SOUTH FLORIDA AND THE FLORIDA KEYS TOUR
                                              APRIL 9-12, 1999
 
 

This is a trip report from the tour above.  On this tour we had the following participants.

J.S. Futcher from Roseville, Minnesota.
Mel and Beverly Henderson from Arlington, Texas.
Roger Tess and Elizabeth Evanson from Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

Day one April 10, 1999

The weather was great and the participants were lots of fun.  We started our first day looking for our target birds, Miami exotics and other South  Florida specialties.  These are the birds we had our first day birding.

Pied-billed Grebe                                               YELLOW-CHEVRONED PARAKEET
Double-crested Cormorant                                   RED-MASKED PARAKEET
Anhinga                                                           SMOOTH-BILLED ANI
Great Egret                                                         Barn Owl
Cattle Egret                                                                         Eastern Screech-Owl
Green Heron                                                                       Chimney Swift
White Ibis                                                                           Red-bellied Woodpecker
Mottled Duck                                                                     Purple Martin
Turkey Vulture                                                                   Tree Swallow
Osprey                                                            CAVE SWALLOW ( West Indies race)
Swallow-tailed Kite                                                            Blue Jay
SNAIL KITE                                                Fish Crow
Red-shouldered Hawk                                          RED-WHISKERED BULBUL
BLACK RAIL Yes, we had good looks!!! Gray Catbird
Common Moorhen                                                              Northern Mockingbird
American Coot                                                                     Cedar Waxing
Killdeer                                                                                   Loggerhead Shrike
Ring-billed Gull                                                                     European Starling
Rock Dove                                                              COMMON MYNA, The next A.B.A. bird?
WHITE-CROWNED PIGEON                    HILL MYNA
Eurasian Collared-Dove                                                      Palm Warbler
Mourning Dove                                                                   Common Yellowthroat
Common Ground-Dove                                                       Northern Cardinal
MONK PARAKEET                                     Red-winged Blackbird
YELLOW-CHEVRONED PARAKEET       Boat-tailed Grackle
                                                                         Common Grackle
PURPLE SWAMPHEN                                 SPOT-BREASTED ORIOLE
                                                                         House Sparrow  



Day two April 11, 1999

Again on this day, great weather and excellent birds. Today we birded Homestead and Everglades National Park.  Below are the birds that we had this day.

Pied-billed Grebe                                                           Eastern Kingbird
American Pelican                                             GRAY KINGBIRD
Brown Pelican                                                                Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Double-crested Cormorant                                           Purple Martin
Anhinga                                                                          Tree Swallow
Least Bittern                                                                   N. Rough-winged Swallow
Great Blue Heron (and white form)                             Bank Swallow
Great Egret                                                                      Barn Swallow
Snowy Egret                                                                   Blue Jay
Little Blue Heron                                                           American Crow
Tricolored Heron                                                           Carolina Wren
Cattle Egret                                                                     Gray Catbird
Green Heron                                                                    Northern Mockingbird
White Ibis                                                                        Brown Thrasher
Glossy Ibis                                                                       Loggerhead Shrike
Roseate Spoonbill                                                          European Starling
Wood Stork                                                                     Common Myna
Black Vulture                                                                   White-eyed Vireo
Turkey Vulture                                                                 Solitary Vireo
Osprey                                                            BLACK-WHISKERED VIREO
Swallow-tailed Kite                                                          Cape May Warbler
Bald Eagle                                                                         Yellow-rumped Warbler
Red-shouldered Hawk                                                     Pine Warbler
American Kestrel                                                              Prairie Warbler
Sora                                                                                     Palm Warbler
Common Moorhen                                                           Common Yellowthroat
American Coot                                                                  Northern Cardinal
Solitary Sandpiper                                                            Painted Bunting
Willet                                                                                  Eastern Towhee
Laughing Gull                                                     Seaside Sparrow (cape sable race)
Rock Dove                                                                         Red-winged Blackbird
Eurasian Collared-dove                                                   Eastern Meadowlark
White-winged Dove                                                         Boat-tailed Grackle
Mourning Dove                                                                 Common Grackle
MANGROVE CUCKOO                            SHINY COWBIRD
Belted Kingfisher                                                               Brown-headed Cowbird
Red-bellied Woodpecker                                                  Baltimore Oriole
Downy Woodpecker                                                         House Sparrow
Northern Flicker
Great Crested Flycatcher
Western Kingbird  


Day three April 12, 1999

Today we head down to the Florida Keys and bird our way to Key West.  Everyone on this tour will continue on to the Dry Tortugas.  Below are the birds we had this day.

