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TAS Keys and Dry Tortugas Trip Report, April 30-May 2

Six birders joined Paul Bithorn and me for Tropical Audubon’s Keys and Dry Tortugas tour this weekend. Throughout the three-day tour, we experienced sunny skies and easterly breezes, perfect weather for tourists but hardly the optimal conditions for producing that always hoped-for fallout. We still managed to find a respectable 102 species, including 15 species of warblers and virtually all of the Keys specialties. We made a number of stops during our drive on Saturday from Miami to Key West, including Cutler Wetlands, Black Point Park, the Card Sound Bridge, Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Carysfort Circle and Gulfstream Drive in North Key Largo, Grassy Key, Sombrero Golf Course and the Government Center in Marathon, Ohio Key, No Name Key (where we spotted four Key deer), Ft Zachary Taylor State Park, Indigenous Park and Key West Airport. Sunday was spent at Dry Tortugas National Park, followed by another visit to Key West Airport. Monday began with a return to Ft Zachary Taylor; stops made during our return to Miami included Boca Chica Beach, Ohio Key, Key Colony in Marathon and the King’s Creek area in Kendall. Following is our bird list for the tour, with comments for select species: Muscovy Duck Mottled Duck – Cutler Wetlands Masked Booby – Hospital Key in Dry Tortugas National Park Brown Booby – on a channel marker in Dry Tortugas National Park Northern Gannet – en route to Dry Tortugas National Park American White Pelican - Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge Brown Pelican Double-crested Cormorant Anhinga Magnificent Frigatebird Great Blue Heron (including several Great White Heron) Great Egret Snowy Egret Tricolored Heron Reddish Egret - Grassy Key, Key West Airport Cattle Egret Green Heron Black-crowned Night-Heron White Ibis Glossy Ibis - in Ft. Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park Black Vulture Turkey Vulture Osprey Sharp-shinned Hawk - Dry Tortugas National Park Red-shouldered Hawk Merlin - Dry Tortugas National Park, Ft. Zachary Taylor Common Gallinule American Coot Black-bellied Plover Semipalmated Plover Black-necked Stilt – Cutler Wetlands Willet Ruddy Turnstone Sanderling Semipalmated Sandpiper Western Sandpiper Least Sandpiper White-rumped Sandpiper – Boca Chica Beach Short-billed Dowitcher Long-billed Dowitcher – two in breeding plumage at Boca Chica Beach Laughing Gull Royal Tern Sandwich Tern – Marathon Government Center Roseate Tern – Marathon Government Center Forster’s Tern – Ohio Key Least Tern Bridled Tern – en route to Dry Tortugas National Park Sooty Tern –Dry Tortugas National Park Brown Noddy –Dry Tortugas National Park Rock Pigeon White-crowned Pigeon Eurasian Collared-Dove White-winged Dove – one at SW 112 Avenue and SW 248 Street Mourning Dove Common Ground-Dove Mitred Parakeet – King’s Creek Yellow-billed Cuckoo – heard at Carysfort Circle; several in Ft. Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park Mangrove Cuckoo – one at Black Point Park, one heard at Carysfort Circle Burrowing Owl – three at Key Colony in Marathon Common Nighthawk Antillean Nighthawk – one at Key West Airport Chimney Swift – Sombrero Golf Course Red-bellied Woodpecker Great Crested Flycatcher Gray Kingbird Loggerhead Shrike White-eyed Vireo Red-eyed Vireo - Ft. Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park Black-whiskered Vireo – Carysfort Circle, Ft. Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park, Ft Zachary Taylor State Park Fish Crow Northern Rough-winged Swallow Cliff Swallow - Ft. Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park Cave Swallow – SW 216 Street in Cutler Bay, Ft. Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park Barn Swallow Red-whiskered Bulbul – King’s Creek Gray-cheeked Thrush - Ft. Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park Gray Catbird Northern Mockingbird European Starling Common Myna Ovenbird – Ft Zachary Taylor State Park Northern Waterthrush – Ft Zachary Taylor State Park Black-and-white Warbler Tennessee Warbler - Ft. Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park Common Yellowthroat Hooded Warbler - Ft. Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park, Ft Zachary Taylor State Park American Redstart Cape May Warbler Northern Parula Magnolia Warbler – Indigenous Park, Ft. Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park “Cuban” Yellow Warbler – Card Sound Bridge Blackpoll Warbler Black-throated Blue Warbler Palm Warbler Prairie Warbler Northern Cardinal Bobolink – Carysfort Circle Red-winged Blackbird Common Grackle Boat-tailed Grackle Brown-headed Cowbird House Sparrow

Comments

Otto Zequeira
over 2 years ago

Congratulations, Brian. Sounds like a wonderful trip!

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