Alachua Audubon Society

A chapter of the National Audubon Society

February 2, 2019
by Trina Anderson
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SHE’S GOING “WHERE THE BOYS ARE.”

by Rex Rowan

On Wednesday, January 23rd, at the Tuscawilla Prairie, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service captured a 3½ -year-old female Whooping Crane wearing blue-over-yellow leg bands. Born in Lake County in 2015 – one of only a few Whooping Cranes hatched from a wild nest in Florida – she was about a year old when she found her way to the Evinston-Micanopy area. She remained there for the next two years, occasionally making brief forays to local crane hangouts like Paynes Prairie or the Kanapaha Prairie, and she was often seen by drivers on US-441 as she foraged among the marshy potholes of Tuscawilla. Because her chances of finding a mate there or anywhere else in North Florida were nil, it was decided to relocate her and some other unmated Florida Whooping Cranes to White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area in southwest Louisiana. There she’ll join a population of non-migratory cranes that currently numbers 59, and there, hopefully, she’ll find a mate and get down to the important work of making more Whooping Cranes. White Lake Wetlands, which is more than three times the size of Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, supported a breeding population of wild Whooping Cranes as recently as the 1940s. It seems a promising place for such a project.

Our other resident bird, identifiable by blue-over-silver leg bands and known to biologists as “1644,” was also a female. She was hatched in 2006 in Lake County by captive-reared cranes that had been released in central Florida in the 1990s – like the Tuscawilla bird, she was the product of a wild nest. She visited Alachua County for the first time in 2009, and liked it so well that she returned every year thereafter. In spring 2015 she decided to stick around. Beginning in June of that year and continuing through February 2017, she could be seen almost every day from the observation tower at the end of the La Chua Trail. In March of 2017 she relocated to Sweetwater Wetlands Park, where she spent the month thrilling visitors at very close range. And then … we don’t know. A crane was sighted near the Paynes Prairie visitor center in April and June, but its identifying leg bands could not be seen, so it might have been the Tuscawilla bird. There have been no positive sightings of 1644 since April 11, 2017. We can only hope she’s still alive somewhere.

As for Tuscawilla, we wish her many more years of life and many offspring. But it’s sad to realize that, for the first time since June 2015, Alachua County’s resident Whooping Crane population is zero.

Gainesville Sun story on crane relocation: https://www.gainesville.com/…/whooping-crane-may-be-relocat…
Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Whooping Crane page: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/whooping-cranes
White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area: https://en.wikipedia.org/…/White_Lake_Wetlands_Conservation…

January 12, 2019
by Trina Anderson
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NEST BOX SPY CAM!

Thanks to a grant from Florida Power and Light, Alachua Audubon is the proud owner of a new pole camera! This device, which has a lens attached to the top of the pole and a display screen attached near the bottom, allows us to peek inside the 130+ American Kestrel nest boxes that we’ve put up all across north-central Florida in order to monitor the progress of the birds nesting inside. Earlier this month an Audubon group tried out the pole camera at a tract of conservation land in Suwannee County. You can share their discoveries in the attached photos.

Read more about the kestrel nest box program on pages 14 and 15 of the January/February issue of the newsletter.

Eastern Screech Owl (red phase), often found in nest boxes.

Eastern Screech Owl (red phase), often found in nest boxes.

southern flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans)

 

December 22, 2018
by Trina Anderson
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Recognizing John Hintermister

by Debbie Segal, extracted from Rex Rowan’s History of Birding in Alachua County

The Alachua Audubon Society wishes to recognize the longest-standing member of Alachua County’s birding community.  After many decades of leading field trips for AAS, the St. Mark’s field trip in early January will be John Hintermister’s final Audubon-led field trip.

John was a trail-blazer to birding in Alachua County and his contributions to birds, birding, science, and conservation are immense.

As a young boy, John was inspired to watch birds when two women would take him on birdwatching excursions.  By the time John was 11, he was hooked on birds.  John and his brother would pedal their bikes to Lake Alice and by noon, would sometimes list 100 species.  When describing this, John said, “Now I don’t know if we identified them all correctly, but we would get 100 species.”  They may well have identified them correctly because upon seeing a bird, they would stop and read aloud the entire description from their Peterson field guide.

