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.
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.
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.