After a rather disturbed night we were up well before dawn and heading south on the 95 towards Miami and our first proper birding spot at Key Biscayne. There’s water everywhere in Florida and all along the highway were flooded ditches containing water birds. We saw a good selection of heron and duck species from the car including: Wood Stork, Limpkin and Mottled Duck. It helps if you are regularly held up by multiple rush-hour car crashes! Once on Key Biscayne we headed for Crandon Park, where a few good birds had been reported. We got our first warblers – Prairie and Blackpoll, Black-whiskered Vireo, Red-bellied Woodpecker and a couple of flycatchers, Great Crested and – target species – La Sagra’s, a rare overshoot from the Caribbean. We then did a couple more sites before arriving at our base in Marathon – half-way down the Keys. More warblers were added to the list – Yellow-rumped and Palm, along with Northern Waterthrush, Belted Kingfisher Clapper Rail and Reddish Egret. Our list closed at just shy of 50.
We’re off this morning to do a few more sites down the Keys and recce the ferry arrangements for tomorrow’s big trip to the Dry Tortugas.