In January of 1960, John attended the inaugural meeting of the AAS.  Among its charter members were Oliver Austin, Marjorie Carr, J.C. Dickinson, Jr., and 16-year old John Hintermister.  Some of the first year’s field trips included River Styx, Lake Alice, the pinewoods north of the airport where Red-cockaded Woodpeckers nested, Devil’s Millhopper, Paynes Prairie, and San Felasco Hammock.  Both Paynes Prairie and San Felasco were still in private ownership.

During the 1960’s and 70’s, the National Audubon Society sponsored a series of nationally-touring nature films, and these films served as AAS’s program meetings.  John attended many of these early Audubon programs.  Roger Tory Peterson was a regular on the tour, and when he visited Gainesville every 2-3 years, the University Auditorium was booked to hold the crowds.  On one of those occasions, John remembers handing his tattered and well-used field guide to Peterson to sign, and Peterson responding, “Now this is the way I like to see the field guide.”

The first Gainesville Christmas Bird Count (CBC) began in 1957, and during its infancy, the CBC had few participants and they birded only from sunup until lunchtime.  There were no assigned territories, no team captains, and no organization of any sort.  In 1972 at the age of 29, John became the official compiler of the Gainesville CBC.  After reading in Peterson’s Book, Birds over Americaabout the methodical way in which the Bronx CBC was conducted, John sought to emulate it for the Gainesville count.  He instituted dark-to-dark counts.  He cut up a topographic map of the count circle to make territories, appointed team leaders, and assigned them important birds to find in their particular tracts.  John served first as compiler of the Gainesville CBC from 1972 – 1981 and then as co-compiler with Howard Adams from 2003 until 2014.  During the interim 21-year period from 1981 – 2003, the co-compilers were Craig Parenteau and Barbara Muschiltz.

In the mid-70’s John began teaching birding classes through SFCC.  There is no telling how many people John inspired through these birding classes, but we know that Mike Manetz and is one.   Those SFC birding classes are still taught by AAS and now are led by Charlene Leonard and Cindy Boyd.

In 1985, John became the original Alachua County coordinator of Florida’s Breeding Bird Atlas, and it was during this atlas survey that Hooded Warblers were discovered breeding in San Felasco Hammock.  He also served as president of AAS and a long-time board member.  During his almost 6 decades of involvement with AAS, he has led a countless number of field trips.

John once said, “There are birdwatchers and there are people who put their lives on hold in order to bird.”  We know which category defines John.  If there is one person who has influenced the birding culture in Alachua County more than anyone else, I think we would all agree, it is John Hintermister.

AAS is sincerely grateful to John for his dedication to all things birds, his unwavering enthusiasm as he has mentored a generation of birders, and his almost 60 years of devotion to AAS.  John has been presented with a life-time membership to AAS.

December 21, 2018
by Trina Anderson
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2018 GAINESVILLE CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT SUMMARY

by Rex Rowan

 

GAINESVILLE CBC SETS A NORTH AMERICAN RECORD! The 175 species recorded on the 61st annual Gainesville Christmas Bird Count on December 16th was the largest total ever for an inland North American CBC in the entire 119-year-history of the Count. (The actual number was 176 species, but the CBC doesn’t count introduced Whooping Cranes.)

We saw three species that had never before been recorded on the Gainesville Count (Egyptian Goose, Chuck-will’s-widow, and Snail Kite). We set new high counts for 19 (!) species.

Two species in particular deserve mention:

Though a set of Snail Kite eggs was collected in Micanopy in 1919, there were no additional local sightings until 1996, and only four between 1996 and 2017. But in 2018 they moved onto Paynes Prairie – they even nested! – and on this year’s Christmas Count, Jonathan Mays counted 29 on the roost at one time! For a bird that had never been recorded on the Gainesville Count, it was a pretty impressive debut!

The Limpkin count was even more impressive. Between our first Count in 1957 and the establishment of Sweetwater Wetlands Park, Gainesville’s highest-ever CBC total was 7 in 1987. But Sweetwater and the arrival of exotic apple snails changed everything. Last year’s total was 235, the highest CBC total ever recorded anywhere in the United States. Could we match it this year? We didn’t match it – we smashed it! We more than doubled it, counting 544 Limpkins!

