Florida Space Coast 2013 – Wrap Up

Winding out my Florida trip after the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival was over, I tried once again for some of the rare birds that were still around.  The bananaquit had not been seen in the last 2 weeks, but the western spindalis was still sporadically being reported from Virginia Key near Miami, FL.  Although unsuccessful again with the spindalis, the bonus bird was a nice adult dark morph Short-tailed Hawk.  Returning in late afternoon to Green Cay in Boynton Beach, FL, I was successful with the La Sagra’s Flycatcher.  Not only did I get to hear it call, but I got to see it in fading light, perched and fairly well hidden behind quite an array of branches and leaves.  Unfortunately, not a one of my photos turned out very well.  None are presented here.  But the Short-tailed Hawk?  Ah. Well.  That was quite rewarding as this species goes.  It is often seen flying at quite a height or you just catch a glimpse as it zooms overhead at treetop level hunting the treetops for small birds.

Short-tailed Hawk adult dark morph above treeline - Virginia Key - near Key Biscayne, FL - 2013-01-30

Short-tailed Hawk adult dark morph above treeline – Virginia Key – near Key Biscayne, FL – 2013-01-30 photo by Greg Miller

 

Short-tailed Hawk adult dark morph overhead showing whiter patches in underwing - Virginia Key - near Key Biscayne FL - 2013-01-30

Short-tailed Hawk adult dark morph overhead showing whiter patches in underwing – Virginia Key – near Key Biscayne FL – 2013-01-30 photo by Greg Miller

Short-tailed Hawk adult dark morph flying high - Virginia Key - near Key Biscayne FL - 2013-01-30

Short-tailed Hawk adult dark morph flying high – Virginia Key – near Key Biscayne FL – 2013-01-30 photo by Greg Miller

 

Short-tailed Hawk adult dark morph profile sailing away showing upturned wingtips - Virginia Key - near Key Biscayne FL - 2013-01-30

Short-tailed Hawk adult dark morph profile sailing away showing upturned wingtips – Virginia Key – near Key Biscayne FL – 2013-01-30 photo by Greg Miller

 

Short-tailed Hawk adult dark morph side profile flight shot with head down hunting treetops - Virginia Key - near Key Biscayne FL - 2013-01-30

Short-tailed Hawk adult dark morph side profile flight shot with head down hunting treetops – Virginia Key – near Key Biscayne FL – 2013-01-30 photo by Greg Miller

 

Blue Dasher - Green Cay - near Boynton Beach FL - 2013-01-30

Blue Dasher – Green Cay – near Boynton Beach FL – 2013-01-30 photo by Greg Miller

 

Blue Racer head shot - Green Cay - near Boynton Beach FL - 2013-01-30

Blue Racer head shot – Green Cay – near Boynton Beach FL – 2013-01-30 photo by Greg Miller

 

Bobcat standing at edge of parking lot - Green Cay - near Boynton Beach FL - 2013-01-30

Bobcat standing at edge of parking lot – Green Cay – near Boynton Beach FL – 2013-01-30 photo by Greg Miller

 

Second bobcat appears - Green Cay - near Boynton Beach FL - 2013-01-30

Second bobcat appears – Green Cay – near Boynton Beach FL – 2013-01-30 photo by Greg Miller

On the 31st I chased after the report of a White-cheeked Pintail at Pelican Island NWR near Sebastian Inlet, FL, but failed to turn it up as well.  I finished the day at T.M. Goodwin with a small flock of Fulvous Whistling Ducks (all into the sun so no good for a photo) and a really big alligator.  This area is a great place to bird but is currently only open on Mondays and Thursdays.

big alligator - TM Goodwin - near Fellsmere FL - 2013-01-31

big alligator – TM Goodwin – near Fellsmere FL – 2013-01-31 photo by Greg Miller

And so a wonderfully pleasant trip to Florida has come to a close.  This was a great time to get away from the ice and snow and mostly cold temperatures of Ohio.  I ended the trip with over 160 species of birds in Florida–a pretty nice list for festival attendance and trips.

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