Saturday, 20 February 2016

Key West (and its chickens)

We had a drive down to Key West today. Scenic in the main, with low-lying mangrove islands backed by turquoise sea. It was a bit blowy all day, but pretty sunny. We spent most of the day in Key West itself, which I can imagine is pretty decent in migration. Today inevitably was quiet, but a walk about town and Fort Zachery Taylor State Park provided a few bits and bobs.
Spotted Sandpiper Key West, Florida 19th Feb 2016
A walk about the fort, along with some Iguanas, produced a female Ring-necked Duck along with a dozen or so Blue-winged Teals and Pied-billed Grebes. Grey Catbirds and Palm Warblers were both fairly common, while the beach held Laughing Gulls, a first-winter American Herring Gull, a couple of Cabot's Terns and a showy Spotted Sandpiper. Meanwhile, a Magnificent Frigatebird soared over late morning.

Prairie Warbler Key West, Florida 19th Feb 2016
After walking around town, where a dark morph Short-tailed Hawk cruised over near Mallory Square, I headed back to the state park while Karen had a look around Hemingway's house. A Northern Parula was my first of the trip, while another showy Prairie Warbler did its best to get papped.
1st-winter Cabot's Tern Key West, Florida 19th Feb 2016
Early evening, we headed off and onto Higgs Beach. Loads of Laughing Gulls here, as well as some showy Cabot's and Royal Terns.
Red Junglefowl Key West, Florida 19th Feb 2016
And now onto Key West and its chickens. Apparently present for a couple of hundred years (I didn't know America itself had that long a history), these guys are fairly common in the town and look pretty untainted. If you can have those Swamphens by that Miami mall (that supposedly only escaped after Hurricane Andrew in 1992), then the ABA is doing a disservice to these chickens!

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