Pied-billed Grebe                                                                   Tree Swallow
Brown Pelican                                                                        N. Rough-winged Swallow
Magnificent Frigatebird                                                        Barn Swallow
Great Blue Heron (white form and Wurdemannís)           Blue Jay
Great Egret                                                                              Northern Mockingbird
Snowy Egret                                                                           European Starling
Little Blue Heron                                                    Common Myna
Tricolored Heron                                                                   White-eyed Vireo
Reddish Egret (and white form)                                           Northern Parula
Cattle Egret                                                            Yellow Warbler (Cuban Race)
Green Heron                                                                            Cape May Warbler
Blue-winged Teal                                                                   Yellow-rumped Warbler
Red-breasted Merganser                                                      Prairie Warbler
Turkey Vulture                                                                       Northern Waterthrush
Osprey                                                                                     Northern Cardinal
Swallow-tailed Kite                                                                Red-winged Blackbird
Sharp-shinned Hawk                                                             Boat-tailed Grackle
Red-shouldered Hawk                                                           Common Grackle
American Kestrel                                                                    House Sparrow
Common Moorhen
Black-necked Stilt
Greater Yellowlegs
Spotted Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
Laughing Gull
Herring Gull
Royal Tern
Rock Dove
WHITE-CROWNED PIGEON
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Mourning Dove
Monk Parakeet
Burrowing Owl
Chuck-willís widow
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Great Crested Flycatcher
Western Kingbird
Purple Martin

We had excellent birds (120 species) and some unique animals including, American Crocodile, American Alligator, Key Deer and Brown-banded Water snake.

Check for the "new dates for 2000", these new tours should be just as exciting as last years!!!



              THE DRY TORTUGAS, APRIL 12-15, 1999

On this tour we had the participants from the South Florida and the Florida Keys Tour, plus some new participants.

Paul and Kay Downing from Tallahassee, Florida.
Dale and Evelyn Jensen from Langley British Columbia, Canada.
George Wenzelburger from Freehold, New Jersey.
 

 April 12-15, 1999

We left Key West for The Dry Tortugas onboard the M/V Playmate at around 12 a.m. and arrived at Fort Jefferson around 5 a.m.  We woke up at sunrise to the chorus of thousands of Sooty Terns and Brown Noddys. After a nice breakfast onboard.  We docked at 7:00 a.m. and begin birding  the fort.

During our 3 day stay we travel over to Fort Jefferson, which is on Garden Key, Loggerhead Key, Bush Key, Hospital Key and enjoyed the birds at these locations.  On the last day of our tour, we birded Fort Jefferson in the morning and left before noon for pelagic birding on our way back to Key West, arriving around 4:00 p.m.

The birds listed below were found during our 3 day visit.

