Thursday, 18 February 2016

Shopping malls and Swamphens

Traveled a fair bit today, heading south through The Everglades and ending up on the Keys in the evening. Much of today, however, was devoted to stuff where birds took a backseat. However, with a bit of ingenuity a few things were seen. A boat ride in the Everglades got the token gators that each and every big fat loud yank was after, as well a handful of Racoons. Bird life was very limited though, with a Black Vulture sticking its head up a mummified roadkill being the highlight.
Black Vulture Everglades City, Florida 17th Feb 2016
A few miles east of Everglades City along the Tamiami Trail (Route 41) was a boardwalk where more Alligators were found, as well as a few roadside birds - Great Crested Flycatcher, Painted Bunting and a Pine Warbler among the more numerous Palm and Myrtle Warblers.
Pine Warbler Tamiami Trail, Florida 17th Feb 2016
The afternoon was devoted to shopping; admittedly one of my least favourite pastimes. However, I'd managed to save the day slightly at the eleventh hour by plucking out the Dolphin Mall for Karen - armed with a couple of lakes and adjacent vegetation by its entrance. After getting a couple of pairs of Levi's for just over £50 and a new pair of Cons, I was out of there and onto the lakes. Pride of place were the abundant (and invasive) Grey-headed Swamphens that pecked away at whatever was in front of them. A couple of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, Red-bellied Woodpeckers and Blue Jays joined the many Blue-grey Gnatcatchers, Myrtle and Palm Warblers by the lakeside, while Green and Tricoloured Herons, White Ibises and a couple of Wood Storks stalked the lake sides. Just under four hours later, Karen arrived armed with bags of purchases. Think I've earned some birding in the morning!

Grey-headed Swamphen Dolphin Mall, Miami, Florida 17th Feb 2016
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Dolphin Mall, Miami, Florida 17th Feb 2016

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