This morning, while returning home from an early morning birding at Bunche Beach, heard a very interesting story on the local fishing show on the radio. The host introduced Angie Chestnut, a local photgrapher, who had encounter with a very friendly Everglades Mink. Please visit her blog to learn more about this rare and endangered mink subspecies.
The mink ended up at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida for treatment of an eye problem and further evaulation. Additional information on this animal can be found at http://www.nps.gov/ever/naturescience/evergladesmink.htm
Following work I headed over to Bunche Beach as I had not been there in a while and I knew that because the cold weather this morning it would not be very busy. I was a good decision as the tide was low and rising and we had lots of birds. The predominate species were a couple of hundred Black Skimmers. They are always enjoyable to watch. Found a couple of Common Loons and three Red-Breasted Mergansers. It won't be long and they'll be heading north. Not too many gulls. A few Ring-Billed Gulls and the Laughing Gulls were already molting into breeding plumage.
Plenty of plovers were on hand including Piping, Semipalmated, Wilson's and Black-Bellied. There were Western, Spotted and Least sandpipers on hand as well. Only one Marbled Godwit and several Short-Billed Dowitchers. My targets of the day was to see if any red knots were around or if the long-billed curlew could be found. Well, not this morning. The Sanibel-Captiva Audubon were also on-hand with a large group for there bird walk.
My List - Red-breasted Merganser, Common Loon, Brown Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Reddish Egret, White Ibis, Wood Stork, Osprey, Black-bellied Plover, Wilson's Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Spotted Sandpiper, Willet, Marbled Godwit, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Western Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Dunlin, Short-billed Dowitcher, Laughing Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Forster's Tern, Royal Tern, Black Skimmer, Northern Cardinal