Key Largo birding
Gray Kingbird, Englewood, FL 2005
In all, we spent ~2 hours searching some of these areas on the evening of June 17th. We heard and saw numerous Black-whiskered Vireos and White-crowned Pigeons throughout the area but the notoriously difficult Mangrove Cuckoo eluded us in the sweltering late afternoon heat and humidity. Most agree that Mangrove Cuckoos are definitely easier to find in the cool morning hours though, so we resigned ourselves to giving it one more shot the following morning before our time came to an end and my boss had to fly north again.
White-crowned Pigeon digiscoped Key Largo 6/18/08
We'd barely begun at 7 AM the following morning, when we saw our first cuckoo almost immediately. The bird sailed overhead and landed at roadside, so we quickly pulled over to view the bird and realized this was a Yellow-billed Cuckoo. We would see a total of 4 Yellow-billed Cuckoos, down there with nary a Mangrove Cuckoo to show for our efforts. However, I was hoping that would soon change.
My friend Larry Manfredi and his young son, pulled up just then to help search some other areas. Larry is a professional tour guide in south Florida and extremely knowledgeable of local birds, so I wasn't about to say "No" when he offered to meet us and lend a hand! Larry met us at roadside a bit after 7:30 AM, and suggested we try another spot nearby that he likes. So we followed him a mile or so up Route 1 and pulled off again. As soon as we got out of our cars Larry asked, "Was that it?" I hadn't heard.