Here are the results. An asterisk (*) indicates a record high count. A double asterisk (**) indicates a new species for the Count:

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 1,340
Egyptian Goose 1**
Muscovy Duck 228
Wood Duck 654
Gadwall 17
American Wigeon 7
Mallard 6
Mottled Duck 165
Blue-winged Teal 613
Northern Shoveler 14
Northern Pintail 24
Green-winged Teal 596
Canvasback 1
Redhead 2
Ring-necked Duck 3,431*
Lesser Scaup 16
Bufflehead 48*
Common Goldeneye 2
Hooded Merganser 100
Ruddy Duck 113
Northern Bobwhite 1
Wild Turkey 34
Pied-billed Grebe 128
Horned Grebe 2
Rock Pigeon 23
Eurasian Collared-Dove 2
Common Ground-Dove 3
White-winged Dove 2
Mourning Dove 224
Chuck-will’s-widow 1**
Eastern Whip-poor-will 4
Vaux’s Swift 5
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1
King Rail 7
Virginia Rail 6
Sora 34
Purple Gallinule 10
Common Gallinule 1,318*
American Coot 3,499
Limpkin 544*
Sandhill Crane 3,281
Whooping Crane 2
Killdeer 255
Dunlin 11
Least Sandpiper 23
Long-billed Dowitcher 3
American Woodcock 2
Wilson’s Snipe 277
Spotted Sandpiper 9*
Lesser Yellowlegs 4
Greater Yellowlegs 23
Bonaparte’s Gull 26
Laughing Gull 5
Ring-billed Gull 316
Herring Gull 2
Forster’s Tern 2
Common Loon 4
Wood Stork 120
Double-crested Cormorant 857
Anhinga 592
American White Pelican 62
American Bittern 17
Least Bittern 11*
Great Blue Heron 244
Great Egret 309
Snowy Egret 475*
Little Blue Heron 493
Tricolored Heron 129
Cattle Egret 245
Green Heron 48*
Black-crowned Night-Heron 142
White Ibis 2,587
Glossy Ibis 405
Black Vulture 546
Turkey Vulture 781
Osprey 8
Northern Harrier 38
Sharp-shinned Hawk 8
Cooper’s Hawk 17
Bald Eagle 100
Snail Kite 29**
Red-shouldered Hawk 253*
Red-tailed Hawk 71
Barn Owl 2
Eastern Screech-Owl 18
Great Horned Owl 31
Barred Owl 50
Belted Kingfisher 100*
Red-headed Woodpecker 24
Red-bellied Woodpecker 408
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 115*
Downy Woodpecker 151
Northern Flicker 56
Pileated Woodpecker 130
American Kestrel 52
Merlin 4
Peregrine Falcon 1
Ash-throated Flycatcher 2
Least Flycatcher 1
Eastern Phoebe 548
Vermilion Flycatcher 1
Loggerhead Shrike 23
White-eyed Vireo 100
Blue-headed Vireo 128
Blue Jay 264
American Crow 630
Fish Crow 158
crow, sp. 42
Tree Swallow 1,294
Carolina Chickadee 351
Tufted Titmouse 450*
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
Brown-headed Nuthatch 12
House Wren 233
Sedge Wren 34
Marsh Wren 45
Carolina Wren 521*
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 723
Golden-crowned Kinglet 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 525
Eastern Bluebird 224
Hermit Thrush 42
American Robin 2,396
Gray Catbird 256
Brown Thrasher 14
Northern Mockingbird 122
European Starling 30
Cedar Waxwing 285
House Sparrow 30
American Pipit 81
House Finch 40
Purple Finch 1
Pine Siskin 7
American Goldfinch 967*
Eastern Towhee 66
Bachman’s Sparrow 1
Chipping Sparrow 1,173*
Clay-colored Sparrow 2*
Field Sparrow 4
Vesper Sparrow 31
Savannah Sparrow 138
Grasshopper Sparrow 20*
Henslow’s Sparrow 4
Fox Sparrow 2
Song Sparrow 64
Lincoln’s Sparrow 1
Swamp Sparrow 266
White-throated Sparrow 21
White-crowned Sparrow 6
Yellow-breasted Chat 3*
Eastern Meadowlark 155
Baltimore Oriole 24
Red-winged Blackbird 7,266
Brown-headed Cowbird 759
Rusty Blackbird 5
Common Grackle 677
Boat-tailed Grackle 2,177
Ovenbird 6
Northern Waterthrush 7
Black-and-white Warbler 121
Tennessee Warbler 1
Orange-crowned Warbler 96
Nashville Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 259
American Redstart 3
Northern Parula 5
Palm Warbler 1,097
Pine Warbler 230
Yellow-rumped Warbler 1,810
Yellow-throated Warbler 65*
Prairie Warbler 6
Black-throated Green Warbler 1
Summer Tanager 3
Northern Cardinal 743
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 1
Indigo Bunting 2
Painted Bunting 12

