Twenty-one birders joined me on Saturday for a full day of birding in and around the main park road in Everglades National Park. Our day began at the Coe Visitor Center and ended in Flamingo; by day’s end, we tallied, by my count, 50 species of birds, so I’ll call it a half-century day! Our stops and some of the highlights:
- Coe Visitor Center - a Brown Thrasher, a couple of White-winged Doves and eleven other species.
- Royal Palm (Anhinga Trail/Gumbo Limbo Trail) - several Swallow-tailed Kites performed an aerial ballet over the Anhinga Trail boardwalk, giving us amazing, close-up views. Other birds found there included at least a half-dozen Purple Gallinules, Anhinga with babies still in the nest, a Pileated Woodpecker, an Eastern Phoebe, a Great Crested Flycatcher, a singing Carolina Wren and seventeen other species.
- Long Pine Key Picnic Area and Campground - a male Pileated Woodpecker, completely oblivious to our presence as it worked tirelessly to finish construction of its nest cavity. Other birds encountered there included Osprey, Downy Woodpecker, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Eastern Towhee, Pine Warbler and nine other species. We had lunch in the picnic area after our walk.
- Pa-hay-okee lookout tower - our only Red-shouldered Hawk of the day. Only four other species were recorded there. We were also unable to find any Barred Owls along the road to Pa-hay-okee (I photographed one there on Tuesday).
- Mahogany Hammock - a nice walk on the boardwalk, but very uneventful bird-wise. No new species were added to our day list.
- West Lake - a flock of American Wigeon, along with a single Blue-winged Teal, a Pied-billed Grebe, a flock of American Coot, a Belted Kingfisher, a singing Prairie Warbler and four other species.
- Eco Pond - a couple of Common Ground-Dove, a Black-necked Stilt, an Ovenbird and seven other species.
- Flamingo Amphitheater - A Willet and our only Laughing Gull of the day, plus a Swallow-tailed Kite, a few Savannah Sparrows and eight other species.
A complete list of all species seen at each location can be found in an eBird trip report.