Today, Jim Sigsbee and I spent the day birding in Palm Beach County. Our first stop was at Boynton Inlet, where two Brown Noddies at the end of the pier on the north side of the inlet provided great views. These birds were discovered here a couple of days ago by Marcello Gomes and remain very cooperative.
Jim and I then headed to the Everglades Agricultural Area. Our first stop was at the Sem-Chi rice mill off of CR 880, where we found one Bronzed Cowbird among many Brown-headed Cowbirds. Gray-headed Swamphen and Gull-billed Tern were also present, the first of many we would see today. Our only Yellow-crowned Night-Heron and Red-shouldered Hawks of the day were also seen during this stop.
Our next stop was on Gladeview Road, a short distance west of the rice mill; this would prove to be our most productive stop of the day, with 43 species seen. In rice fields near the beginning of the road, we found Black-bellied and Fulvous Whistling-Ducks, Mottled Duck, Gull-billed and Black Terns, Wood Stork, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Glossy Ibis and Roseate Spoonbill. On sod fields farther down the road, we ran into Carl Edwards, who put us on a distant Upland Sandpiper. Other shorebirds present on the sod fields included Black-necked Stilt, Killdeer, Semipalmated Plover, Stilt and Pectoral Sandpipers, Long-billed Dowitcher and Lesser Yellowlegs.
We were told that Burrowing Owls were present along the road, but we only found one, near the end of the road. A flooded field at the very end of the road held a nice selection of shorebirds, including American Avocet, Least, Semipalmated, Western and Spotted Sandpipers, both Short-billed and Long-billed Dowitchers, Greater Yellowlegs and two Wilson’s Phalaropes! On our drive back to CR 880, we spotted two Great White Herons.
After lunch in Belle Glade, we made our final stop at A1-FEB on US 27, where we found Limpkin, Least Tern, White-tailed and Snail Kites and Eastern Meadowlark among 26 species seen.
To kick off the TAS 2021-22 field trip season, I’ll be co-leading a Everglades Agricultural Area tour next Saturday, August 14. The tour will begin at A1-FEB and will include stops on Gladeview Road and at Sem-Chi rice mill. If you plan to attend but haven’t registered yet, please do so by going to going to Everglades Agricultural Area Birding — Tropical Audubon Society