November 9, 2018
by Trina Anderson
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DUCK TALES

by Rex Rowan, posted to Facebook November 1, 2018

At about lunchtime on October 30th, Rob Norton discovered a drake Eurasian Wigeon at Sweetwater Wetlands Park. He passed the word, and several local birders got to see it before the day was out – including Tom Tompkins, who took the photos below. It hasn’t positively been seen since, though a bird showing one of the field marks was briefly glimpsed the next morning, flying towards Paynes Prairie.

As the name implies, Eurasian Wigeons are native to Europe and Asia. Those that stray to eastern North America – a small number every year – are presumed to originate from a breeding population in Iceland. This was only the third in Alachua County’s history. There are stories connected with the other two.

The county’s first ever was shot by Dr. A.L. Strange at Orange Lake on December 26, 1931 and mounted by a taxidermist. Robert McClanahan, a UF undergraduate compiling an official bird list for the county, tracked down the mount in 1934 – it had lost its head by then – and secured it for the museum. Unfortunately the specimen was discarded in 1962.

The county’s second, a female, was discovered by Phil Laipis at the Hague Dairy on December 22, 2004. Puzzled – the female is nondescript – he found another birder at the dairy that morning, Pat Burns, and showed it to her. Pat suspected that it might be a Eurasian Wigeon, and she notified John Hintermister, Gainesville’s most knowledgeable and experienced birder. John drove over, examined the bird, and pronounced it either an American Wigeon or an American-Eurasian hybrid. Hearing that it was either an American Wigeon, which is common, or a hybrid, which is not countable, the local birding community stayed home in droves. Except for Steve Collins, who took several photos and circulated them among British birders. They were unanimous: it was a Eurasian Wigeon, the county’s first in 73 years! But by the time the Brits notified Steve of their conclusion, the bird had flown, so no one else got to see it. John is cheerfully unrepentant of his part in this fiasco, and when reminded of it he laughs uproariously and says, “Serves you right for not going to look at it!”

Eurasian Wigeon, courtesy of Tom Tompkins

September 12, 2018
by Trina Anderson
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UF killed 150 birds, records show

Read the August 18, 2018 article from the Gainesville Sun here

then continue reading below for the  two follow-up letters to the Editor.

 

Letters to the editor for Aug. 26, 2018

Outrageous practice

Thanks to The Sun’s investigative reporting Aug. 19 concerning lethal bird control at the University of Florida’s Citra Research Facility. Killing an iconic, threatened bird species such as the Florida sandhill crane to protect peanut research is outrageous. Instead of defending the practice, Jack Payne, director of IFAS, should apologize that his organization condoned the slaughter of at least 47 cranes and 105 ring-billed gulls.

Not included in The Sun article are the additional facts that 1) IFAS was illegally killing cranes without a state permit from the Fish and Wildlife Commission (they only had a federal permit); 2) the Florida sandhill is a state-listed threatened species whose population is declining; and 3) when originally contacted about this issue in early 2018, IFAS researchers indicated that “only a few” cranes were shot.

It is imperative that any state or federal permits be revised to eliminate any lethal take of threatened or endangered bird species at any research facility.

John Hintermister, Gainesville

 

Letters to the editor for Aug. 28, 2018

Non-lethal methods

Six months ago, Alachua Audubon learned that IFAS was authorized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to kill up to 20 sandhill cranes annually to prevent damage to their research plots. Alachua Audubon contacted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and discovered that FWC was unaware of the Wildlife Service’s permit, even though state regulations require an FWC depredation permit to lethally take a sandhill.

