[CT Birds] Postcard from Florida-Re-Cockaded Woodpecker

Tina and Peter Green petermgreen at hotmail.com
Sun Feb 21 20:47:47 EST 2010

2/21-Greetings to all from a warm and sunny Florida!For anyone coming down to do some birding,this should get you thinking!This is my first visit to the state as a birder.Just while driving in the car,I saw no less than 100 Cattle Egrets in horse and cattle country.I was delighted to see 55 Sandhill Cranes flying and calling while in the Osceola National Forest.I had three life birds today including unbelievable views of not one,but,two Red-cockaded Woodpeckers and two  Brown-headed Nuthatches,also in the Osceola National Forest.According to the newest printing of the ABA "A Birder's Guide to Florida",the best time to possibly see the birds are at dawn or dusk.We were going to be in the area around noon and decided to try anyways.Thanks Sara Z. and my hubby,Peter for encouraging me to go for it!Luck was on our side and within minutes after arriving at the known location,I heard them calling.As I was unable to "get on the birds" that were in the distant pines,I played my Ipod once.A pair flew in within 35 feet of us and kept calling,drumming and rattling for the next 25 minutes giving us a show we won't forget.Sibley's says the drumming is infrequent and quiet-not for us!If you're in this area,go for it.Also seen within a mile radius and in about an hour's time,we had 2 Common Moorhen,2 Wilson's Snipe,2 Osprey,3 Eastern bluebirds,2 Eastern towhee,Yellow-rumped Warblers,Turkey Vultures,Sandhill Cranes,Pine Warbler,2 Pied-billed Grebes,and Red-tailed Hawks.We've arrived at our first destination this afternoon and are excited about the coming weeks.So many birds,so little time!I plan to see as many birds as possible while walking,kayaking,and driving.And,oh yes,I hope you're all finding "good birds" in CT.

Tina Green

Westport & Florida



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