Today I took a much needed rest day and did some serious research on the birds that I need to find in Florida. Right now my plan is to bird my way south along the eastern edge of the state, spend a bunch of time just south of Miami, and then bird my way back up the western side of the state before heading into the panhandle. I will have nearly a full month to track down a lengthy list of birds that I need to find in the state. Here are the most critical. Most of this data was mined out of eBird this afternoon.
Parasitic jaeger - Best crack at this will be Daytona and Ponce Inlet in the next 3-5 days.
Magnificent frigatebird - These have been seen with increasing frequency in southern part of state.
Fulvous whistling-duck - Will look for this west of Palm Beach.
Snail kite - Will try around Loxahatchee area. I could always go to Lake Kissimmee if I miss it.
Short-tailed hawk - Should see one of these overhead somewhere.
Limpkin - I will see this bird.
King rail - Ugh, still chasing this bird but I have a bunch of spots for it.
Purple gallinule - Loxahatchee NWR marsh trail.
Purple swamphen - Loxahatchee NWR, Green Cay Wetlands
Wilson's plover - Beaches anywhere, but most likely around Tampa.
Bar-tailed godwit - Continuing bird in Tarpon Springs north of Tampa.
White-crowned pigeon - Neighborhoods south of Miami, Matheson Hammock Park.
White-winged parakeet - Neighborhoods south of Miami.
Black-headed/Nanday parakeet - Boynton Beach or St. Petersburg.
Mangrove cuckoo - This will be the hardest bird for me. There a a few scattered reports.
Barred owl - Should see or hear this somewhere. Could see in other Gulf states too though.
Eastern whip-poor-will - A night ride through Everglades NP might yield this on the road. I am not counting on seeing this bird as I do not know if I will make it this far south.
La Sagra's flycatcher - Continuing bird in Coral Gables.
Gray kingbird - No specific spot for this, just hoping I can find an early returning bird in March. Going to be really tough/lucky.
Common myna - Anywhere south of Palm Beach.
Common hill myna - Around Coral Gables, Matheson Hammock Park.
Florida scrub jay - Merritt Island, Helen and Allan Cruickshank Sanctuary in Brevard.
Red-whiskered bulbul - South Miami suburbs.
Bachman's sparrow - Start singing in March so I should be able to find one on the west coast.
Spot-breasted oriole - Ft Lauderdale neighborhoods, neighborhoods south of Miami.
It looks as though I will be spending at least 3-4 days in South Miami chasing around introduced but countable species. A bike will make the perfect way to do this! There are a host of other birds I would like to find. Most of the following occur elsewhere, and while it would be nice to get them in Florida, it is not imperative that I do so.
I have a much longer day than anticipated tomorrow as a bridge I needed to cross is closed. That means a 25 mile detour. Sweet.