Ok so I really, really tried to get a picture of the bugger but as soon as I set up the camera he flew across a marshy area and lighted in a tree 500 feet away! Doh. Male Vermillion Flys are top birds, gully gushers, cripplers, mega....there are many superlatives.Andy Bankert and I arrived at St Marks to bird Stoney Bayou 2 to try and get a few year birds for Andy'a almost Big Year record. Before the days proceedings he was sitting nicely on 360 spp for Florida in 2007. The record stands at 365! We trudged out along the north dike to the back of SB2 at 615am, beautiful sunrise. It took us a while but species #361 came flying in (4 of them) and landed in a small muddy pool not far from where we would eventually see the gusher crippler! American Black Ducks are not the best looking duck oin our fair planet but both Andy and I were well pleased with them. My 330th Florida lifer, which I am ashamed to admit, considering it was Andy's 361st Florida year bird! Further along the dike we came across a small flock of Mallards (real migrant ones!) and another Black Duck as well as a Northern Pintail were mixed in with 'em. Other wildfowl on SB2 included Redhead, Hooded Merg, BW & GW Teal. Unfortunately there was no sign of the White-fronted Goose. Then we bumped into the Vermillion. I did manage one picture of him, probably the worst digiscoping picture of a Vermillion Fly, infact of anything, ever taken in the short history of digiscoping!
Vermillion Flycatcher (honest!)....eat yer heart out Eric Beohm!
Eastern Meadowlarks, Sedge Wren, Marsh Wren, Savannah Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows (plagues), Sora, 36 Black-crowned Night Heron, 2 Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Glossy Ibis, King Rail, Bald Eagle, American Goldficnhes, American Pipit, Northern Harriers......were also seen amongst others.
A very obliging Vesper Sparrow showed well along Stoney Bayou 1's north Dike.
Vesper Sparrow
East River Pool wasn't playing host to any geese but we did have 2 American Avocets and a Red-throated Loon flew over heading towards the bay.We looked and listened hard for Red-breasted Nuthatches but to no avail. More Vesper Sparrows were had near the Great Horned Owl nest site. In all we totalled 92 species in just over 4 hours. The big day record for Wakulla would have been shattered had we not had other committments. I just got a call from Andy and he blanked on RBNuthatch at Lake Talquin SP but did get a White-fronted Goose in Bay County, #362. Only 4 more to beat Dave Simpson's record! I can't stand the tension, I'm off for a lovely cuppa tea!