Following this notification, the Fish and Wildlife Commission met with IFAS and advised them on alternative non-lethal, deterrent techniques. Alachua Audubon also requested assistance from Audubon Florida, which resulted in the issue being taken to the highest level in IFAS.

Thanks to the involvement of Fish and Wildlife Commission and Audubon Florida, IFAS has committed to implementing alternative non-lethal methods to deter sandhill cranes. Now it is up to the Fish and Wildlife Service to revise IFAS’ existing depredation permit to only allow non-lethal methods of deterrence.

Debbie Segal, president, the Alachua Audubon Society

July 21, 2018
by Trina Anderson
2 Comments

FIRST EGYPTIAN GOOSE FOR ALACHUA COUNTY!

by Rex Rowan

Leigh Larson found an Egyptian Goose at Sweetwater Wetlands Park this morning. It’s Alachua County’s first-ever sighting of this introduced species, which originally established itself as a resident breeding bird in South Florida and has slowly been expanding its range north. Locally, it was first observed in southern Marion County in 2012 and didn’t move from that area – Summerfield and The Villages – until this May, when four turned up at Tuscawilla Park in northern Ocala. Get out there to Sweetwater if you can and have a look. It’s mainly been in the long channel on the distant side of Cells 1 and 2. While you’re there, keep an eye out for the Caspian Tern, present for its second day now.

June 30, 2018
by Rex Rowan
2 Comments

A problem I have; plus, Louisiana Waterthrush

I’ve been trying to pin something down, but I lack the information to do it. There’s a clutch of Snail Kite eggs in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History that was supposedly collected in Micanopy by H.H. Simpson on December 4, 1919. There are a lot of these old egg sets out there; in the days before binoculars, egg-collecting was one of the forms that “birding” took. This particular egg set would constitute the only other breeding record for Snail Kite in Alachua County, and – if it’s a valid record – it would suggest that this year’s nesting may be a temporary extension of the nesting range, rare but normal, rather than an indicator of long-range environmental changes.

But is it a valid record? That’s what I’m trying to pin down. Snail Kites normally begin nesting in March in Central Florida, and in 1919 they would presumably have nested in March or April here – not in December. So that’s one doubtful thing about it. Another is that a lot of these late 19th- and early 20th-century egg collectors, rather than listing the nest location on the specimen cards that accompanied the egg sets in their collections, listed their own hometowns instead. So how can I confirm Micanopy as the actual site of the nest from which the eggs were taken? The specimen tag in the Carnegie Museum wasn’t any help. So I contacted Paul Sykes, the Fish and Wildlife Service biologist who did a historical survey of kite nesting in Florida, and asked what he could tell me about the Micanopy record. He referred me to H.K. Swann’s “Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus Ridgway, Northern Everglade Kite” in volume 12 of “A monograph of the birds of prey,” published in 1934. It turns out to be an elusive book. The UF science library had one in its catalog, but now describes it as “missing.” And even if the library tracks it down, maybe it won’t tell me anything new. I’m looking for something along the lines of, “H.H. Simpson’s notes read, ‘Nest located in a willow tree at the center of the Tuscawilla Prairie, eggs collected on Dec. 4th.'” But I’m unlikely to find anything that helpful.

I rarely do find anything that helpful, in looking at old records. This is at least partly excusable, since early birders probably couldn’t imagine all the scrutiny their sightings would undergo in the decades to come. Robert McClanahan saw a Kirtland’s Warbler in 1934, or at least he said that he did: “Rare migrant. One record, a bird observed at Bivens Arm, April 26, 1934.” He didn’t try to convince us. He made no allowance for skeptics in the future. He just asserted it: “I saw this.” Yeah, maybe you did and maybe you didn’t.

Anyway, the frustration provoked by such unconfirmed and forever-unconfirmable reports has made me more thoughtful about my own birding records. When I go out now, I imagine the future sort of looking over my shoulder. “What would you want to know about this?” I ask. “What information will you wish I had recorded?”

