Seventeen eager birders arrived at the entrance to Emeralda Marsh on the first day open to car traffic in 3 years. It has been tremendously upgraded. There are more open waters to view birds than ever before. This has always been one of my favorite spots to bird and I am even more excited about it. Ducks were not in any quantity as the hunting season had ended and the ducks have moved on.The water birds were readily observable. Hawks, Northern Harrier, trilogy of woodpeckers and Sapsucker, 6 species of warbler, Kinglets, Gnatcatchers were busy feeding or looking for food. American Goldfinches were in abundance in the Sweet Gum trees. The list of 61 species is here.
After enjoying a well deserved lunch at Ramshackle Cafe, the group went to Venetian Gardens in Leesburg to see Purple Gallinules up close. Some of the group had a life bird from this visit.
Some just enjoyed seeing the Gulls and the White Ibis come close for bread.