Hi all,


               Lucy and I decided to forego our coastal bias and bird the
extreme northern borders of Holmes and Walton Counties, thinking that all
that bad weather up north might bring us a great bird in the agricultural
areas near the Alabama border. On the way we stopped at Ponce de Leon State
Park for a crack at Juncos and Winter Wren. No luck on the Juncos but we had
knockout looks at two WINTER WRENS, and a third that slipped around the bend
of the creek. This park is one of the more reliable areas to find that
species in the state. (Lucy here:  You should have seen it fussing at us
when we "pished" at it - deep knee bends each time it said, "chh, chh at us!
This little wren loves to hug the fallen logs and brush piles in on the damp
forest floor as it slips like a mouse from place to place.)


               We headed north out of Bonifay and explored the dirt roads
looking for rare birds in the open fields where soybeans and peanuts had
been harvested. From Bonifay, we turned west before reaching Alabama. It was
very disappointing, not a single blackbird (Lucy:  not ONE!) and only 3 Am.
Pipits and not even many Killdeer. We then dropped south to Baker where
Bruce Purdy reported lots of Rusty and Brewer's Blackbirds on 8  Feb. We
passed by Henderson Rd where Bruce reported his blackbirds and had to turn
around, fortunately, at the Baker Recreational Center about a block south of
Henderson Rd. There were large numbers of blackbirds there, mostly Grackles,
but among them were some BREWER'S and RUSTY BLACKBIRDS. We then returned to
Henderson Rd and found lots of Brewer's and Rusties in the field north of
the road as well as in trees. All in all a good day, but over 250 miles in a
van was not the best birding experience we have ever had.


Bob Duncan

Gulf Breeze, in the w. Panhandle

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