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About Quartos

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    Hooded Warbler Enthusiast
  • Birthday 08/24/1994

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    Chicago, IL

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  1. Mallards?

    They're not pure Mallards. They look like Mallard x Mottled Duck hybrids.
  2. Blackbirds

    Most of those tails look too short and square for grackles, and a few of them look to have brown undersides. I would lean towards Rusties.
  3. Why isn't the scaup a Greater? That seems like quite a bit of white extending into the primaries.
  4. Davis Mntn Sp, tX 3-05-18

    All are Yellow-rumped Warblers except for the second, which is a Chipping Sparrow.
  5. Vireo or Warbler? Lakeside, CA 20-2118

    Orange-crowned Warbler
  6. I think it's safe to say. . .

    "1000 shorebird sp."
  7. water bird ID

    Looks like a Greater Scaup.
  8. Florida Trip Report

    DAY 4 (continued): To round out the trip, I stopped at 3 smaller local parks: Northshore Park, Sawgrass Lake Park, and Weedon Island Preserve. Northshore was unplanned, but I decided to make a quick visit there to try for Sandwich Tern, which I had missed at Fort De Soto. I was unsuccessful on that front, but I did get to see over a hundred Black Skimmers, which are always a delight. It turned out that this stop had another fortunate consequence: on the drive from Northshore to Sawgrass Lake, I spotted some Nanday Parakeets perched in a tree along the road. I stopped and watched them mingle with some fellow nonnative House Sparrows and European Starlings. My primary target at Sawgrass Lake Park was Short-tailed Hawk, which nests there. After a short while, I spotted a dark raptor soaring very high up, took a photo, and was able to identify it as a Short-tailed Hawk. The park has an observation platform from which the nest is visible, so I hung out there for a while in hopes of getting better looks. However, the hawk didn't show again, and I would have to be satisfied with my earlier views of the speck in the sky. I did get to see 2 pair of nesting Anhingas, one of which offered great photo opportunities. I arrived at Weedon Island Preserve a bit before sunset. It was very quiet overall, though I did see some birds flying in the distance, probably to their nighttime roosts. Among these was a group of American White Pelicans, my only ones of the trip. I stuck around after sunset, listening for the Chuck-will's-widows that had been reported there previous years during late winter and spring. Of all my target species, I thought that this was one of the ones I was less likely to find, given how unreliable nocturnal birds can be in general. At sunset, I began pacing around the parking area, and after about 30 minutes, I heard a Chuck-will's-widow calling from a patch of pine trees at the edge of the lot. It was a bit faint at first, but it relocated itself and must have been about 50 feet away from me for most of the time it was calling. I listened to it call for about 5 minutes and didn't attempt to get a visual. I was ecstatic to find this bird, and it was the perfect way to end my time in Florida. TRIP SUMMARY: 125 total species 24 lifers ~25.4 hours spent birding 7 counties visited 326 county ticks 104 Common Gallinules Favorite lifers: 1) Purple Gallinule 2) Chuck-will's-widow, 3) Red-cockaded Woodpecker
  9. Florida Trip Report

    DAY 4: I started this day off at Circle B Bar Reserve, which was the spot I enjoyed the most during this trip. The birds were abundant, and many were visible at very close range. Along the road to the visitor's center, there was an area blocked off around a tree with a Great Horned Owl nest, which pleased many photographers. I did pretty well with passerines, with White-eyed and Blue-headed Vireos, 5 warbler species including the only Black-and-white of the trip and tons of Yellow-rumpeds, several Carolina Wrens, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Phoebes, etc. But the stars of the show were the wading birds. Early on, I saw many Snowy Egrets flying out of the marsh in groups; they were the most numerous species. Other numerous ones included Great Egret, Tricolored Heron, and White Ibis. I also saw a couple of Great Blue Heron nests and plenty of Anhingas. After about an hour, I came across 5 Roseate Spoonbills, the first lifer of the day. By the time I had finished up, I had tallied 3 Purple Gallinules and 67 Common Gallinules, including 5 fledglings. The only disappointing thing was the lack of Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks, which I thought I was almost guaranteed to see here and would have been a lifer. I talked to a birder who said there had been over a hundred present a week ago, but they had nearly all disappeared. Next, I headed to Fort De Soto State Park, which I probably should have scheduled earlier in the morning, as it was absolutely swarming with beachgoers by the time I arrived. As a result, I only succeeding in finding one of my 5 main targets for this spot. Towards the west end, there was an island tantalizingly close to the beach that had nearly a hundred Royal Terns and various shorebirds that were largely unidentifiable without a scope. The water was too deep to wade across. I saw many cinnamon-colored blobs that were likely Marbled Godwits (one of my targets), but I couldn't be positive. I did salvage the visit, however, when I made a stop at the east end and found roughly a hundred small shorebirds, the highlights being 7 Wilson's Plovers and one Piping Plover. I had also gotten nice close-range looks at a Brown Pelican an hour or so earlier.
  10. Florida Trip Report

