Monday, April 25, 2016

Fort Myers Beach

Reddish Egret

Monday April 25th

American Oystercatcher

Yesterday I did some birding on Bunche Beach, so this morning I checked out Fort Myers Beach. I had a few target birds and wasn't disappointed. Started by parking at the Lovers Key State Park entrance,  on the south side of Big carlos Pass,were I'm greeted by an out of place American Crow. Parking is basically unavailable to access the beach at this end of Estero Island (Fort Myers Beach). While walking across the draw bridge spanning Big Carlos Pass the first of many Least Terns and a late Common Loon

The south end of Estero Island is called Carlos Point and here several struggling, beach nesting species of birds find government sponsored accommodations and are protected from human interference. Hundreds of Least Terns are starting to arrive and are pairing off for nesting. American Oystercatchers, Wilson's Plovers and Snowy Plovers are also nesting. Later hundreds more Black Skimmers will take over the nesting grounds as the Least Terns chicks are fledged. Efforts are succeeding in enticing the Terns away from Carlos Point, which is mostly private property to sanctuary at Lovers Key State Park. Meg Rousher, a local birder and a summer staffer for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Service stated that at least three hundred of the Terns are using Lovers Key this season. She also advised that the Black and Surf Scoters were still on the beach. Speculation is that the birds have been suffering from recent health issues. Meg also reporting sighting a white-rumped sandpiper earlier in the morning. So I set off looking for it.
Romance among the Least Terns

Least Tern at Carlos Point

It was a good walk.  Sighted numbers of Snowy and Wilson's Plovers, Reddish Egrets, a pair of American Oystercatchers, the Scoters and a flyby of a pair of Gull-billed Terns.

Black Scoters

Male Black Scoter

Male Black Scoter

Surf Scoter with a Black Scoter
A Peregrine Falcon was spotted atop the tallest condo building surveying all that lay about him. Never did see the white-rumped sandpiper.
Snowy Plover

Wilson's Plover

Semipalmated Plover

Least Sandpipers
Reddish Egret

Marsh Rabbit on the beach

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