Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Blue-winged Teal at Bunche Beach

Sunday, August 28th

A banded Piping Plover

The Lee County Bird Patrol sponsored today's bird walk at Bunche Beach. Charlie Ewell and Vince McGrath lead the event and was joined by Gayle Schmidt, Bruce, Bob, myself and several other birders.

The walk was scheduled to start at 6pm, but for me I was scheduled for work at 8pm. So I arrived a half hour early as I would have to leave early. Found a great variety of birds on a falling tide. I had headed toward the west end and found many Laughing Gulls and Brown Pelicans.  Semipalmated, FOS Piping, Wilson's and Black-bellied Plovers were present.  One of the Piping Plovers is banded and still in breeding plumage. Willets, Marbled Godwits, Sanderlings, Short-billed Dowitchers, Semipalmated Sandpipers and Least Sandpipers numbers grew as the tide continued falling, exposing the mud flats. Roseate Spoonbills, Little Blue Herons, a Great Blue Heron, Snowy Egrets and White Ibis were moving in as well. Vince helped me to sight the lone American Oystercatcher on hand.  But only a couple of the folks were successful in seeing the Snowy Plover. I missed the plover, but did see a Long-billed Curlew while I was scouting the beach before the walk started.  Sadly for the others it flew off out of sight.

Another good catch by Vince was a FOS Common Tern and a flock of FOS Blue-winged Teal flew over.  A few could be seen feeding in the exposed sea grasses further to the west. Other terns seen was a lone Least Tern, and a few Sandwich and Royal Terns. Plus about a hundred Black Skimmers flewing past. Only a couple of Ruddy Turnstones were seen, but it was a good walk.  As I was rushing home to prep for work I was able to add a Coopers Hawk which had landed in a tree along side US 41.

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