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Hi,
   While on our chapter's field trip to the Port Orange Bridge this 
afternoon, the one where we found the "probable" California Brown 
Pelican, we also found a pair of American Oystercatchers in an obvious 
state of nest incubation. At one point a Turkey Vulture flew low over 
the area and was immediately challenged, first by the male, and then by 
both birds. The female soon returned to the exact spot she was in 
before, partially hidden by short vegetation, and appeared to be 
turning the eggs before resuming incubation again. This is the earliest 
date for AMOY nesting that  I know of. The Bird Life of Florida lists a 
date of 4/8/63, at St Marks, as the earliest known date.

   Directions from I-95 are as follows: Exit I-95 at SR 421, Exit 256. 
Proceed east about 3 miles and cross US 1 onto the Dunlawton Causeway. 
As you're approaching the high rise bridge, turn right into the turn 
off for Port Orange Causeway Park. Make a sharp left and drive into the 
parking area beneath the bridge. The closest island off the south side 
of the bridge is Rookery Island. At low tide there's a large sand bar 
exposed west of the island. The island has something of a comma shape 
and the oystercatchers are on the section of the island closest to the 
boat ramps. The suspected California Brown Pelican was seen in the 
water at the west end of the island and later atop the mangroves on the 
island near the west end of the rookery itself. That bright red pouch 
makes him pretty easy to spot.

David Hartgrove,
President & Conservation Chair,
Halifax River Audubon

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