Friday, March 8, 2013

Neighborhood Nature Walk Fun (and a boat trip tomorrow!)

What a shame so few people joined us on Tuesday for our latest Neighborhood Nature Walk. It was a glorious early spring day, and sunlight was sparkling on the waters at the Bayview Samantha Wilson Center. There were gulls galore as usual, and the laughing gulls were nearly all fully into their breeding plumage, and filling the air with their laughter.

There were just three of us along for the walk, but a small group is also a good one for spotting birds and being able to share everything seen and heard with the group. The tide was out and there were lots of small shorebirds out on the mudflats, and we found ourselves wishing for a scope.

Several times we witnessed this osprey coming in for a meal, but coming up empty-taloned in its quest for fish.

This handsome immature red-tailed hawk with the bold dark belly-band was equally unsuccessful as we watched it. We hope both birds had better luck after we left the area!

After watching the shore birds a while we strolled through the neighborhood, serenaded by blue jays, yellow-rumped warblers, and red-bellied woodpeckers, and wound up at Lake Maria Sanchez.

There in the lake we saw a couple of hooded mergansers. They are such pretty birds and I was happy they hadn't left us for the season yet.

This anhinga almost seemed to pose for us as it rested and sunned itself at the edge of the lake.

We spotted a few great blue herons as well, but this one gave us the closest view.  All it all it was wonderful day, and we saw or heard 40 different species of birds in this small neighborhood area. We had a great time and hope more of you will join us next time. Next time could be as early as tomorrow!

After all,  it's not too late to sign up for tomorrow's Wildlife Boat Tour out of St. Augustine.

And by the way, here is the complete list of species from our morning:

Hooded Merganser
Wood Stork
Double-crested Cormorant
Brown Pelican
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Tricolored Heron
White Ibis
Turkey Vulture
Red-tailed Hawk
Black-bellied Plover
Ruddy Turnstone
Western Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Black Skimmer
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Blue Jay
Tree Swallow
Tufted Titmouse
Carolina Wren
Eastern Bluebird
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Palm Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Boat-tailed Grackle

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