Had I put two and two together, when I landed in Tampa on Sunday afternoon, I'd have come up with Fallout. There had been a big storm in Florida on Saturday, right during spring migration, and it triggered a medium sized Fallout in Florida, especially Fort De Soto, in St. Petersburg. I had been thinking of driving out there prior to heading to my hotel in Dunedin, and had I done so, Oh the birds, I'd have seen. I was told that it was one of the best days in years to be a Birder in Florida.
Instead, I settled in, walked around Dunedin Hammock Park, saw relatively few birds, and planned my trip to Fort DeSoto for the next afternoon. It wasn't exactly too little, too late, but I did miss the sight of birds perched and flying everywhere and all at once. The folks I talked to on Monday evening, the park was still crowded with Birders a day later, said it was magnificent.
Not that the 4 hours I birded the park was any let down. I had read reports of a Black-billed Cuckoo in the park and that had set me on my way. I didn't see the bird, but the Birders were Cuckoo for every flying thing in sight. I probably ran into more than a dozen groups and befriended several along the way. Their knowledge and keen eyes, made it for an amazing afternoon. I, along with a few others, stayed until sunset to get the last birds of the day, including a Ruby-throated Hummingbird.
Highlights were a Least Tern, Rose-breasted and Blue Grosbeaks, Scarlet Tanagers, an Eastern Wood-Pewee, Flocks of Indigo Buntings, and Barn Swallows flying so low that one almost knocked me down.
It's late and I need to get some sleep, as I plan on getting up at 5AM and being at the park when it opens, to catch 2-3 hours of what Fallout remains, before I have to go into work. When I get all the photos sorted out, I shall post a few more, though that may not be until I get back to Toronto on Friday. I still have a La Sagra's Flycatcher to hunt down in Bill Bagg's State Park, down in Miami and there are many miles to go before I rest.