Fort DeSoto Park can be a spring migration magnet. Last year I had a great experience there with rose-breasted grosbeak, indigo bunting, summer tanager, scarlet tanager, blackburian warbler, chestnut-sided warbler, yellow warbler, black-throated green warbler, black-and-white warbler, american redstart, eastern pewee, eastern kingbird, and nesting great horned owls. But so far, for this migration the weather has been against Florida birders. The winds are pushing the migrants past us.
So when I made a return visit Tuesday I was hopeful but did not really expect anything exceptional. Met with Bob Pelkey at dawn, who was wrapping up a three day visit to the park. Bob reported the same dismissal migration activity. So he had concentrated his photography on the shorebirds.
|Laughing Gulls in amour|
Nesting has already begun here with plovers and oystercatchers and noted seeing Sandwich Terns and Laughing Gulls displaying as they pair off. Also seen was a lone Herring Gull, which Bob had observed just before my arrival, pick up a large clam, fly up and dropped the clam so that it broke open. The gull quickly ate his breakfast. I had read on Birdbrains about herring gulls performing this method at Ft DeSoto.
|Herring Gull, probably a first cycle|
|Long-billed Curlew and Willet|
|Laughing Gulls are still at it|
|Pair of Willets|