Ten birders joined me for today's carpool trip to Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and Ft. Myers Beach. While waiting for all of the participants to arrive at the Miccosukee service plaza, some of us heard a King Rail calling. Most of the usual suspects were seen along CR 833 (Snake Road) and CR 846, including Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Northern Harrier, Red-shouldered Hawk (two carrying breakfast: one, a snake, the other, a frog), Wild Turkey (several small groups), Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Glossy Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Wood Stork, Greater Yellowlegs, Limpkin, Sandhill Crane, Belted Kingfisher, Crested Caracara (about a dozen) and Pileated Woodpecker and Eastern Meadowlark.
Only the short (one-mile) loop of Corkscrew's boardwalk system is currently open, but we still encountered a few migrants along the way, including Yellow-throated Vireo (heard), Gray Catbird, Swainson's Thrush, Louisiana and Northern Waterthrush, Northern Parula, Black-and-white, Yellow-throated, Pine, Black-throated Green and Bay-breasted Warbler and Scarlet Tanager. Among the resident birds seen were Red-shouldered Hawk (one seen lunching on a just-captured squirrel), Limpkin, Great Crested Flycatcher (heard), White-eyed Vireo, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wren and Common Yellowthroat.
At Big Carlos Pass at the south end of Ft. Myers Beach, we found four American Avocets among a tight flock of shorebirds and larids that included Marbled Godwit, Willet, Short-billed Dowitcher, Royal, Sandwich and Forster's Tern and Black Skimmer. Other shorebirds seen at the beach included five plovers: Killdeer, Black-bellied, Snowy (two), Wilson's and Semipalmated, plus Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling and Spotted, Western and Least Sandpiper.