It has been a busy last few weeks/months, and it has led me all the way back to Anchorage. I'm preparing for another North Slope field season, and part of that preparation required a week in some warm weather. I spent April 23-30th raging my way around Florida. I flew into Miami and hit the ground running with a trip to Green Cay Wetlands where Painted Buntings were reported, a would-be lifer. It took me all of 3 seconds to find a female at the first feeder on the way to the wetlands.
The 24th was the day I would find the long staying La Sagra's Flycatcher, but it must have heard me coming because it departed 2 days previous to my arrival. I still picked up some great birds at Bill Bagg's State Park like my lifer Black-whiskered Vireo and Gray Kingbird.
On the 25th I found myself in the Lake Okeechobee area looking for a couple year birds that I wouldn't have a shot at later, like Bachman's Sparrow, Florida Scrub Jay and Short-tailed Hawk. Bachman's Sparrows were singing heavily in the dawn hours at Highlands Hammock State Park. I got nice scope views of one singing his heart out. A nice bird to see again.
The Florida Scrub Jay was too easy at Archbold Bio Station. Just go to the picnic tables.
On the 27th I woke up in Flamingo, but I saw no Flamingos. I did see a Swallow-tailed Kite that was flying low over my head repeatedly catching dragonflies and eating them mid-air. One of the most awesome things I have seen.
Here are a few more pics from the trip: