I left Babcock-Webb WMA and drove north to Oscar Scherer State park to look for Florida Scrub Jay, arriving at Oscar Scherer SP just after 2:00 pm, not the optimum time to be birding. The attendant at the gate told me that I should head toward the Nature Center and the Green Trail. I headed out the Green Trail, on which I have previously seen Florida Scrub Jay on a previous visit, and walked the two mile loop, but found no Florida Scrub Jays. When I returned to the Nature Center, I discovered that it was already closed. I should have checked there first to find out the best current place to find the jays. I met a lady with a camera, who said that she had seen and photographed one earlier in the afternoon, but admitted it was a poor photograph. It was indeed a Florida Scrub jay sitting on a power line. I walked to the area where she saw it, but found no jay. I met a park ranger and asked him if he knew where the best place was to find the jays. He gave me several locations, and I checked out several. But he thought the best location was on the Green Trail near the picnic tables where the birds were accustomed to people who were viewing the eagle's nest in the winter. I was getting close to 4:00 pm and birding should improve from now on. I walked the Green Trail toward the picnic table. On the trail, I saw a Gopher Tortoise, one of the specialties of this park. See photo.
As I got closer to the picnic bench, I saw a long- tailed bird sitting up on a dead snag. It looked like a Florida Scrub Jay from a distance, but I needed to eliminate Northern Mockingbird, another long-tailed bird that will also sit up on a snag. The bird flew down and then returned to a different perch. There were no large white wing patches and no white in the tail. It was a
Bachman's Sparrow, Florida Scrub Jay and Red-cockaded Woodpecker make the total 387.
At Oscar Scherer SP after seeing the Florida Scrub Jay, I had checked the Tropical Audubon Society Bird Board and discovered that the Black-faced Grassquit is still present at Bill Baggs! It was seen several times and quite cooperative. My apologies to the man who reported having seen the bird on Thursday and whose report I doubted. He apparently did see the bird. I had concluded after Thursday that the Black-faced Grassquit had quit the area (pun intended). I need to try for this bird one more time. It is a lifer for me and too good a bird to leave behind. I am losing time but may gain a great new species. I was too tired to drive back to the east coast on Friday night. I found a nearby motel in Port Charlotte. The plan is to get up very early and drive to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.