Friday, March 15, 2013

A Wonderful boat ride

Mother Nature certainly smiled on St. Johns Audubon last Saturday. She had threatened us with chilly weather all week, and we were prepared to bundle up for the boat ride. But on Saturday she relented, and gave us a lovely sunny day - a bit on the cool side, but just refreshingly so.

And the day was delightful for birds as well - though lots of small shorebirds seen off on the sands made many of us wish for a good spotting scope to be sure of our IDs.

People did dress for the weather, but it got quite warm as the sun rose higher. And we had a great turnout of people as well, all out for a lovely boat ride and continental breakfast in support of St. Johns Audubon and HAWKE.

We saw ospreys all along the route as we traveled the waterfront along Porpoise Point and Anastasia Island along Salt Run.

We had lots of great spotters, who were treated to more than just the array of birds that were seen that morning.

We were also treated to a school of dolphins, joyfully leaping in and out of the water as they followed alongside the boat.

But there were also birds. The following is just a partial list of the birds seen on the trip, but if I get in reports of other species from others I'll post them here to try to have a complete list of species seen:

Red-breasted Merganser
Common Loon
Double-crested Cormorant
Brown Pelican
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Reddish Egret
White Ibis
Turkey Vulture
Northern Gannet
Black-bellied Plover
American Oystercatcher
Ruddy Turnstone
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Forster's Tern
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Boat-tailed Grackle

And stay tuned here for details about our upcoming meeting on March 25th, and a field trip afterwards.

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