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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Florida Trip - Day 5

       We began today's adventure at Loxahatchee NWR. As we turned off the main road and were driving along the side road to the entrance gate we stopped to checked out the utility wires for any parakeets that might be hanging around the area. We didn't spot any, and as I was ready to drive on, I looked in my rear view mirror and saw a large, strange bird walking along the roadside we had just driven past. So I quickly did a U-turn and pulled alongside this creature which turned out to be the first of many Limpkins.
         Moving on, we decided to take the Cypress Swamp Boardwalk Trail located behind the visitors center. We found lots of Northern Parulas and Red-bellied Woodpeckers and than we heard the call of some kind of parakeet. We never did see the birds but I'm guessing it was either a Monk or Nanday Parakeet.
        Back in the car we drove to the main area of the refuge, which is the water impoundment section. We walked about half way around finding lots of Common Gallinules, Pied-billed Grebes and herons. At this point we climbed an observation tower and started scanning. Luck was with us as we spotted two distant Snail Kites. As we went further around the impoundment we managed to get some good close views of the kites.
Snail Kite with Apple Snail in talons
        After finishing up at Loxahatchee we went back to Green Cay Wetlands for a second visit. I got a quick glimpse of the La Sagra's Flycatcher again. At the visitor's center the Painted Buntings were still coming to the feeders and along the boardwalk we managed some close up photography as well.
Tri-colored Heron

       Along the boardwalk there was a knot in the wood that reminded me of a lion's face. I thought that it was pretty cool.
Lion's Head
        We finished our visit at Green Cay and tried Wakodahatchee Preserve for a Fulvous Whistling-Duck but only came away with about 30 Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks. Having the need to really see some sort of parrot or parakeet we went back again to Loxahatchee. Good thing we did because on the same wires that we searched for the birds before there were now two Nanday Parakeets perched on the wire. Lifer number three for this trip.
Trust me - they are Nanday Parakeets
        We headed north after this and went to the town of Jupiter, which was on our way back toward the airport. We took a quick look at the Jupiter Lighthouse and then headed to Jonathon Dickinson State Park.
                            Jupiter Lighthouse
       At this park we were searching for the Florida Scrub-Jay but all we found instead were some Sandhill Cranes. Leaving the park we headed for the West Palm Beach airport and a non-eventful flight home. Below are some more photos from various places.
Common Gallinule

Mottled Duck

Egyptian Goose

Little Blue Heron


Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks

Old Missile site in Everglades NP


Bromilead of some type

Rough Green Snake


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