I met Mike Mannetz, a local expert birder, who has written a bird guide to the Gainesville area, on the trail. He indicated that the Mississippi Kites should be back and that scanning the sky near the north area of the trail, the rim, would be a good strategy. Mike also helped to solve a mystery. He provided the name of the man I met at Key West Tropical and Botanical Garden, who was also looking for the female Western Spindalis. The man was Lloyd Davis, who eventually got to see the Western Spindalis. Congratulations, Lloyd,.....this just in case, you are a reader. Mike also told me that a Kirkland's Warbler was found yesterday near Gainesville. He took my cell phone number just in case it was still being seen. If I did not hear from him, the Kirkland's Warbler was not present on Monday. I never got a call, but thanks, Mike, for the thought.
In the last hour or so, I stayed near the north end of the trail where I could view the sky above the wooded area for soaring or flying Mississippi Kite. I did not find a
Mississippi Kite. Later in the day is probably better for this bird. It was quite cool, in the high 60's, and I saw no dragon flies and heard no cicadas, common prey insects for Mississippi Kites, until I got back in the wooded part of the trail, where I saw a few dragon flies and heard a cicada.
As I waked to the parking area, Brown Thrasher, Northern Parula and Yellow-billed Cuckoo were singing. I left the La Chua Trail area at about 10:30 am.
Blue Grosbeak makes the total, 392.
It was a 11-12 hour drive to Cincinnati from Gainesville. I arrived home at 11:30 pm. The only problem encountered was a heavy rainstorm near Lexington, KY. To keep alert during the drive, I kept track of the birds I saw in each state during daylight hours. Only three hours of the drive were after dark.