Hi all,

Wes and I headed out early this morning for the previously reported  
Neotropic Cormorant at Boca Chica Key.  Wes came by the house at a  
little after midnight after getting no sleep.  I got about  2 1/2  
hours of sleep, so I drove most of the way down.  After a nice 3 am  
breakfast where I tried for unsuccessfully for Common myna in the  
sign in front of the restaurant, we arrived at Boca Chica at around  
0615.  Once it became a little more light, I headed down the road  
toward Neotropic Rocks.  I went first while Wes caught a few more  
Z's.  The rocks were bare of cormorants or other birds.  I peeked  
into the lagoon behind the mangroves and found several Wilson's  
plovers, many many Semipalmated plovers, Red-breasted mergansers,  
assorted peeps and waders.  I set up a vigil of Neotropic Rocks from  
under the Mangroves as the sun neared the horizon.  Frigatebirds were  
soaring in the distance, the mergansers were streaming out of the  
lagoon and into the gulf, and cormorants were flying by as singles.   
The first couple were big bulky, short-tailed Double-crested  
cormorants.  It was the fourth cormorant that caught my eye.  It was  
flying toward me from right to left.  As it passed by me, right over  
the aforementioned rocks, I saw the white on the face and the smaller  
size and longer tail.  I immediately called Wes on his cell and heard  
him say, "Hello." from right around the corner.  Apparently he had  
almost caught up with me.  He was watching the bird as well.  We did  
not see the bird land and did not see it again on the way back to the  
car.  Thankfully this was one of those chases that starts and ends  
well.  The rest would be gravy.

On the way back to town we made a stop at Blue Hole on Big Pine Key  
to try once again for Least Grebe and Masked duck.  We were  
unsuccessful once again.  We found a regular Pied-billed grebe and a  
non-Caribbean coot.  We made a quick stop for a celebratory Ice Cream  
in Key Largo.

Once we had Neotropic, we had to try for Great to be the first to get  
three cormorants in a day in Florida.  The Great cormorant of John U  
Lloyd State Park was in position off the jetty on channel marker #5.   
It was hiding on the east side below the light, so we had to move  
into position on the beach to get the ID, but we got it.  On the way  
out we checked on the Anis on Old Griffin Road and saw one.

It was a nice day.

David Simpson
Fellsmere, FL
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