Hey y'all,

Birded Mullet Key this a.m. with Judi Hopkins and a visiting birder from MI. 
Highlights included a male Hooded Warbler, Peregrine Falcon, Marbled Godwits 
(N Beach) and a white morph Reddish Egret.  Several other warbler and other 
species but none any different from what others are reporting.

The south end of north beach remains cordonded off for loafing species.  It 
appears more clearly marked as ever.  We asked a photographer outfitted in 
chest high boots who was circling the fences and signs through the water to 
get closer to the birds to be aware of the area as off limits to people.  He 
complied while we were there.

While in the woods trail at Arrow Head, we heard a distinct and closely 
calling Mangrove Cuckoo.  It called several times.  We spent 10-15 minutes 
looking for the bird realizing the extreme rareity of the bird so very early 
in the migration.  We did not find it BUT after moving on down the trail saw 
a pair of photographers playing the call on their recorder.  Relieved we 
weren't going to have to convince anyone that we actually had the bird, the 
entire event became a joke.

There is a point to this.  I am also a professional photographer and find it 
worrisome that other enthusiasts are more enthusiastic about their product 
than they are their subject.  I have also been told that the many 
photographers seen at the park today (probably 20+) were part of a class run 
by a local photographer who advertises these trips nationally.

If you happen to know this person or any of the others who may be involved 
in this kind of venture, may I suggest a friendly discussion about etiquette 
and remember the requested polite behavior is more for their subject's 
benefit than your (or their) own.

Lee Snyder
St Petersburg

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