|Great Crested Flycatcher|
Alongside the road during our unplanned trek across the state, we had several excellent surprises. The first was a single Swallow-tailed Kite in flight, glimpsed only briefly, but always a very welcome sight. Next, we met a stretch of road with as many as half a dozen Crested Caracaras. This was the farthest south we'd ever seen them, having found them only at Viera Wetlands, previously.
|An uneasy truce|
I pulled the car over to the shoulder and Maureen was able to get shots of one unfortunate specimen getting mobbed by an aggravated Northern Mockingbird. The Caracara never ceded his perch while we looked on, and neither species seemed particularly ready to capitulate any time soon.
|Trying to look the other way|
|Sizing up the opposition|
Determined to stay vigilant for the next surprise, we checked and rechecked every snag and every Turkey Vulture for the unexpected, but the remainder of our drive passed without event. When we arrived at Ft. DeSoto we found the campsite packed super densely. But despite the crowds that had come to spend their three-day weekend at the beach, we managed to do some of our best shorebirding ever, the next morning. But that will have to wait for another time.