Yamato Scrub

Scrub clover (Dalea feayi)

Scrub clover (Dalea feayi)

As the name of the site suggests, Yamato Scrub is a scrub environment. In addition to this unique ecosystem, which has been almost entirely lost in Florida, the site also contains scrubby flatwoods,  mesic flatwoods, and a small wetland on the former site of a basin marsh. (The marsh was drained in the 1960s to create the Boca Teeca development on the other side of the freeway from the site.)
Yamato Scrub, like most other scrub sites in Florida, is located on the ghosts of ancient dunes, remnants of a former shoreline when ocean levels were quite a bit higher than they are today (a state to which we seem determined to return them!). As sea level fell, these remnant dunes became sandy inland ridges, leaving them higher and drier than the surrounding terrain.
This condition, in wet, low-lying state like Florida, naturally led to them being the first areas to be chosen for home sites and other sorts of development, which accounts for their relative scarcity today.
I’ve seen all kinds of avian and invertebrate fauna at this site: Thirty bird species, including Yellow-rumped, Pine, and Palm warblers, Kestrels, Sharp-shinned, Red-tailed and Red-shouldered Hawks, a whole family of ospreys, both species of vulture, Woodpeckers, Snowy Egrets, Pied-billed Grebes, Greater Yellowlegs, Mottled and Ring-necked ducks, to name just representative avifauna; among the inverterbrates I’ve found Buck Moths and several different spiders; lots of Anisoptera: Roseate Skimmer, Halloween Pennant, Red Saddlebags, and other Anisoptera, I’ve seen Six-lined Racerunners in addition to the Brown Anole you see at the top of the page.
Probably my most exciting wildlife encounter to date was a Brown Thrasher taking one of the longest and most rigorous dustbaths I’ve ever seen. UPDATE: At the end of September, word reached the local birding community of a very exciting development here: a nesting pair of Least Grebes in the pond. The Least Grebe has been recorded 6 times in the previous century in Florida, although it does occur on Hispaniola. The grebes have hatched two chicks (one born on my birthday, and one the next day).

Guess I’d better bird the place a bit more often! The last time I was here was in July, and there weren’t no life birds on the pond then!