MASKED BOOBY                                        Black Skimmer
BROWN BOOBY                                          White-winged Dove
Northern Gannet                                                   Mourning Dove
Brown Pelican                                                       Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Double-crested Cormorant                                       Common Nighthawk
Magnificent Frigatebird                                         Chuck-will's-widow
Least Bittern                                                                          Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Great Blue Heron (white form)                                            Belted Kingfisher
Great Egret                                                                             Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Snowy Egret                                                                          Eastern Kingbird
Tricolored Heron                                                  GRAY KINGBIRD
Cattle Egret                                                                            Tree Swallow
Green-backed Heron                                                             N. Rough-winged Swallow
Black-crowned Night Heron                                    Cave Swallow (west indies race)
Osprey                                                                                    Barn Swallow
Northern Harrier                                                                    Gray Catbird
Broad-winged Hawk                                                             Northern Mockingbird
American Kestrel                                                                  Red-eyed Vireo
Merlin                                                                BLACK-WISKERED VIREO
Peregrine Falcon                                                                   Northern Parula
Sora                                                                                         Cape May Warbler
Black-bellied Plover                                                              Yellow-rumped Warbler
Spotted Sandpiper                                                                Prairie Warbler
Upland sandpiper                                                                 Palm Warbler
Ruddy Turnstone                                                                 Blackpoll Warbler
Laughing Gull                                                                        Black-and-white Warbler
Herring Gull                                                                           American Redstart
Royal Tern                                                                             Worm-eating Warbler
Sandwich Tern                                                                       Ovenbird
Common Tern                                                                         Northern Waterthrush
SOOTY TERN                                                Common Yellowthroat
BROWN NODDY                                          Hooded Warbler
                                                                         Summer Tanager
                                                                                                  Indigo Bunting
                                                                                                  Savannah Sparrow
                                                                                                  Orchard Oriole
 
These tours went very well and everybody had a great time.  We ended up with 68 species on this tour and a total of 145 species with the combined tours ( South Florida and the Florida Keys and The Dry Tortugas).  The crew members were great, the food was excellent and the accommodations and small groups make this trip very enjoyable.

Be sure to check out the "new dates for  2000".     



                 SOUTH FLORIDA AND THE FLORIDA KEYS TOUR

                                          APRIL 23-26, 1999
                                                                                                                     This is a trip report from the tour above.  On this tour we had the following participants.
 

Bob Brandow from Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Roy and Barb Houser from Prescott, Arizona

And joining us on the 3rd. day of the tour, Bob Fox, Dana Dexbury and Allen Leggett.
 

Day One April 24, 1999

Like the tour before this one the weather was great and the birds did not give us a hard time.  I met the group in the Motel lobby, we all had a nice breakfast and hit the road by 7 a.m.  Our first areas to bird were the Miami area and an area about an hour and a half north of Miami, we had the following species on that day.

Pied-billed Grebe                                                    Mourning Dove
Brown Pelican                                                       KEY WEST QUAIL DOVE
Double-crested Cormorant                                        YELLOW-CHEVERONED PARAKEET
Anhinga                                                              WHITE-WINGED PARAKEET
Great Egret                                                            Orange-winged Amazon
Little Blue Heron                                                     Red-masked Parakeet
Cattle Egret                                                            SMOOTH-BILLED ANI
Green Heron                                                           Chimney Swift
Whit Ibis                                                                Red-bellied Woodpecker
Glossy Ibis                                                              Purple Martin
Wood Stork                                                             Tree Swallow
Black Vulture                                                            Blue Jay
Turkey Vulture                                                          Fish Crow
Osprey                                                                    RED-WHISKERED BULBUL
Swallow-tailed Kite                                                                     Northern Mockingbird
SNAIL KITE                                                        Cedar Waxwing
Red-shouldered Hawk                                                 Loggerhead Shrike
Merlin                                                                      European Starling
BLACK RAIL (like the trip before, great looks!!!)     HILL MYNA
Purple Gallinule                                                                              COMMON MYNA
PURPLE SWAMPHEN                                        White-eyed Vireo
Common Moorhen                                                       Northern Waterthrush
American Coot                                                            Common Yellowthroat
LIMPKIN                                                               Yellow-breasted Chat
Killdeer                                                                       Northern Cardinal
Ruddy Turnstone                                                         Eastern Towhee
Royal Tern                                                                  Red-winged Blackbird
Rock Dove                                                                  Boat-tailed Grackle
WHITE-CROWNED PIGEON                             Common Grackle
EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE                         SPOT-BREASTED ORIOLE
White-winged Dove                                                      House Sparrow



DAY TWO APRIL 25, 1999
 

Today we birded in Everglades National Park and in the Homestead area.  Great weather this day and more good birds.  The following birds were seen today.
 

