|Live Atlantic Giant Cockles were exposed today during an |
exceptionally low tide at Bunche Beach
A report of the sighting of a long-billed curlew, yesterday, led me to return to Bunche Beach today. Arriving just before dawn, I wasn't alone. Peter Hawrylyshyn and Meg Rousher have also arrived, as well as a couple of ladies here, taking advantage of an extremely low tide, to do some shelling.
As the day brightened, the low, low tide was exposing a lot of live 'shells'. Primarily giant cockles and lightening welks. One lightening welk that the ladies found was at least a foot long and was involved in consuming a clam. These live 'shells' can not be collected. It is unlawful to collect live shells silver dollars or starfish in most south Florida waters
|A pair of Brantley, rare to Florida, have taken |
up residency at Bunche Beach
The pair of rare-to-Florida Brants continue to be found at Bunche and can often be very tolerant of of observers and photographers. Hopefully they'll be hanging around for awhile.
|Reddish Egret, note the antennae attached to this birds back |
and its leg band
Wintering shorebirds, gulls, terns, American White Pelicans have been quite numerous. A few Common and Caspian Terns have been reported, along with many Piping Plovers, Semipalmated and Black-bellied Plovers. Occasional a lone Bonaparte's Gull has show-up. The same with Lesser and Greater Black-backed Gulls.
Least Sandpipers and Red Knots can be seen on the exposed sea grasses and the exposed mud flats attract Black Skimmers, Laughing and Ring-billed Gulls, Royal, Sandwich and Forster's Terns, Sanderlings, Ruddy Turnstones, Short-billed Dowitchers, Dunlins, spotted Sandpipers and Western Sandpipers. In the shallow waters we see Marbled Godwits, Willets, Reddish, Snowy and Little Blue Egrets, Tricolor Herons, Roseate Spoonbills, White Ibis and Brown Pelicans. In deeper water a couple of Common Loons, a Horned Grebe and a half a dozen Black Scouters can sometimes be seen. In the skies watch for Ospreys and Magnificent Frigatebirds as well as large flotillas of American White Pelicans.
In the mangroves look for Yellow-crowned Night-herons and Belted Kingfishers. Palm Warblers Gnatcatchers are also present in the mangroves. Plus an Orange-crowned Warbler has been seen on a regular basis. I've made six attempts on sighting this small bird.