Days 73-76 — Tampa to Miami, FL and beyond

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This week I added 17 birds to bring my count for 2017 to 461 species!

I haven’t posted to my blog all week because I’ve been birding continuously and driving the rest of the time. I’ve been back in my habitat where everything is so familiar.

My Florida Big Year in 2016 laid a road map for where to go for FL specialties. Rarities are always showing up and with migration in full swing, I had a hard time deciding what to chase!

I basically headed North from Naples and went birding along I-75 all the way to Brooksville in Hernando Co. I then crossed the state to Palm Beach, worked my way to Miami and back to Naples.

I could drive that rectangle in my sleep, I did it so many times last year.

I was headed to see some Brown Boobies near Tampa when I got a call from Susan Schrader Gansz Daughtrey. She was traveling on I-75 a few minutes behind me so we decided to make a pit stop and look for a Harris’s Sparrow that had been hanging around for a while.

Susan made a call to Jim Eager, who’d seen the bird and was able to give us key info on where to find it.

We’ve been trying to go birding for a long time and this impromptu get together yielded us a very nice bird for Florida. I love how birders have this crazy network and help each other out.

In Miami, I spent a fairy-tale birding day with Miriam Y. Avello. We’ve been at quite a few stakeouts together and I really wanted her to be a part of my Big Year.

Miriam is Cuban and I’m Dominican, so of course we started the day with Empanadas and Cafe con Leche!! Yumm.
The Cuban restaurant was conveniently located next to the White-winged Parakeet roost.

Note to self: Don’t park your car under the trees where the birds roost.

Miriam had recently relocated the Yellow-bellied Flycatcher at Deering Estate and we were able to get great looks, photos and an audio recording! A bonus Blue-winged Warbler was hanging out in the same tree.

A pretty nice week in FL with mild temperatures for a change. Missed on all my shorebird targets though. Oh well, next time.

This week I added Purple Gallinule, Northern Bobwhite, Sora, American Bittern, Least Bittern, Florida Scrub-Jay, Shiny Cowbird, Harris’s Sparrow, Brown Booby, Grasshopper Sparrow, Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Bachman’s Sparrow, White-winged Parakeet, Blue-winged Warbler, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, King Rail and Nanday Parakeet.

A lot of the birds in the pictures I’ve already seen but couldn’t help photographing again. There truly are some beautiful birds in SWFL. Plus, you know I love swamps!!!

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  1. Sue says:

    following your blog has been great and I wish you Happy Trails the entire year. I have to ask, what Cuban restaurant was conviently near the white winged parakeet nest? I’ll be sure to stop there next year when in Florida.

    1. The Dancing Birder says:

      It’s Cafe 2000 on LeJeune Blvd.

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