. Despite the fog, we managed to  
see a few birds before we reached Blumberg Rd. & the gate at STA-5.  
Several Crested Caracaras were seen in route as were five Snail Kites  
and 3-4 Limpkins opposite the Ocean Boy Shrimp Farm on CR835. A pair  
of Barn Owls were flushed at the old ag building on Blumberg Rd.  
before reaching the STA-5 gate. Some 25 folks attended the tour. Some  
numbers seemed to be down, especially certain duck species, and a few  
species were missed altogether (Snail Kite & Bald Eagle), but  
everyone seemed to enjoy seeing the birds and relishing the picture  
postcard Florida sunshine and warmth. We did not relocate the  
Eurasian Wigeon found two weeks ago on the first STA-5 CBC.

Here is the bird list for STA-5 (including Blumberg Rd.) for 12/29/2007:

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck  <6
Fulvous Whistling-Duck  >500
American Wigeon
Mottled Duck
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail -1
Green-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Ruddy Duck >10
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
American Bittern - 2 (one eating a snake)
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Tricolored Heron
Cattle Egret
Green Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
White Ibis
Glossy Ibis
Roseate Spoonbill >75
Wood Stork
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Northern Harrier
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk (1 on Blumberg Rd.)
Crested Caracara  (1 on Blumberg Rd.)
American Kestrel
Merlin - 1
Peregrine Falcon - 2
Sora (heard only)
Purple Swamphen >10
Purple Gallinule
Common Moorhen
American Coot
Sandhill Crane (12 flying over west end of cell bordering Chuck  
Obern's Organic Farm)
Black-bellied Plover - 5
Black-necked Stilt >25
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Least Sandpiper
Long-billed Dowitcher >1000
Wilson's Snipe
Caspian Tern - 3
Black Skimmer >30
Mourning Dove
Common Ground-Dove
Barn Owl - 1 (Blumberg Rd.)
Belted Kingfisher
Eastern Phoebe
Loggerhead Shrike
Tree Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Marsh Wren - 1
Northern Mockingbird
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Palm Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Savannah Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Boat-tailed Grackle

After leaving STA-5, a few carloads of birders followed me to the  
Ocean Boy Shrimp Farm on CR835 where we saw two lovely Snail Kites  
perched at close range off of the road. A Scissor-tailed Flycatcher  
with a foot-long tail perched on the telephone wires and then a  
nearby tree along CR835 between Canon Hammock Park and Ocean Boy  
Shrimp Farm. We stopped at the kingbird site along the Deer Fence  
Canal off of CR835 but could not locate the Cassin's Kingbird  
although at least a half-dozen or so Western Kingbirds were evident.  
SFWMD (apparently) wiped out the understory of all the Bald Cypress  
trees along the canal here so who knows if this might have effected  
the kingbirds and specifically the Cassin's. . . . We also saw our  
only Bald Eagle (subadult) for the day here. One of the out-of-state  
participants on the tour needed Crested Caracara for a lifer so Peter  
and I, along with the Marr's from Punta Gorda, showed him one on  
CR833 a few miles north of the intersection with CR835.

Lastly, Peter and I stopped along CR858 on the Hendry/Collier County  
line near the Hendry County Correctional Facility and added two more  
Scissor-tailed Flycatchers and three Western Kingbirds   for our totals.

All in all, folks seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves and everyone  
said they saw some nice birds and several folks, mostly out-of- 
staters, added a few lifers to their lists. The next STA-5 birding  
tour will be January 5th, 2008. Contact Margaret England at   
[log in to unmask] if you want to take part in this tour.

Cheers and Happy New Year!


Vincent Lucas
Naples, FL
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