Monday, December 19, 2016

A Pair of Brants Visit Ft Myers

Sunday, December 18th

Last February we had birders and photographers from far and wide descending on Bunche Beach Preserve to a get a look at a Star Attraction. An American Flamingo had become a regular visitor to Bunche Beach for about a couple of weeks. It was a lot of fun

So now we have a new Star Attraction at Bunche this weekend. A pair of Brants have shown up. It is very unusual to see this species this far south and is extremely uncommon in Florida. So scores of folks are returning to Bunche Beach to see and photograph these geese.

Yesterday, I received messages from Dave McQuaid encouraging me to get over to Bunche and I eventually was able to do so.  But the geese had moved off. After scoping the flats, without success, I started heading back to my car, when I ran into Stan Damen. So headed back with Stan to re-scan the flats.  Again no geese.
Brant at Bunche Beach

Now it was time for plan B, which was to relocate the search to the nearby Causeway Islands Park. So as we headed back to the cars, we stopped to chat with a nice German lady who was scanning the beach. But what do you know, she has the Brant sighted in her scope. Seems the goose had flown into the spot we had just vacated. So for a third time, it was back to the far end of the beach to get some photographs. The Brant was cooperative, but the angle of the sun made good photography difficult.  It wasn't a Lifer for me. I had seen them up in Virginia Beach last year, but was new addition to my Florida Bird List.

Besides the surprise arrival of the Flamingo and the Brants this year we had that three day visit, the end of February, of a Great White Pelican at nearby Ding Darling NWR. A couple of unusual vagrants that we saw this year a Broad-billed Hummingbird in Naples and a first ever recorded visit of a Pacific Golden Plover to a sod farm out in Palm Beach County back in April. Never know what unusual avian visitor might turn up.

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