Pied-billed Grebe                                                                      Downy Woodpecker
American White Pelican                                                         Northern Flicker
Brown Pelican                                                                          Great-crested Flycatcher
Double-crested Cormorant                                                     Eastern Kingbird
Anhinga                                                                                    GRAY KINGBIRD
Great Blue Heron (white and Wurdemans form)                 Purple Martin
Snowy Egret                                                                             CAVE SWALLOW (West Indies race)
Little Blue Heron                                                                      Barn Swallow
Tricolored Heron                                                                      Blue Jay
Cattle Egret                                                                                American Crow
Green Heron                                                                              Carolina Wren
White Ibis                                                                                  Gray Catbird
Glossy Ibis                                                                                 Northern Mockingbird
Roseate Spoonbill                                                                     Loggerhead Shrike
Wood Stork                                                                                European Starling
Black Vulture                                                                              Common Myna
Turkey Vulture                                                                           White-eyed Vireo
Osprey                                                                                         Northern Parula
Swallow-tailed Kite                                                                    Cape May Warbler
Bald Eagle                                                                                    Pine Warbler
Red-shouldered Hawk                                                               Prairie Warbler
Common Moorhen                                                                     Palm Warbler
American Coot                                                                            Black-and-white Warbler
Killdeer                                                                                         American Redstart
Black-necked Stilt                                                                       Common Yellowthroat
Spotted Sandpiper                                                                      Northern Cardinal
Laughing Gull                                                                              Blue Grosbeak
Ring-billed Gull                                                                            Indigo Bunting
Rock Dove                                                                                    Painted Bunting
WHITE-CROWNED PIGEON                          Eastern Towhee
EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE                      Seaside Sparrow ( Cape Sable race)
White-winged Dove                                                                    Red-winged Blackbird
Mourning Dove                                                                           Eastern Meadowlark
Common Ground-Dove                                                               Boat-tailed Grackle
MANGROVE CUCKOO                                    Common Grackle
Barn Owl                                                                                        SHINY COWBIRD
Common Nighthawk                                                                     Brown-headed Cowbird
Red-bellied Woodpecker                                                             House Sparrow
 



 DAY THREE APRIL 26, 1999

Today we traveled down into the Florida Keys and birded our way to Key West.  At the end of the day,  we will join our other participants for our Dry Tortugas Tour.

Bob Fox, Dana Dexbury and Allen Leggett joined us this day in hopes of seeing Mangrove Cuckoo.  We were lucky and had great views of one.  This was the second day that we had seen a Mangrove Cuckoo!!  We saw the following birds this day.

Brown Pelican                                                                             Common Nighthawk
Double-crested Cormorant                                                        Antillean Nighthawk
Magnificent Frigatebird                                                             Belted Kingfisher
Great Blue Heron (white and Wurdemann's form)                 Red-bellied Woodpecker
Great Egret                                                                                   Great Crested Flycatcher
Little Blue Heron                                                                         GRAY KINGBIRD
Tricolored Heron                                                                         CAVE SWALLOW (West Indies Race)
Reddish Egret                                                                               Gray Catbird
Cattle Egret                                                                                   Northern Mockingbird
White Ibis                                                                                     European Starling
Turkey Vulture                                                                             BLACK-WHISKERED VIREO
Common Moorhen                                                                       Northern Parula
Black-bellied Plover                                                                     YELLOW WARBLER ( Cuban Race)
Black-necked Stilt                                                                         Cape May Warbler
Greater Yellowlegs                                                                        Black-and-white Warbler
Willet                                                                                              American Redstart
Least Sandpiper                                                                            Ovenbird
Short-billed Dowitcher                                                                 Northern Cardinal
Laughing Gull                                                                                Boat-tailed Grackle
Least Tern                                                                                      Common Grackle
Rock Dove                                                                                     House Sparrow
WHITE-CROWNED PIGEON
EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE
Mourning Dove
Common Ground-Dove
MANGROVE CUCKOO
Burrowing Owl

On this tour we ended up with 115 species, everyone got life birds.  We also were treated to good looks of American Crocodile, American Alligator and Key Deer.