I took a walk on Camps Canal early this morning in hopes of seeing Yellow-crowned Night-Heron and an early-migrant Louisiana Waterthrush. No luck with the night-heron. But I found the waterthrush – though putting it that way gives me too much credit. I walked right past it, but after I’d gone about a hundred feet it started calling, that hard, clinky, recognizably-waterthrushy chip note, so I turned back. It was in the slough, the shallow body of water that’s on your left as you near the Prairie. It flew up into view, slowly bobbed its tail a couple of times while I noted the long white supercilium and tea-stained flanks, moved to another branch a few yards away, and then flew across the trail and out of sight, down to the canal. I followed, and spished, and it appeared at the base of a cypress tree on the near bank. I focused on its throat, which was immaculate (Northerns have a streaked throat, though it’s too early for Northerns anyway), and then, almost immediately, it flew away. A nervous bird. I put two dead branches in the middle of the trail at that point, in the form of an X, and if you get out there today you might be able to relocate it.

Another exciting find, non-bird-related: as I was scaling the slope toward the canal, I saw a huge insect that I first took for a crane fly. But then it landed on a tree trunk and I realized that it was one of the giant ichneumon wasps of the genus Megarhyssa, the first I’ve ever seen in the wild and a real beauty. It looked something like this: https://bugguide.net/node/view/761160 Bugs otherwise were not bad. A few mosquitoes, barely noticeable. Camps Canal can be miserable with mosquitoes in the late summer, but right now it’s fine.

As I was driving home, I passed a family of Wild Turkeys grazing in a grassy lot along County Road 234. They were new for my June list too, and I think they were the last new birds I’ll get for the Challenge. They put me at 103. That should be easy to beat! Send me your totals by midnight tonight. And please list any unusual birds that you saw during the Challenge. I like to make a complete list of all the birds recorded during June.

The June Challenge party will be held at Becky Enneis’s place, 14806 NW 147th Avenue in Alachua, on Sunday, July 8th, beginning at 6:00 p.m. Bring something to rest your sit-upon upon. Bring some food to share. Soft drinks and water will be provided, but if you want beer or wine, bring your own. For a map that shows Becky’s place, click here. Becky’s is marked with the inverted red teardrop; click on the teardrop for driving directions. You can zoom the map in or out as needed.

June 29, 2018
by Rex Rowan
0 comments

Winter is coming

The days are getting shorter again. We’ve already lost a minute and three seconds of daylight! I can feel the Seasonal Affective Disorder starting to take hold. Sigh.

Gina Kent of Gainesville’s own Avian Research and Conservation Institute has a request: “In the past you’ve helped locate Mississippi Kite nests for orphan chicks. Do you know of any active territories this year? Whether you’ve located the actual nest or not, it’s super helpful to know where birds are being seen regularly. Some chicks may be flighted and able to release with/near foraging adults and recent fledglings. Thanks for any help you can give. Folks can email me at ginakent222@hotmail.com with info.”

This may be the last email before the June Challenge ends on Saturday at midnight. So remember to send me your totals by then. We’re not counting Black Swan, Swan Goose, Greylag Goose, Indian Peafowl (peacock), or Helmeted Guineafowl this year (but Whooping Crane, Mallard of any description, and Muscovy Duck are all okay). So no need to worry about separating ABA countables from uncountables. We’ll be having our June Challenge party on Sunday the 8th. Details later.

Bob Carroll hiked out Longleaf Flatwoods Reserve yesterday morning and found the ever-elusive Hairy Woodpecker “about half way along the Red Trail on the western edge of the property, maybe about opposite the entrance.” I think Bob’s the only Alachua County birder who’s found one this June. Here’s a trail map for reference (with the Red Trail marked R): https://www.sjrwmd.com/static/lands/trailguides/longleafflatwoodstrail.pdf

There have been a few sightings of Yellow-crowned Night-Heron at Sweetwater Wetlands Park lately. Cindy Boyd saw it most recently, at 8:15 on the evening of the 25th, from the roofed shelter on the back side of Cell 2, looking at the opening in the trees where Sweetwater Canal used to be. Adam Zions had seen one at Sweetwater on the previoius evening.

Cindy also sighted a Broad-winged Hawk at San Felasco’s Millhopper Road parking lot on the 27th, and sent this great email: “Just as I was almost off the trail, about 50 yards east of the kiosk on the yellow trail, I heard the Broad-winged calling. I looked up and couldn’t see it. It sounded just a little north of me. So I whipped out my phone and played the call a couple of times. Within 30 seconds it was soaring right overhead. I’m so glad I fell in love with birds!”