Pacific Golden-Plover At Everglades Agricultural Area

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Corey Callaghan was birding the sod fields at Six Mile Bend in Palm Beach County during the afternoon of 9 April 2016 and found a Pacific Golden-Plover which became the first Florida record for the species.

 

 

 

 

The sunrise above (image 1) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in April 2016.

Tom Obrock and I made the trip to Belle Glade on 17 April with hopes of finding the Pacific Golden-Plover as it had been reported the day before. When we arrived at the sod field where the extreme rarity for Florida had been reported numerous times, there was a near complete absence of birds. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology notes that the Pacific Golden-Plover is uncommon in North America.

The Common Yellowthroat above (image 2) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in April 2016.

The above (image 3) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in April 2016.

The Tree Swallow above (image 4) was photographed at Everglades Agricultural Area in April 2016.

After scanning the field unsuccessfully we walked beyond where Corey had observed the Pacific Golden-Plover on the 10th. We could see birds at a great distance further which I thought were Red-winged Blackbirds. Somewhat daunted we walked back toward the car where we found the Pacific Golden-Plover feeding with several , a Killdeer and Ruddy Turnstone.

The Yellow-headed Blackbird above (image 5) was photographed at the Sem-Chi Rice Mill in April 2016.

The Yellow-headed Blackbird above (image 6) was photographed at the Sem-Chi Rice Mill in April 2016.

The Yellow-headed Blackbird above (image 7) was photographed at the Sem-Chi Rice Mill in April 2016.

The birds were moving quickly along the ground toward the east making observation of them challenging after a short period of time. Ft. Myers Commandos Stan Damon, Vince McGrath and Dr. Jose Padilla arrived to get good views of the Pacific Golden-Plover with their scopes.

The Yellow-headed Blackbird above (image 8) was photographed at the Sem-Chi Rice Mill in April 2016.

The Yellow-headed Blackbird above (image 9) was photographed at the Sem-Chi Rice Mill in April 2016.

The above (image 10) was photographed at the Sem-Chi Rice Mill in April 2016.

Observations of Pacific Golden-Plover on the Eastern Coast of North America have occurred at Plymouth Beach in Massachusetts on 20 July 2013 (for about five minutes) and at Cape Saint Mary’s Ecological Reserve on 16 July 2015 according to eBird data. Based on comments by Marshall Iliff, one among the Plymouth Beach team, the Pacific Golden-Plover at the Everglades Agricultural Area sod fields might be the 7th record for the species on the East Coast. The comments of Timothy Spahr are very interesting as well. Well beyond its normal range, Pacific Golden-Plover has also been observed at the Cayman Islands and Laguna de Tisma Natural Reserve in Nicaragua.

The Peregrine Falcon above (image 11) was photographed at the Sem-Chi Rice Mill in April 2016.

The Peregrine Falcon above (image 12) was photographed at the Sem-Chi Rice Mill in April 2016.

The Peregrine Falcon above (image 13) was photographed at the Sem-Chi Rice Mill in April 2016.

We made our way to the Sem-Chi Rice Mill with hopes of seeing my second life bird of the morning. Yellow-headed Blackbirds had been reported at the location in preceding days. The excitement over one Yellow-headed Blackbird turned toward as many as 40.

The crop duster above (image 14) was photographed at the Sem-Chi Rice Mill in April 2016.

The Boat-tailed Grackle above (image 15) was photographed near Stormwater Treatment Area 1 in April 2016.

The above (image 16) was photographed at the Everglades Agricultural Area in April 2016.

Stan led the way toward a sheltered observation point immediately north of Stormwater Treatment Area 1 where Dr. Jose spotted several as a highlight of the venue. We next returned to get another look at the Pacific Golden-Plover. It was at its greatest distance at that point.

The above (image 17) was photographed at the White’s feeders in April 2016.

The Northern Parula above (image 18) was photographed at the White’s feeders in April 2016.

The Indigo Bunting above (image 19) was photographed at the White’s feeders in April 2016.

Parting ways with the Commandos, Tom and I headed toward Alva to check the White’s feeders. It’s always a rewarding stop at this time of year especially. A final thought on the Pacific Golden-Plover is that it was last seen at the Everglades Agricultural Area sod fields on 25 April as reported to eBird.

The Red-bellied Woodpecker above (image 20) was photographed at the White’s feeders in April 2016.

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The above (image 21) was photographed at the White’s feeders in April 2016.

 

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Bob Pelkey

Bob Pelkey

This blog is updated every Friday (preferably) and randomly, primarily on the subject of wildlife observation in the state of Florida. This blog is in conjunction with my secondary photo site at http://www.pbase.com/jkrnm5/

Bob Pelkey

Bob Pelkey

This blog is updated every Friday (preferably) and randomly, primarily on the subject of wildlife observation in the state of Florida. This blog is in conjunction with my secondary photo site at http://www.pbase.com/jkrnm5/

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