    DAY 3 (continued): To round out the day, I hit Harns Marsh, the only spot where I was likely to see Snail Kites. Though I ended up dipping on the kites, I would see/hear 49 species here, the most of any of the spots I visited on this trip. There was a nice mix of wading birds, with Little Blue Herons and Cattle Egrets being the most abundant. I was treated to 7 raptor species: Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Red-shouldered Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, and the highlight, 5 beautiful Swallow-tailed Kites (these made missing the Snail Kites much less disappointing). I also saw several Sandhill Cranes, including one with a fledgling. The only lifer at Harns came about 20 minutes before I left. As I was watching some Common Gallinules, I noticed movement nearby; 2 Gray-headed Swamphens (split from Purple Swamphen) were foraging in the vegetation. They came out just enough for some decent looks and photos.
  11. Florida Trip Report

    DAY 3: For my longest drive of the trip, I headed 2 hours south to Babcock-Webb Wildlife Management Area. It has plenty of longleaf pine savanna, which is good habitat for Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Brown-headed Nuthatch, and Bachman's Sparrow, my primary targets for this spot. Early on, I ran into a birder who was familiar with the area, and he led me to two clusters of trees with active woodpecker cavities. We came up empty at the first spot, but 2 Red-cockaded Woodpeckers showed up at the second spot. This was my 300th life bird and a nice species to represent that landmark. While watching the woodpeckers, I heard the distinct squeaky-toy call of a Brown-headed Nuthatch. I managed to track it down and get good but brief looks at it before it flew off. Other interesting birds included a few Eastern Meadowlarks, Eastern Towhees, Eastern Bluebirds, lots of Pine Warblers, and 2 Pileated Woodpeckers. Next, I made a short stop at Punta Gorda Airport to search for the resident Burrowing Owl. The bird had been sparsely reported, so I didn't go in with high hopes. Therefore, I wasn't too disappointed when I couldn't find it. I knew about the more reliable Burrowing Owls around Cape Coral, but there wasn't a good way to fit a visit to Cape Coral into my tight schedule without sacrificing time at more productive spots. From there, I headed to Bunche Beach Preserve at San Carlos Bay. I had 4 shorebirds on my target list: Wilson's Plover, Snowy Plover, Marbled Godwit, and Red Knot, all of which were possible here. I didn't see any of them, only Sanderlings and Willets. I did, however, see a cooperative white-morph Reddish Egret, and had better looks at some Brown Pelicans.
  12. Florida Trip Report

    DAY 2 (continued): On the way to my final stop of the day, Myakka River State Park, I noticed 2 raptors perched on telephone poles, facing away from the road. They had dark backs, white necks, and dark caps. It took me a few seconds, but I realized they were probably Crested Caracaras. I made a U-turn, pulled off along the road, and confirmed my suspicions. I stayed to admire them for a short while before continuing on my way. At Myakka, I stopped at a bridge where alligators are usually seen. Sure enough, a few were resting along the banks. Only a few common birds were present, plus a couple of Limpkins. Next, I stopped at the park's birdwalk, a boardwalk that extends into a grassland along the edge of Lake Myakka. There were plenty of shorebirds foraging out in the water, but they were mostly too far to identify without a scope. I was able to pick out 14 Black-necked Stilts, a species I had only seen once before. Otherwise, there weren't too many notable birds; there was a Wild Turkey foraging in the grass, as well as a Limpkin and a Sandhill Crane along the lake's edge. As I drove back through the park, I noticed that someone had stopped along the road and was looking at something back behind the trees. I decided to stop too, and I was extremely glad I did. About 100 feet from the road was a small pond that had receded and was now hosting a variety of wading birds. I counted 6 species of waders: White Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Little Blue Heron, Snowy Egret, Great Egret, and Wood Stork. It was fascinating to watch them foraging alongside each other, each using different techniques; the ibises frantically jabbing their bills into the mud, the egrets slowly stalking, and the storks casually moving their open bills through the water. While I was watching them, I was fortunate enough to hear a Barred Owl call nearby. Seconds later, another one responded. I have tried for this species several times in New Jersey with no success, so this was a much welcome lifer.
  13. Florida Trip Report

