(Scroll down for photos) We were literally up before the birds in order to be in place roadside at Three Lakes WMA Campground to observe Red-cockaded Woodpeckers leave their roosting tree. Those participants who arrived early saw two of the rare birds leave the roost for the day; nearly everyone in the group got at least brief views of one bird that returned to the area to forage. An additional treat was listening to the “squeaky toy” calls of several Brown-headed Nuthatches in the same habitat.
A leisurely drive on Joe Overstreet Road provided views of dozens of species, the most photogenic being two Red-headed Woodpeckers. Eastern Meadowlarks serenaded us for the length of the drive. Other species of note were Loggerhead Shrike, Bald Eagle and Sandhill Crane. At the Landing on Lake Kissimmee, we enjoyed watching the activity of several wading birds and Snail Kites. We ended the day with a picnic by the lake and a giant chocolate chip cookie to help our leader Linda Sullivan celebrate her birthday.
Fifteen people participating in the trip observed a total of 58 species. Several participants were delighted that they added some new birds to their life lists.
By Doris Brookens.
Three Lakes WMA Roadside and Joe Overstreet Road and Landing
February 9, 2019
Total of 58 Species
Pigeons and Doves: Eurasian Collared-Dove; Mourning Dove
Cranes and Rails: Common Gallinule; American Coot; Purple Gallinule; Limpkin; Sandhill Crane
Gulls, Terns and Skimmers: Ring-billed Gull; Forster’s Tern
Pelicans, Cormorants and Allies: Wood Stork; Anhinga; Double-crested Cormorant
Wading Birds: Great Blue Heron; Great Egret; Snowy Egret; Little Blue Heron; Tricolored Heron; Cattle Egret; White Ibis; Glossy Ibis
Vultures: Black Vulture; Turkey Vulture
Hawks: Osprey; Snail Kite; Northern Harrier; Sharp-shinned Hawk; Bald Eagle; Red-shouldered Hawk
Woodpeckers: Red-headed Woodpecker; Red-bellied Woodpecker; Downy Woodpecker; Red-cockaded Woodpecker; Pileated Woodpecker
Falcons: American Kestrel
Flycatchers: Eastern Phoebe
Shrikes and Vireos: Loggerhead Shrike; White-eyed Vireo
Jays and Crows: American Crow
Swallows: Northern Rough-winged Swallow; Tree Swallow
Nuthatches: Brown-headed Nuthatch
Wrens and Gnatcatchers: Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Thrushes: Eastern Bluebird; American Robin
Mimids and Starlings: Gray Catbird; Northern Mockingbird
Sparrows: Field Sparrow; Savannah Sparrow
Blackbirds: Eastern Meadowlark; Red-winged Blackbird; Brown-headed Cowbird; Boat-tailed Grackle; Common Grackle
Warblers: Palm Warbler; Pine Warbler; Yellow-rumped Warbler
Cardinals and Buntings: Northern Cardinal
Photos by Hart Rufe & Linda Sullivan