What “Birding Memories” are made of!

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My first Summer Tanager for Lee County!

Yesterday, I birded Sanibel Island with terrible results. I had nothing anywhere. It was my first poor birding day of the trip. While there I spoke with several other birders, all who held the same belief.  Today would be a major fallout on Sanibel.  The winds yesterday were steady at 25 – 30 mph out of the southwest.  It was predicted that between 5 and 7 pm a major storm would hit coming out of the northwest.  The birders felt that when those two factors collided, the fallout would occur.  The storm hit, and winds immediately switched to intense northwest winds.  This morning I headed over to Point Ybel, hoping they were right.  They were!  There were eventually at least 50 birders present and it was a wonderful spree for all!  Nineteen species of warblers, three species of Tanager, Vireos, Buntings, Orioles and thrush were all seen!  As for me, I had thirteen species of warbler, highlighted by KENTUCKY, HOODED, PROTHONOTARY, TENNESSEE, WORM-EATING, CHESTNUT-SIDED and BLUE-WINGED WARBLERS!  We also had two Yellow Warblers, which are uncommon in western Florida. Other highlights of the morning for me included SUMMER TANAGER, BLUE GROSBEAK and Orchard Orioles!  Warblers I missed included Bay-breasted, Blackburnian, Prairie and Swainson’s. Also missed by me were Gray-cheeked, Swainson’s and Wood Thrush. The big miss for most people (including me) was a beautiful adult male Western Tanager, seen an photographed by a few early birders this morning.  I had 35 species for the morning that included 10 new Lee County Birds (208) and 3 new Florida State birds (285)!  What a morning! The resident birders are pretty sure that with intense northwest winds predicted to continue another 48 hours that Tuesday and Wednesday will be as good as today! I’ll be out there!

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My first Blue Grosbeak for Lee County!

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One of the big gatherings of birders at one of the special birds of the morning!

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