TAS North Florida Trip Report

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Posted by Brian Rapoza on 18:48:46 01/21/15

Ten birders joined Paul Bithorn and me this past Friday through Monday for the thirteenth annual TAS trek to North Florida. Though temperatures approached freezing each morning in the Panhandle, it warmed up nicely during the day and we experienced not a drop of rain. This year s trip took us up the west coast on our way north, providing an opportunity for a quick stop for Florida Scrub-Jay at Oscar Scherer State Park near Venice. We also visited La Chua Trail at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in Gainesville before arriving in Tallahassee, our base for the next three days.

Day two stops included the Apalachee Savannah Scenic Byway in Apalachicola National Forest, Apalachicola Airport, Torreya State Park and Florida Caverns State Park. Day three was spent at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge as well as Alligator Point and Bottoms Road in the Panacea area. Our last morning began at the Southwood neighborhood in Tallahassee, home to a pair of roosting Whooping Cranes, followed by stops at Tall Timbers Research Station and a private residence in Tallahassee before heading home to south Florida.

Over the course of the four-day tour, we tallied 154 species of birds, including twenty waterfowl, three loons, seven woodpeckers, three nuthatches and eleven sparrows. We also encountered a few mammals along the way, including bottle-nosed dolphin, river otter, white-tailed deer and wild hog. Sadly, a deceased Florida panther was spotted along Alligator Alley on our drive north, presumably the victim of a collision with a passing vehicle. Other roadkill seen during the trip included coyote, both red and gray fox, white-tailed deer, striped skunk and numerous raccoon and opossum.

Here s the bird list, with locations for select species:

Canada. Goose - Tallahassee
Muscovy Duck
Gadwall La Chua, St. Marks
American Wigeon St. Marks
Mottled Duck
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler St. Marks
Northern Pintail St. Marks
Green-winged Teal
Canvasback St. Marks
Redhead St. Marks
Ring-necked Duck
Greater Scaup St. Marks, Alligator Point
Lesser Scaup
Black Scoter - Alligator Point
Common Goldeneye St. Marks
Hooded Merganser Bottoms Road
Red-breasted Merganser
Ruddy Duck St. Marks
Red-throated Loon - Alligator Point
Pacific Loon - Alligator Point
Common Loon
Pied-billed Grebe
Horned Grebe - Alligator Point
Northern Gannet - Alligator Point
American White Pelican
Brown Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
American Bittern La Chua
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Tricolored Heron
Cattle Egret
Black-crowned Night-Heron
White Ibis
Glossy Ibis
Roseate Spoonbill along Alligator Alley
Wood Stork
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Northern Harrier
Sharp-shinned Hawk in Tallahassee
Cooper s Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Clapper Rail Bottoms Road
Virginia Rail Bottoms Road
Sora La Chua
Common Gallinule
American Coot
Limpkin along Alligator Alley
Sandhill Crane
Whooping Crane - Southwood
Black-bellied Plover
Semipalmated Plover
American Oystercatcher Bottoms Road
Spotted Sandpiper
Lesser Yellowlegs
Ruddy Turnstone
Least Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
Wilson s Snipe - Southwood
Laughing Gull
Bonaparte s Gull Alligator Point
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Forster s Tern
Royal Tern
Parasitic Jaeger Alligator Point
Rock Pigeon
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Mourning Dove
Common Ground-Dove
Barred Owl heard, La Chua
Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker - Torreya
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Red-cockaded Woodpecker Apalachee Scenic Byway
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Loggerhead Shrike
White-eyed Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo
Blue Jay
Florida Scrub-Jay Oscar Scherer
American Crow
Fish Crow
Tree Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Red-breasted Nuthatch Tall Timbers
White-breasted Nuthatch Tall Timbers
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Winter Wren Florida Caverns
Sedge Wren Apalachee Scenic Byway
Marsh Wren Bottoms Road
Golden-crowned Kinglet Tall Timbers
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird Tall Timbers
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher heard, Oscar Scherer
European Starling
American Pipit - Southwood
Sprague s Pipit Apalachicola Airport
Cedar Waxwing
Orange-crowned Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler
Pine Warbler
Palm Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow Tall Timbers
Savannah Sparrow
Grasshopper Sparrow Apalachicola Airport
Henslow s Sparrow La Chua, Apalachee Scenic Byway
Nelson s Sparrow Bottoms Road
Seaside Sparrow heard, Bottoms Road
Song Sparrow - St Marks
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow La Chua, Tall Timbers
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Common Grackle
Boat-tailed Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole private residence in Tallahassee
Purple Finch private residence in Tallahassee
House Finch
Pine Siskin Tall Timbers
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

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