Let the Season Begin!
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.