On Saturday, December 2, twenty-six birders joined me for a morning of birding at Black Point Park in south Miami-Dade. Large numbers of gulls, mostly Laughing Gulls, were streaming overhead as participants began to arrive. We first visited the turnaround at the south end of the parking area on the east side of the park, which is often a reliable spot for Mangrove Cuckoo. We didn’t find any cuckoos, but along the way, we spotted two Yellow-crowned Night Herons, one an adult and the other a juvenile, an immature White Ibis, many Black and Turkey Vultures, two Great Crested Flycatchers, an Ovenbird and a Prairie Warbler.
We then hiked south along the Black Creek Trail, crossing into Biscayne National Park and onto the jetty that extends into Biscayne Bay. Birds seen along the jetty included Red-breasted Merganser (only seen by a few participants), Spotted Sandpiper, Anhinga, Double-crested Cormorant, Brown Pelican, Little Blue Heron, Green Heron, Great Blue Heron (one blue morph and one white morph), Osprey, Short-tailed Hawk (only seen by a couple of participants), Belted Kingfisher, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebe, Fish Crow, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Black-and-white Warbler, Common Yellowthroat and Yellow-throated Warbler.
A large flock of Laughing Gulls was found at the end of the jetty. Mixed in among them were a few each of Ring-billed, Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls, as well as Double-crested Cormorants and Brown Pelicans. On the way back, when the group became a bit separated, one participant reported seeing an American Crocodile off the jetty. Other participants encountered several Bottle-nosed Dolphins chasing baitfish off the jetty. When we returned to the parking area, we found a small flock of songbirds in Gumbo Limbo trees that included a Yellow-throated Vireo and a Yellow-rumped Warbler. At least one Raccoon was also seen there. As it was after 10 AM and it was already getting oppressively warm, we decided to end the trip a little early.
An eBird checklist that includes all birds tallied during our visit to Black Point Park can be viewed here.