Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Our neighborhood nature walk

It was a beautiful sunny day today, and four of us turned out for the Neighborhood Nature Walk in the vicinity of the St. Augustine Lighthouse on Anastasia Island. We met at the boat ramp parking lot, and looked around the lot for a bit while we waited to see if anyone else might arrive. This mockingbird in a far tree caught out attention for a while, as its coloring looked very unusual in the light that we saw it in, and we were guessing all sorts of birds until we got close enough, and at the right angle, to see that it was just one of our mockingbirds!

After that excitement we went out onto the pier to look for wading birds, gulls, water birds, and other denizens of the shorelines and waters.

We saw many of our coastal denizens, including royal terns, laughing gulls, ring-billed gulls, brown pelicans, cormorants.

This little spotted sandpiper was probably our most interesting bird of the day. We had a great day, but their were no remarkable rarities among our day's count.

However I still get a thrill when I see a regal-looking osprey come in for a landing above me, staring down at the world below with a haughty air.

After that we looked we walked through the local neighborhood where the houses themselves were at least as interesting and diverse as the bird species found in the area, just as varied in color and shape, all with their own quirks, such as the ship's figurehead on this one. In the end we counted 27 species of birds on our list for the morning, these being the ones we counted:

Double-crested Cormorant
Brown Pelican
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Northern Harrier
Spotted Sandpiper
Ruddy Turnstone
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Forster's Tern
Royal Tern
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Tree Swallow
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Red-winged Blackbird
Boat-tailed Grackle

We hope more of you can join us on our next scheduled outing to Princess Place on February 24!

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