Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Grasshopper Sparrow and Red-Breasted Merganser

Visits to Bunche Beach  and Domestic Street
Sunday November 21st

Following work this morning I was interested in seeing if any American white pelicans could be found at Bunche Beach. My last sighting of the white pelican at Bunche Beach was a lone bird back in July. It was a summer holdover that had not followed the flocks north.  But now the white pelicans are back.

First stopped at Domestic Street to see what ducks are on the ponds and and if anything was new with the arriving sparrows. I had stopped here yesterday morning and did find American Coots and Ring-necked Ducks, but was interrupted by a cop curious as to what I was up too. Every once in a while the Law is suspect as to what's up. So far I haven't been harassed after explaining about bird watching.  The same on this stop.  But you never know when when you'll meet up with someone who not too bright.
The hundred plus flock of American Coots were still here today and a few female Lesser Scaups were present.  The best part was the flock of seven FOS Red-breasted Mergansers that flew in as I was checking out the ponds. Had never seen these mergansers here before, usually find them at the beast or at Ding-Darling NWR on Sanibel.
The landowners usually keep the berms along the street moved, but currently they are very bushy and good habituate for Sparrows and several Savannah Sparrows are now present and finally I spotted a couple of FOS Grasshopper Sparrows.  I had not seen any here last year, but a couple were usually seen the season before. The number of Mourning Doves have thinned out but today I counted five American Kestrels.  The burrowing owls as still missing as is the northern bobwhites. Eastern Meadowlarks were singing.

At Bunche Beach the tide was low and I ran into Wes as he was birding .  Wes had been lucky earlier in the week with sighting the long-billed curlew here. But no curlew or white pelicans this morning.  Did find all the expected birds though, including a lone Ring-billed Gull. Scanned the water to if any of the red-breasted mergansers had made it here yet. Only a few cormorants were present. Lots of Brown Pelicans too. Checked through all of the gulls and terns and nothing unusual there either. Wes said he had seen a caspian tern the other day as well.  We had a one here last season and maybe its back.  Perhaps we can see a black-backed or bonaparte's gull this season too. Usually have to travel to locate these species. One interesting obersvation was a particular tree just of the beach which was active with a pair of White-eyed Vireos, Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers, a Northern Cardinal, a Red-bellied Woodpecker, an Eastern Phoebe and a House Wren

My list for the day ( 55) -
Mottled Duck, Lesser Scaup, Red-breasted Merganser, Pied-billed Grebe, Brown Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant, Anhinga, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron, Reddish Egret, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, White Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Red-shouldered Hawk, American Kestrel, Black-bellied Plover, Wilson's Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Spotted Sandpiper, Willet, Marbled Godwit, Sanderling, Western Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Dunlin, Short-billed Dowitcher, Laughing Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Forster's Tern, Royal Tern, Sandwich Tern, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebe, White-eyed Vireo, House Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Northern Mockingbird, Palm Warbler, Northern Cardinal, Common Grackle, American Coot, Mourning Dove, Belted Kingfisher, Loggerhead Shrike, House Wren, Savannah Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, Eastern Meadowlark, Boat-tailed Grackle

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