St. Lucie Audubon Society


The Fort Drum Marsh Field Trip was a huge success.  We had 20 participants who counted 56 species. A lovely couple from Newfoundland, Canada also joined us.  The group caravanned from Fort Pierce to the Fort Drum Entrance where we met up with our leaders, Tim Towles and co-leader Billi Wagner.

The sky was overcast, the air was still, and the woods were active with many of our tiny feathered friends, from woodpeckers to warblers to vireos to finches.  Tim did a phenomenal job leading the group, pointing out so many different species.  Billi helped some of us spot the most hard-to-find little ones.

The boardwalk over the Cypress Swamp is absolutely gorgeous.  I felt like we were walking through a prehistoric time.  It was so quiet and beautiful.  

Here are some of the highlights of the day:   Tim called in the elusive Hermit Thrush, who came and went quickly (which was expected).  Although we were unable to get a visual, we heard a King Rail calling from the meadow.  There were three species of vireos observed (White-eye, Blue-headed and Yellow-throated)  and nine species of warblers.  I liked the Ruby-crowned Kinglet, a first for me in Florida.

Thank you Tim and Billi for a wonderful day, and thanks to all the photographers, native plant folks and bird listers for sharing your knowledge.

Report and bird list submitted by Adella Black

Photos by Marc Rosenthal

Fort Drum Marsh Conservation Area/ Total Species Seen or Heard: 56

  • Waterfowl: Lesser Scaup
  • Pelicaniformes: Anhinga
  • Wading Birds:   Great Blue Heron; Little-Blue Heron; Glossy Ibis; White Ibis; Snowy Egret; Tricolored Heron; Cattle Egret; Great Egret 
  • Raptors & Allies: Red-shouldered Hawk; Black Vulture; Turkey Vulture; Osprey; Cooper’s Hawk
  • Rails & Gallinules:  Common Gallinule; King Rail
  • Pigeons & Doves:  Mourning Dove
  • Limpkins & Cranes: Limpkin
  • Kingfishers:  Belted Kingfisher
  • Woodpeckers: Pileated Woodpecker; Red-bellied Woodpecker; Downy Woodpecker; Yellow–bellied Sapsucker
  • Empidonax:  Eastern Phoebe; Great-crested Flycatcher
  • Vireos: Blue-headed Vireo; White-eyed Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo
  • Corvidae:  Blue Jay; American Crow
  • Titmice: Tufted Titmouse
  • Wrens: Carolina Wren
  • Gnatcatchers: Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  • Kinglets:  Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • Thrushes: Hermit Thrush; American Robin
  • Mimids: Gray Catbird
  • Wood Warblers:  Black-and-white Warbler; Yellow-rumped Warbler; Palm Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler; Pine Warbler; Yellow-throated Warbler; Common Yellowthroat; Prairie Warbler; Northern Parula
  • Cardinals & Allies: Northern Cardinal
  • Blackbirds: Eastern Meadowlark; Boat-tailed Grackle
  • Finches: American Goldfinch

The following species were seen or heard at the Lake Cara parking area afterwards by Tim Towles & Billi Wagner Wood Stork, Wilson’s Snipe, House Wren, Fish Crow, Lesser Yellowlegs


Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Click for larger versions

Red-shouldered Hawk

Black-and-white Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler