Ft Lauderdale Florida
Day One Bird Total 74
I flew into Ft Lauderdale on New Year's Eve and met up with my daughter and wife. We celebrated the New Years at a local Italian Restaurant and then drank a bottle of Moet champagne back at the Ramada Inn in Newfoundland time, we were tired and it was a long day traveling. Besides...I had a big year to start early in the morning.
Don't let the Bird count total fool you. Although that number is important. Eventually I will run out of easy birds and it is actually the coded bird number that is important. These are rare birds coded 3-5, with five being the rarest birds rarely seen in the USA. I can explain that later. I have to say that that number needs to get around 80 for me to have a chance at any record and over 60 for this to be considered much of a year.
We were at Crispy Creme before 0630 and my wife and the woman at the drivethru had a misunderstanding about tea. "We have sweet tea, dear." Became the frequent southern answer to my poor wife asking for tea. We drove into Bark'm at Markham Dog Park just before 7am and we went to work searching, I went right and the ladies went left and then after some distraction I saw Lena looking at something it was 7:07, it wasn't even dawn yet and she had the rare bird 6 feet away. Brid #1. Western Spindalis. Code 3. It was very photogenic. It just sat there like it wasn't even there.
Ten minutes of snapshots later it flew off and then we went and looked around finding a few birds, my wife found a bathroom for her tea and when we were walking back from the pond, I spotted the flock of spot-breasted orioles with the spindalis in tow and off they all went into the trees.
We met a birder just showing up at 8 when we were moving to other spots and it turned out she waited 5 hours for the flock of orioles to swing back through this part of the park. My advice is to walk the dog early to see this bird if you are going to Markham.
Well primary and secondary birds seen, it was time to run up the score before the plane left at 6pm. We went off to Loxahatchee NWR and saw limpkins and other birds, nothing really special.
I got head shots of least bitterns