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Updated: 03/14/2014 08:06:17AM

Small park, big birds

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By Abbie Banks

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Ollie’s Pond Park is a wonderful little area tucked away in the corner of Northwestern Port Charlotte in Charlotte County. Venice Area Birding Association has this little gem on their itinerary at least several times each birding year. Our group met at Ollie’s in the parking lot, and there was plenty to see as soon as we got out of our vehicles.

We set up our birding scopes at the edge of the pond to see what was visiting the area, and we weren’t disappointed. Many of us enjoy watching the ducks as they come in from the north. Today, we spotted hooded mergansers, blue-winged teal, common gallinule and the American coot — which is the mascot of the Toledo Mud Hens Minor League Baseball team. A red-bellied woodpecker scolded us for being near his tree. A red-shouldered hawk flew overhead and black vultures were riding the currents and gliding back and forth across the pond. Several northern mocking birds were singing, and we also heard the territorial call of the cardinals. That parking lot sure did offer plenty of birding action.

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