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Let the Season Begin!

September 14, 2011


      Short-tailed Hawk and 8 warbler species at Dagny Johnson | Finally set-up at Curry Hammock | Eastern Kingbirds on the move

We have finally arrived at the Middle Keys and settled into our Keys Marine Lab housing facility. With so much to do and two truck-fulls to unload, there was no time to waste. However, Jim and I did stop at Dagny Johnson (Key Largo) and did some quick birding.

Right away, one of our first birds was a light Short-tailed Hawk – first of the season! We just had to try our Leica Ultravid 8×32 and 10×42 bins – I personally find the 8s to be excellent!

As usual for Dagny, N. Cardinals and White-eyed Vireos were everywhere. Warblers included Northern Parula, Prairie, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Worm-eating, Black-throated Blue, Blackpoll, and Northern Waterthrush.

Finally at Curry Hammock State Park, it took us quite a while to set up. When we were finally done, we spent some time looking out for birds.

We saw not much in terms of raptors – few Turkey Vulture and some Ospreys; none seemed engaged in migration. But we did see a few dozen Eastern Kingbirds moving southbound, plenty of Barn Swallows, and no shortage of White-crowned Pigeons. Gray Kingbirds were also in the vicinity, and the clumps of Buttonwoods nearby had Prairie Warblers and Northern Parulas.

The season has finally started!

Photo above: Jim Eager and I look out towards the horizon from the Curry Hammock monitoring site.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. NatureIsAwesome permalink
    September 15, 2011 1:10 am

    Awesome to see the HW back up and running! We can’t wait till we visit later this month. Badbirdz2 will keep you guys updated with radar images of the Keys area through out the season. We look forward to reading about your adventures at the FL Keys Hawkwatch.

    Nature is Awesome
    Angel & Mariel

  2. September 15, 2011 10:05 am

    Welcome to the Middle Keys. Looking forward to hearing what you all spot each day.

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