Be sure to check out the "new dates for 2000"



              THE DRY TORTUGAS, APRIL 26-29

On this tour we had the same participants as the South Florida and The Florida Keys Tour plus the following other people.

John Boyd from Miami, Florida
Hammond and Joan Robertson from Cleverdale, New York
Terry and Christa Williams from Plant City, Florida
Richard Joos from Toronto, Canada
J.J. O'Maley from Homestead, Florida
 

APRIL 26-29, 1999

On this tour we did things a little different than the last.  We left at 4 a.m. as opposed to 12 a.m. from the last tour.  This allowed for a quite night at the dock.  Also we were able to do some pelagic birding on the way to the Dry Tortugas.

We visited Fort Jefferson, which is on Garden Key, Loggerhead Key, Bush Key, Long Key, Hospital Key and a first for a Dry Tortugas Tour, East Key.  On our last day, we birded Fort Jefferson and looked for any new arrivals and then  head back to Key West.  We arrive in Key West around 4 p.m.

These are the birds we had during our 3 day visit.
 

AUDUBON SHEARWATER                         Ruby-throated Hummingbird
MASKED BOOBY                                          Belted Kingfisher
BROWN BOOBY                                            Eastern Wood-Pewee
Northern Gannet                                                                     GRAY KINGBIRD
Brown Pelican                                                                          Purple Martin
Double-crested Cormorant                                                    Tree Swallow
Magnificent Frigatebird                                                        Bank Swallow
Great Blue Heron ( white form and Wurdemann's )            Cliff Swallow
Great Egret                                                                                Barn Swallow
Cattle Egret                                                                               Veery
Green Heron                                                                              Gray Catbird
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron                                                BLACK-WHISKERED VIREO
Opsrey                                                                                       Blue-winged Warbler
Broad-winged Hawk                                                                Tennessee Warbler
Merlin                                                                                        Northern Parula
Peregrine Falcon                                                                       Yellow Warbler
Sora                                                                                            Magnolia Warbler
Black-bellied Plover                                                                 Cape May Warbler
Semipalmated Plover                                                               Black-throated Blue Warbler
Black-necked Stilt                                                                    Yellow-rumped Warbler
Greater Yellowlegs                                                                   Prairie Warbler
Lesser Yellowlegs                                                                    Palm Warbler
Ruddy Turnstone                                                                    Blackpoll Warbler
Sanderling                                                                                 Black-and-white Warbler
Semipalmated Sandpiper                                                        American Redstart
Least Sandpiper                                                                       Prothonotary Warbler
Short-billed Dowitcher                                                            Ovenbird
Pomarine Jaeger                                                                       Northern Waterthrush
Laughing Gull                                                                           Louisiana Waterthrush
Herring Gull                                                                              Common Yellowthroat
Royal Tern                                                                                Hooded Warbler
Sandwich Tern                                                                         Summer Tanager
ROSEATE TERN                                            Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Least Tern                                                                                Indigo Bunting
BRIDLED TERN                                            PAINTED BUNTING
SOOTY TERN                                                 Dickcissel
BROWN NODDY                                           Lark Sparrow
EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE                                         Bobolink
White-winged Dove                                                               SHINY COWBIRD
Mourning Dove                                                                      Orchard Oriole
Black-billed Cuckoo                                                                Baltimore
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
SHORT-EARED OWL ( West Indies Race)
Chuck-will's-widow
Chimney Swift
 

We ended this tour with 87 species and a total of 158 species with the combined tours ( South Florida and the Keys Tour and The Dry Tortugas. 

The big miss, which no other groups had in 1999 was Black Noddy.  This is the first time in many years that one has not shown up!!  In April 1998 there were around 6 Black Noddys.

Again, the crew was great, the food excellent and the small groups, keep things more personalized.

Please be sure to check out the "new dates for 2000".