I often tell folks that I don’t chase birds and generally that is correct. However, when I planned the 1500 mile trip to Florida to trade my truck in on an Airstream Interstate RV, I started to put a short target list together. I have never birded Florida so I wanted to grab a few of the common birds in the short time I would be there — I put a list of Limpkin, Wood Stork, and Florida Scrub Jay on a scrap of paper.
Well, the first early evening there, before the purchase was settled, I heard some sharp calling just outside the motel and got a new life bird of Nanday Parakeet. These are a lot like the Green Parakeets we see in Texas – the first time you see and hear them it is exciting, then it gets old pretty fast.
I had decided that if the transaction went ok, I’d stay in the area for a day or so. After a long Monday morning, I took possession of the new rig and drove about an hour over to Myakka River State Park and within an hour, was walking with the dog and finding two new life birds, Wood Storks and Limpkins.
The next morning, we got up early and walked down to a fishing access area which was teeming with birds. Hundreds of Black Vultures (wait for a later post) were interesting to Penny but I found a new life bird foraging. I have seen many Common Gallinules but have never seen a Purple Gallinule. It was neat to see them on the same morning and note the very apparent difference.
So we packed up and headed out about 8 AM with four new life birds, in less than a day. Then, as the day’s fortune continued, I saw another life bird, a Swallow-tail Kite, right overhead as I drove up I-75. About a half hour later, I saw another one low over the road. They are tough to miss — lovely birds — and a nice bookend to a short Florida birding stop.