Today I took Laure Neish and her SOB (Spouse of Birder) on a tour of T.M. Goodwin WMA and St. Sebastian River Preserve in search of life birds for Laure.
We started in the fog at the Stick Marsh Parking Lot where we found at least four Limpkin. We were able to approach rather closely to get good looks despite the fog. We walked up into the WMA to search for King rail and Sedge wren. King rail was rather cooperative, giving us a few good looks along the low road north of the office. Sedge wrens were inexplicably absent in the time we looked.
Next up was St. Sebastian River Preserve to hunt down some Red-cockaded woodpeckers, Bachman's sparrows, and Brown-headed nuthatches. First we spied a few manatees from the manatee overlook at the end of the road. One was wearing a transmitter to let scientists know where it travels. Once in the woods we had to walk quite a bit to find a flock containing the woodpeckers. There were at least three, maybe four Red-cockaded woodpeckers that were quite cooperative and one very annoying Brown-headed nuthatch that reluctantly gave us some views. Bachman's sparrows are quite abundant in the area, but are very hard to see at this time of year. One was actually in song, the earliest I think I have ever heard one. We flushed a couple while walking through the woods but did not get much for good views.
Running a little short on time, we decided to try Goodwin again in the light this time. Since it is Thursday, we can drive up to the Broadmoor Unit and search for Fulvous whistling-ducks. We did not have time to go all the way to Browadmoor, but we did go up almost to it where I have had Fulvous on several past visits. After turning around unsuccessful in our quest, I noticed a strange duck flying from the Broadmoor area. I had just finished telling Laure that Fulvous are always found in groups when this single bird flew in front of us, giving less than spectacular views. I suspect they are somewhere near the front in one of the cells that contains water, as they were last year. I'll have to investigate further when I get the chance.
That was it for today's adventures. I'll spruce this up later, but I have to go to Tallahassee for my last two CBCs in the next two days.