Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Panama City Beach # 5 - Annotated List (4)

My annotated list continued...

Common Yellowthroat - Common in any marshy areas, I saw many birds, male and female.

* 'White-eyed' Eastern Towhee - Not a new species, but a new bird nonetheless. This was one of my first Florida birds on this trip when we stopped at a gas station with a woodlot behind it. I heard a peculiar Towhee call and when I found it, I realized it was the White-eyed Eastern which has a distinctly upslurred call compared to the Red-eyed Eastern we are used to hearing in Ontario. I didn't notice whether the birds I saw had more limited white in their tails than the Red-eyed Eastern.

Field Sparrow - a single bird in a woodlot just outside the city.

Song Sparrow - same as above

Lincoln's Sparrow - a peculiar sighting as this species is listed as rare during the month of November but I had the bird in my sights for a long enough time to identify it as this species. I can find a Lincoln's Sparrow in Florida but not Seaside Sparrow, which is much more common (and would have been a lifer!).

Northern Cardinal - abundant and easy to find anywhere in the state.

Red-winged Blackbird - very common in all marshy areas.

Common Grackle - Incredibly, I forgot to look for the Florida type birds within the groups of Grackles I had. I have seen Atlantic and Florida birds before but didn't bother to pay attention this time around, which is too bad in retrospect. Surprisingly, I didn't see a single Boat-tailed Grackle.

Brown-headed Cowbird - An easy find in any habitat type (except coastal marshes).

House Sparrow - Obviously abundant (seeing as the species is nearly cosmopolitan), I saw the most birds right within Panama City Beach near shopping centres and fast food restaurants where they have immersed themselves into the urban landscape by nesting in signs, on ledges, and any other suitable location they can find in even the most developed areas. I have heard, however, that there has been a decline in House Sparrow populations in various parts of their introduced North American range so I want to look into this more and see if there is more evidence of this. If you forget the competition with our native species and its overabundance after being introduced (considered a nuisance by many), the House Sparrow is actually quite an attractive bird.

So there it is, my annotated trip list for Panama City Beach 2007. Hope you enjoyed it! I had a lot of great birds, a lot of memories, and another great birding experience in the state of Florida.

Total Species: 78 - not bad considering the time of year, the duration of my trip, and the urban location.
New Species: 4 (+ White-eyed Eastern Towhee and Florida Red-bellied Woodpecker)
Highlight: Red-cockaded Woodpecker

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