    DAY 2 continued: Next, I was off to Celery Fields. This area was formerly agricultural land that was converted back to wetland for flood control. It's a great spot for waders, shorebirds, and marshbirds. I saw my next lifer before I even arrived; on the drive there, I spotted a Swallow-tailed Kite from the car. I couldn't pull over to get better looks, so I tried to contain my excitement and focus on getting to Celery Fields in one piece. I also saw a group of Sandhill Cranes, apparently waiting for a bus. Celery Fields was very productive. I was able to see most of my target species, plus a couple extras. There were several Limpkins and Greater and Lesser Yellowlegses foraging along the edges of the impoundments. The Limpkins were much more conspicuous than I expected, and I got very good looks at one of them. Ring-necked Ducks and Lesser Scaup were abundant, and I saw several Mottled Ducks. I also had nice looks at a few waders, including Great Egrets, Little Blue Herons, and Tricolored Herons. A few Loggerhead Shrikes were perched on power lines around the edges of the preserve. I had only ever seen one shrike before (a Northern), so these were a treat to see. A cool view of a Belted Kingfisher with a Red-shouldered Hawk in the background: As I was getting ready to leave, I ran into two other birders and mentioned that I'd like to see Roseate Spoonbills. They recommended going across the street to another section of Celery Fields, which I wasn't even aware of. This was a nice stroke of luck. Across the street was a marshy area with a small observation platform. While I didn't find any spoonbills, I did score a couple lifers. As I scanned the Boat-tailed Grackles and Brown-headed Cowbirds in the trees along the roadside, I picked out a Bronzed Cowbird. I knew that they had been reported here recently, but I wasn't expecting to actually find one, so I was really excited. At the observation platform, several marsh birds foraged close by, including a Limpkin, a few Common Gallinules, a Green Heron, and a White Ibis. The highlight, however, was a Purple Gallinule, which has to be a candidate for the most beautiful bird I've seen in the wild. The lighting was perfect. I watched it as it walked across the lily pads maybe 20 feet away, picking around the aquatic vegetation. The iridescence of its plumage, its bright yellow legs, comically long toes, and the contrast between its red bill and blue forehead were just brilliant. I stopped at the visitor's center on the way out, which turned out to be another great decision because there were 3 Common Ground-Doves hanging out in the garden nearby. These were the only ones I'd see during this trip.
  14. Florida Trip Report

    DAY 2: For my first full day of birding, my first stop was Felts Audubon Preserve. The preserve has a blind with several feeders that attract Indigo and Painted Buntings. The Indigos were numerous (20+ individuals) and included males in various stages of molt. I was able to see 4 Painted Buntings, including a stunning male. Otherwise, the preserve yielded a couple more Anhingas, the only Brown Thrasher I would see during this trip, and 5 warbler species (Yellow-rumped, Palm, Northern Parula, Common Yellowthroat, and Ovenbird). My next stop was Oscar Scherer State Park, where I hoped to find Florida Scrub-jays. Unfortunately, it may have been too late in the morning for them to be active, as I couldn't find a single one. I scoured the trails where they are usually seen, but came up empty. I would have stuck around, but the birds in general were sparse and I had to stay on schedule. As consolation, I had nice looks at a Pileated Woodpecker and saw 2 Bald Eagle nests.
  15. Florida Trip Report

    DAY 1: I arrived in the afternoon, so I only had time to visit one local spot during the evening. I chose McKay Bay Nature Preserve, a small marshy park just outside the suburb where I was staying. I was immediately struck by how abundant and vocal the Boat-tailed Grackles were. I had seen them in New Jersey a few times, but never more than maybe 2 individuals at once. It didn't take long for me to find some lifers. There were plenty of White Ibises and Cattle Egrets, as well as a few Little Blue and Tricolored Herons. I also had distant views of a soaring Anhinga and Brown Pelican; I would get much better views of both of these species in the coming days. It was also nice to see an abundance of passerine species that are early spring migrants farther north but are winter residents in Florida, e.g. Palm Warbler and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. On the way out of the park, I spotted a Wood Stork perched at the top of a dead palm tree. It was very cooperative, and I had great extended looks at this pterodactyl-looking beauty.