TAS Trip 3/18/23 Wakodahatchee, Green Cay, Loxahatchee

16 birders joined me for today’s trip(s). Some of us arrived at 7 which was good because parking was full soon thereafter. While waiting, Brian and I checked out the retention pond which had Black-necked Stilts, Blue-winged Teal, Common Gallinules, Coots, a couple of Black-crowned Night Herons and a Green Heron. There were flyovers of Egrets, Herons, Glossy Ibis and Woodstorks. Inside, all the trees were full of mostly Wood Storks, but scattering of some Anhingas and Cormorants. Many Tri-Colored Herons on their nests, all with eggs. A Purple Gallinule was spotted up fairly high in a tree. There were pictures of a Great Horned Owl taken the day before, so Ann and I went searching; to no avail, though we did find the tree it had been in. So we had to walk all the way around to find the rest of the group again. We had missed the excitement of a Sora being attacked by a male Boat-tailed Grackle causing the Sora to dive and swim under water for 50 feet! We had a battle between two sibling Great Blue Herons over a huge fish one was trying to swallow while the other was trying to nab it. It was spit out and almost taken by the smaller heron, but then swallowed while the loser cussed it out. After posing victoriously, the winner flew away. There was a line of cars waiting to park when we left.
Green Cay’s parking lot was almost completely full when we got there around 9:30. No Painted Buntings at the front feeders, just Mourning Doves, Blue Jays and a Rock Pigeon. Lots of Mottled Ducks. One of the Red-shouldered Hawks who had a nest nearby was sitting on a palm limb when 3 Boat-tailed Grackles decided to mob it. Not many warblers, Palms, Myrtles, Common Yellow-throats. The best came last, a Least Bittern on the last stretch in, right below us.
We decided to go to Loxahatchee for the Blue-winged Warbler instead of Peaceful Waters. We did find the area where the bird was seen and saw all its friends, Redstart, Magnolia, Myrtles, B&W. I heard it but never saw it. We took a lunch break next to the Visitor Center and then resumed our search. Ann saw it, Andrea had seen it before and saw parts of it again. I decided to head out leaving Brian, Ann and Andrea heading for Amendment 1 Trail. Can’t wait to hear about that.