Friday, June 24, 2016

Summer Florida Birding Beach Tour: Part I

A very rare setting full strawberry moon was observed on the summer solstice this week with the occasion not to return again until June 2062.


The moonset above (image 1) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.

Celebrating the occasion was my birding expedition to Access #5 at Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota to begin a Summer Florida beach tour. The low tide was nearly that of the high tide hours earlier. The sky was clear like I had not seen it at this venue before with a more than welcome respite from typical humid conditions at this time of year.


The Roseate Spoonbill above (image 2) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Snowy Egret above (image 3) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Black Skimmer above (image 4) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Mottled Duck above (image 5) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Willet above (image 6) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Willet above (image 7) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The juvenile Snowy Egret above (image 8) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Snowy Egret above (image 9) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Snowy Egret above (image 10) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Willet above (image 11) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Black-bellied Plover above (image 12) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.

House Sparrows were the first birds seen upon arrival at the beach access. On approach to the tidal pool, waders were actively feeding. One of the very few shorebirds at the tidal pool was a White-rumped Sandpiper. It was actively feeding, and I found it very interesting that it walked backwards in its routine.


The Roseate Spoonbill above (image 13) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Reddish Egret above (image 14) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The White-rumped Sandpiper above (image 15) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The White-rumped Sandpiper above (image 16) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The White-rumped Sandpiper above (image 17) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Reddish Egret above (image 18) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Reddish Egret above (image 19) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Willet above (image 20) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Reddish Egret above (image 21) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The scene above (image 22) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Brown Pelican above (image 23) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.

There were two blast offs observed during my visit with one inexplicable. The other occurred when some beach goers approached too close to the tidal pool. While there were a good number of Snowy Plovers on hand, none were seen within their protected nesting areas. A Yellow-crowned Night-Heron was observed skulking within the north area, however.


The Sandwich Tern above (image 24) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Fish Crow above (image 25) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Reddish Egret above (image 26) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Fish Crow above (image 27) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Ring-billed Gull above (image 28) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Ring-billed Gull above (image 29) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Snowy Egret above (image 30) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Double-crested Cormorant above (image 31) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Double-crested Cormorant above (image 32) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Double-crested Cormorant above (image 33) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Laughing Gull above (image 34) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.

In my near four hours of observations at and near the tidal pool, I was able to observe 31 species of aves. The Chimney Swifts were as usual extremely difficult to photograph successfully. There were a large number of Green Darner Dragonflies present. I didn't observe any damselflies although I was not looking for them.


The Double-crested Cormorant above (image 35) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Laughing Gull above (image 36) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Great Egret above (image 37) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Royal Tern above (image 38) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Double-crested Cormorant above (image 39) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Black Skimmer above (image 40) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Snowy Egret above (image 41) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Snowy Egret above (image 42) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Chimney Swift above (image 43) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Double-crested Cormorant above (image 44) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Semipalmated Plover above (image 45) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.

A couple of weeks ago Audubon Florida advised that their staff from across the state had reported devastating losses of chicks and eggs due to Tropical Storm Colin. It is hoped that additional visits to beaches in the late nesting season will offer observations of recovery.


The Osprey above (image 46) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Royal Tern with prey above (image 47) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Snowy Plover above (image 48) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Snowy Plover above (image 49) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Snowy Plover above (image 50) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Sanderling above (image 51) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Ruddy Turnstone above (image 52) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Yellow-crowned Night-Heron above (image 53) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Mourning Dove above (image 54) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Royal Tern above (image 55) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Chimney Swift above (image 56) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.

While it was apparent that nesting activity appeared non-existent, it was still a very rewarding visit to Siesta Key Beach as always with a rarity a possibility.


The Chimney Swift above (image 57) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Lesser Black-backed Gull above (image 58) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The juvenile Reddish Egret above (image 59) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The juvenile Reddish Egret above (image 60) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Lesser Black-backed Gull above (image 61) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Osprey above (image 62) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.


The Reddish Egret above (image 63) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.

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The Carolina Saddlebags Dragonfly above (image 64) was photographed at Siesta Key Beach in June 2016.

Please also see Summer Florida Birding Beach Tour: Part II

8 comments:

  1. What a beautiful clear and bright light! And your images are stunning and magnificent! Great series of pics.Some photos are funny and beautiful, but most of the pictures are breathtaking beautiful ! It was a great pleasure to see this post.
    Greetings,
    Maria

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    1. Thank you, Maria. It was rewarding to make observations in every direction.

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  2. Excellent report Bob! I'm amazed you got the Chimney Swifts at all! Love the White-rumped Sandpiper and all the waders. Sorry to hear about the storm impact to nesting -- hopefully, some species will attempt to re-nest....

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    1. Thank you, Hemant. The swifts certainly provided great exercise and a loosening of the joints. A re-visit of Siesta Key yesterday did not offer the White-rumped Sandpiper, so I am grateful to have seen it when I did. There has regrettably not been an abundance of chicks at the beaches as seen last year. The nesting colonies remain crowded which is a good sign.

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    2. Loved #9,21 & 31...absolutely beautiful pictures. About 6 weeks ago I was up to the tidal pool on Siesta Key Beach. I got a neat reflection picture of 2 Spoonbills. I really enjoy your bird blog, Bob. Thank you!
      Adele

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    3. Thank you, Adele. I'm pleased that you like the blog. Image 42 is my favorite in this post. You would be surprised by how much the water level has dropped in the Siesta Key Beach tidal pool. It has nearly dried up as of a couple of days ago. I have not been able to find your wildlife images online.

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  3. Love your photos as always. Someday I'll make it to Florida, until then I can bird it vicariously through you.

    I think it's possible you've got the shabby gull in #58 and #61 misidentified as a Herring. That bill is strong indicator of a young Great Black-backed Gull, along with the absolute whiteness of the belly. I'm not an expert by any measure, but I think you may have a better gull for Florida there than you expected.

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    1. Thank you, AMR. Your keen eye is much appreciated on my misidentification in this post. I conferred with Michael Brothers, director of the Marine Science Center at Ponce De Leon Inlet, regarding the gull. His thought is that the gull as seen in images #58 and #61 is a 1st summer Lesser Black-backed Gull based on the size of the bill, the projection of the wings beyond the tail feathers, and the tail band more indicative of LBBG. When updating my eBird report I noted that if the bird were reported as Great Black-backed Gull it would have been flagged as a rarity. The Lesser Black-backed Gull is indeed much preferred to a Herring Gull. Too bad it was not the even better Great Black-backed Gull. Having seen the Great Blacked-backed Gull on one occasion, I'm certain I would recognize that bird species again due to its huge size. Much thanks to you for noticing and pointing out my mistake.

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