Saturday, January 2, 2010
Gannets and Loons
Common Loon on a pond in San Carlos Park
Was very interested to see if I could relocate the common loon I had found on December 31st. Left work about 7am with the weather clear, breezy and about 43degrees and headed directly to Domestic Avenue to check out the ponds. No ducks, a pied-billed grebe and only one coot located, but the loon was easily found and was very active, including calling that eerie loon call.
My next option was to head home for some much needed sleep or to make a quick trip to Bunche Beach to look for red-breasted mergansers or white pelicans. With the successful locate in mind I choose to go to the beach.
Sanibel-Captiva Audubon Society on a bird walk at Bunche Beach with Sanibel Lighhouse visiable across the bay.
Upon arrival I located a Spotted Sandpiper on the exposed mud below the bridge and ran into a birding group from Sanibel-Captiva Audubon Society here for a bird walk event on the beach. The weather was still cold and breezy, but unfortunately the tide was extremely low. These factors all contributed to poor birding. I was invited to join up with the Audubon group which offered up some excellent opportunties. Because we quickly had a couple of Bald Eagles, another Common Loon and several first year Northern Gannets and at least one older gannet. These gannets were a complete suprise. Certianly a good way to start out the year. Before leaving we also had a single American White Pelican, a couple Piping Plover, a Semipalmated Plover, a couple more Spotted Sandpipers and a couple of Yellow-Crowned Nightherons. Really not a bad morning.