Trip Report: TAS North Florida Tour

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Posted by Brian Rapoza on 19:36:38 01/21/14

Seven birders joined Paul Bithorn and me for our thirteenth annual North Florida winter birding tour this past weekend. A Snowy Owl beckoned, so our route this year took us up the east coast before heading west to Tallahassee, our base for the next three nights. Stops on day one included Viera Wetlands near Melbourne and Little Talbot State Park and Huegenot Park in Jacksonville. Day two took us west of Tallahassee, to the Sumatra area of Apalachicola State Forest, a residence in Apalachicola and scenic Torreya State Park. Day three was spent at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Alligator Point and Bottoms Road, all south of Tallahassee. Day four stops before our return to Miami included Tallahasee s Southwood subdivision, Tall Timbers Research Station north of Tallahassee and residences in High Springs and Gainesville. Except for a thunderstorm early on day three, the group enjoyed clear skies and comfortably cool temperatures. The handful of mammals seen along the way included River Otter, Wild Hog, Bottle-nosed Dolphin, White-tailed Deer and Coyote. A total of 159 species of birds were tallied; below is a trip list, with locations for select species:

Canada Goose Southwood, several roadside locations
Mute Swan Viera click ponds
Wood Duck - Tall Timbers
Gadwall St Marks
American Wigeon St Marks
Mallard (feral) Little Talbot
Mottled Duck - Viera
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Green-winged Teal
Canvasback Viera, St. Marks
Redhead St. Marks
Ring-necked Duck
Greater Scaup St. Marks
Lesser Scaup
Surf Scoter Alligator Point
White-winged Scoter Alligator Point
Black Scoter Huegenot, Alligator Point
Bufflehead Viera, St. Marks, Alligator Point
Common Goldeneye St. Marks
Hooded Merganser Viera, St. Marks, I-75 service plaza
Red-breasted Merganser
Ruddy Duck Viera, St. Marks
Wild Turkey off I-75
Northern Bobwhite heard, St. Marks
Red-throated Loon Alligator Point
Common Loon
Pied-billed Grebe
Horned Grebe St. Marks
Northern Gannet Little Talbot
American White Pelican Viera, off Apalachicola causeway
Brown Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Least Bittern heard, Viera
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Tricolored Heron
Reddish Egret Little Talbot
Cattle Egret
Green Heron Viera (incredibly, our first for this trip!)
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
White Ibis
Glossy Ibis
Wood Stork
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle numerous locations; the most common raptor of the trip
Northern Harrier
Sharp-shinned Hawk Tall Timbers
Cooper s Hawk off I-95
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Crested Caracara off I-95
Merlin - Torreya
American Kestrel
Clapper Rail heard, Bottoms Road
Virginia Rail St. Marks
Sora St. Marks
Common Gallinule
American Coot
Sandhill Crane Viera, heard in Gainesville
Whooping Crane Southwood, a wintering pair from the reintroduced migrant population
Black-bellied Plover
Semipalmated Plover
American Oystercatcher St Marks
American Avocet St- Marks
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Ruddy Turnstone
Least Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpiper - Viera
Long-billed Dowitcher - Viera
Wilson s Snipe Sumatra, St. Marks
Laughing Gull
Bonaparte s Gull Viera, Alligator Point
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull Little Talbot
Forster s Tern
Royal Tern
Parasitic Jaeger Alligator Point
Rock Pigeon
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Mourning Dove
Common Ground-Dove
Snowy Owl Little Talbot
Buff-bellied Hummingbird residence in Apalachicola
Calliope Hummingbird residence in High Springs
Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker Torreya, Tall Timbers
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Loggerhead Shrike
Blue-headed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Tree Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow - Viera
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch Tall Timbers
Brown-headed Nuthatch St Marks, Tall Timbers
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Sedge Wren Bottoms Road
Marsh Wren St Marks, Bottoms Road
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush Torreya, St. Marks, Tall Timbers
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher St Marks
European Starling
Northern Waterthrush St Marks
Black-and-white Warbler - Torreya
Common Yellowthroat
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler - Torreya
Pine Warbler
Palm Warbler
Western Tanager residence in High Springs
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Henslow s Sparrow Sumatra
Nelson s Sparrow Bottoms Road
Song Sparrow St Marks, Tall Timbers
Lincoln s Sparrow Tall Timbers
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow Tall Timbers
White-crowned Sparrow Torreya, Tall Timbers
Dark-eyed Junco - Torreya
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark - Sumatra
Rusty Blackbird St. Marks, at the double bridges
Common Grackle
Boat-tailed Grackle
Bullock s Oriole residence in Gainesville
Baltimore Oriole residences in High Springs and Gainseville
House Finch Alligator Point, Tall Timbers
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

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