I was in Florida last weekend with a chance to see FOUR new birds. Unfortunately, three of them did not cooperate. The White-cheeked Pintail was NOT in the pond near Vero in America’s first National Wildlife Refuge. The Black Rail was NOT calling in the “can’t miss” marsh at 4am on either day…despite reports that someone saw it the day before and after I was there! And the Budgerigar was NOT at the feeder where a Norwegian vacationer had literally photographed it ten minutes before I arrived. However, the White-winged Parakeets WERE in the date palm trees near Miami’s airport, making up for the fact that I missed them in that exact spot last November.
The White-winged Parakeet is a native of South America but introduced to California and Florida in the 1960’s, where feral populations became established from released and escaped birds. Hey, the birding authorities count it…so I am, too. #695!