North Florida Trip Report

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Posted by Brian Rapoza on 20:54:07 01/17/12

Eight birders joined Paul Bithorn and me for Tropical Audubon s annual four-day trek to Florida s Panhandle. Our group enjoyed crisp, cool clear weather and tasty food throughout. We tallied 146 bird species, including a few not seen on previous trips. Friday s stops on our way to Tallahassee included Astatula, on the west shore of Lake Apopka and Payne s Prairie State Park in Gainesville. On Saturday, we visited the Apalachee Savannah Scenic Byway in Apalachicola State Forest, Apalachicola Airport and Florida Caverns State Park. Sunday s stops included St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge as well as Alligator Point and Bottoms Road, both near Panacea. On Monday, we toured Tall Timbers Research Station, north of Tallahassee. During the tour, led by Tall Timbers biologist Jim Cox, participants visited the Stevenson Tail and bird blind on Gannet Pond, areas used for fire ecology research as well as an area where Red-cockaded Woodpeckers have been successfully reintroduced. The tour also included a visit to the research station s museum, where participants were shown, among other incredible bird specimens, a Bachman s Warbler!

The trip list:
Canada Goose
Wood Duck
American Wigeon
Mottled Duck
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Greater Scaup (St. Marks, offshore near the lighthouse)
Lesser Scaup
Surf Scoter (three males, one female, Alligator Point)
Black Scoter (four males, two females, Alligator Point. Five dark-winged scoters, unidentified to species, were also seen here.)
Common Goldeneye-(several at St. Marks, offshore near the lighthouse)
Hooded Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser
Red-throated Loon (at least three, Alligator Point)
Common Loon
Pied-billed Grebe
Horned Grebe
Northern Gannet
Brown Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
American Bittern
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Tricolored Heron
Cattle Egret
Black-crowned Night-Heron
White Ibis
Glossy Ibis
White-faced Ibis (one at Headquarters Pond, St Marks)
Roseate Spoonbill (one at Headquarters Pond, St Marks)
Wood Stork
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Northern Harrier
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper s Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Crested Caracara (FL Turnpike en route)
American Kestrel
Black Rail (heard at Bottoms Road)
Clapper Rail (several seen at Bottoms Road)
Virginia Rail (heard at Bottoms Road)
Common Gallinule
American Coot
Limpkin (FL Turnpike en route)
Sandhill Crane (FL Turnpike en route)
Black-bellied Plover
Semipalmated Plover
Piping Plover (one at Alligator Point)
American Oystercatcher
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Ruddy Turnstone
Least Sandpiper
Wilson s Snipe
Laughing Gull
Bonaparte s Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Forster s Tern
Royal Tern
Rock Pigeon
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Mourning Dove
Common Ground-Dove
Barred Owl
Whip-poor-will (one flushed t entrance to St Marks)
Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker (many at Tall Timbers)
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Apalachicola NF, Tall Timbers)
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Say s Phoebe (Astatula)
Empidonax sp. (near restrooms at Headquarters Pond, St Marks)
Myiarchus sp. (near restrooms at Headquarters Pond, St Marks)
Loggerhead Shrike
Blue Jay
Florida Scrub-Jay (Astatula)
American Crow
Fish Crow
Tree Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch (Tall Timbers)
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Sedge Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet (Tall Timbers)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Sprague s Pipit (two at Apalachicola Airport)
Cedar Waxwing
Orange-crowned Warbler
Northern Parula (Paynes Prairie, along US 441)
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler
Pine Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Palm Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Eastern Towhee
Bachman s Sparrow (Tall Timbers)
Chipping Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow (Paynes Prairie)
Savannah Sparrow
Henslow s Sparrow (several at Apalachicola NF)
Nelson s Sparrow (several near the lighthouse at St Marks)
Seaside Sparrow (one presumed to be this species at Bottoms Road)
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow (many at Tall Timbers)
White-crowned Sparrow (many at La Chua Trail, Paynes Prairie)
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Common Grackle
Boat-tailed Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

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