Monday, January 18, 2016

Black Scoters

Monday, January 18, 2015

Today I spent the morning birding on Ft Myers Beach. I was hoping to locate some Black Scoters as well as a reported Surf Scoter being seen along the beach.

First stop was at Bowditch Point Park, located at the north end of the island. Not much was happening here, but a few gulls and cormorants. Did see a Lesser Black-backed Gull.

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Ring-billed Gull

This Gopher Tortoise resides near the parking lot at Bowditch Point Park

Next was a very productive stop at Carlos Point at the south end of the island. Yesterday's violent storm had washed the beach with a large quantity of sea life including sea urchins, sea stars, horseshoe crabs,jellyfish, sponges, sand dollars and a lot of shells.  All of this was a banquet for the shorebirds, including Willets, American Oystercatchers, Ruddy Turnstones, Sanderlings, Black-bellied Plovers, Snowy Plovers and more. Also found a Great Black-backed Gull and a small number of Ringed-billed and Laughing Gulls, plus some Royal Terns.  A flock of Black Skimmers passed by of shore and inshore I did see a trio of Black Scoters. I didn't spot the surf scoter and also dipped on common loon, horned grebe, and frigatebirds.
Great Black-backed Gull

American Oystercatcher

This Oystercatcher is sporting three leg bands while dining on sea urchin
This bird, designated as DG(XX), was banded as a chick in June, 2010 in Cape Hatteras, N. C.
 Each year it has been wintering at Little Estero Lagoon, Ft Myers Beach, but returns each spring to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
 In 2015 it successfully fledged a chick, with oystercatcher DG(AL) at Cape Lookout National Seashore. Data provided by the American Oystercatcher Band Database 
Snowy Plover with lunch
Ruddy Turnstone

Snowy Egret

Male Black Scoter

Sea Urchin and Welk

Sea Stars


A Fighting Conch shell

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