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Hi,
   Ray Scory and I took a group to Washington Oaks Gardens State Park, 
in north Flagler County, this morning as part of the Birding and 
FotoFest. We ended up with 46 species, having added a stop at Matanzas 
Inlet on the way back to St Augustine. Highlights would be Common Loon, 
seen at both Washington Oaks and the Inlet in the Matanzas River, a 
very cooperative pair of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds at the Gardens, 
singing Northern Parula Warblers there too, and a lone Piping Plover 
(part of a 4 plover day) at the Inlet. One woman was thrilled to have 
added a lifer to her list: a pair of Northern Cardinals, seen in early 
morning, golden sunlight against a bright green backdrop. It was enough 
to take one's breath away, even if it was such a common bird to us. 
Having traveled from near Bellingham, Washington, this was a first time 
experience for her. I didn't ask her, but out there she probably takes 
a Varied Thrush for granted the way we do Cardinals. It was a beautiful 
day to be out looking for birds.

David Hartgrove
Daytona Beach, FL

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