Monday, March 8, 2010

Harlequin Duck

To twich or not to twich. The commitment was a seven hour round trip drive from Ft Myers to Sebastion Inlet near Vero Beach to seek out a female harlequin duck that had been seen there for several weeks now. The chances of ever seeing another harlequin in Florida is very slim.  Seems that the east coast population is very small and second they usually winter in Greenland or Iceland, and rarely as far south as Maryland.  Odds seemed good for locating the bird so I headed very early this morning.

Sebastion Inlet State Park
Arrived at the park's south shore at about 8:35am and was able to park my car within a few yards from the resting harlequin duck.  She was setting on a algae cover rock at the base of the stony seawall. Took a few photos and left her alone.

Next was to find the reported purple sandpiper. So I headed over to the north shore and spent a hour searching along the rocks. But only found Ruddy Turnstones here. Hiked out to the end of the fishing pier and had a few looks at Northern Gannets. The shore and in the inlet tideal pool had several kinds of gulls, terns and shore birds. Both Brown and American White Pelicans were present.
I See You

Picnic Time

Saw lots of Black Skimmers, Forster's Terns and Royal Terns plus a single Caspian Tern. A single Herring Gull ws seen at the beach along with many Ring-billed Gulls and Laughing Gulls. Had hoped to spot the Glaucous Gull reported earlier. Saw several Wilson's Plovers which seems to be unusual here, as noted in a few reports on Other shore birds were around like a Black-bellied Plover anda Dunlin.
An interesting event on the beach was a surfing contest.

Sebastion fishing pier

A view from the tidal pool

Wilson's Plover

Ruddy Turnstone

A Crested Caracara found near Bluefield Ranch in St Lucie County on the way home.
Saw several pairs of Sandhill Cranes today and a Cooper's Hawk near Pelican Island NWR. Only saw a few robins which may mean they are heading north already, but did not see any Swallow-tailed Kites today.

My list for the day (53)

1 comment:

  1. I did a little camping at Sebastian Inlet in 2008. It was one of the funner state parks I've graced.