Karl Overman: Birds and More


In February of 2021, the Blue Hole on Big Pine Key was hosting two West Indian vagrants, Cuban Pewee and Black-faced Grassquit.  The pewee is an exceptionally rare vagrant to Florida whereas the grassquit turns up with some frequency.  In September of 2010 I joined Paul Berrigan and Robert Epstein to fly to Florida to see a Cuban Pewee that was staked out at the Long Pine Campground in Everglades National Park.   This was in  the covid era so  on February 7th,  I spent a lot of time at the Blue Hole with well masked birders unlike myself. There were a couple of birders present on both day I tried for these two birds.  One was Tom Fields from Maryland.  He and his wife basically live in a van and travel around birding. Sounds like a nice life to me.

The pewee went unseen on February 7th and in fact it was not seen on February 6th so anxiety was definitely on the upswing among the assembled birders.   On February 8th, the same birders plus a couple more were back.  After scoring the grassquit thanks to Nancy Glickman I started walking the streets near the Blue Hole.   I quickly found the pewee teed up in the early morning sunshine in pine woods a couple blocks away.  I had cell phone numbers of other birders so I alerted them and the all got on the pewee.

Cuban Pewee (Contopus caribaeus)

Modified March 8, 2022