bioaccumulation of pesticides. Most of the site is still off limits to visitors for this very reason. The Clay Island area is one of the few areas where you could access the site was a little frustrating as it consisted of flatland overgrown with tall vegetation which made it impossible to scan from the paths although I did have an Otter rolling around in the dirt here. There was at least one high tower which gave good views of the area. At one stage I did a very quick 360 scan and counted at least 13 Northern Harriers and 11 Ospreys in flight around the tower. There was hardly any open water on view which meant it wasn't great for waterfowl or waders. Plenty of rails and crakes were heard but as usual none were seen.
I also had a look at an area of farmland nearby where a Say's Phoebe has been wintering for a number of years. Unfortunately this Florida rarity wasn't on view while I was present.
Very last site of the trip were the Mead Gardens in Orlando city to twitch a two hummingbirds. I saw the rarer Rufous Hummingbird but failed to see the Ruby-throated Hummingbird here. I somehow managed to miss Ruby-throated Hummingbird completely over the last fortnight.
I had managed to see around 180 species during the fortnight, 124 of which were lifers for me which wasn't all that surprising given that it was my first trip to the States but hopefully not my last. Trip list below.
|Female Eastern Bluebird|