This morning, Jim Schlickenrieder (a birding pal from New Jersey) and I birded the Babcock/Webb Wildlife Management Area. This is a fabulous birding area and Jim wanted to get to know it and some of its specialty birds. Overall, bird numbers were down, but we managed to get all of our target species. Starting right near the entrance kiosk, we had Common Gallinule and Limpkin. On the main road in, we added Eastern Meadowlark, Northern Bobwhite, Palm, Prairie and Pine Warblers, Great-crested Flycatcher, Eastern Towhee (the Florida race) and one of our targets, BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCH! Once we were on Oil Well Grade, (a left off the Tuckers Grade) we were in prime habitat our next target species, BACHMAN’S SPARROW! They were tough to come by this spring and we only had two, but nice looks at one of the singing males. As we moved along, Brown Thrashers, Common Ground Doves, Sandhill Cranes, Loggerhead Shrike and more came into view. We searched several clusters and couldn’t initially find RED-COCKADED WOODPECKER. Finally as we made our way along the canal on one of the back roads, I spotted a good candidate. Jim was able to get on the bird which I lost, and confirm it was a Red-cockaded! We located it one more time before it disappeared for good, happy to have seen one. Another highlight was a close up pair of Sandhill Cranes with a half grown colt. Always fun to see these birds and they were quite confiding. Other highlights of the 46 species were Least Bittern, Swallow-tailed Kite and White-eyed Vireo. A really nice morning of birding in southwest Florida.