Friday, September 9, 2016

Tropical Storm Hermine At Bunche Beach: Pt. II

With less than favorable conditions for photography of the wildlife at Bunche Beach, it seemed obvious that the birds were not airborne unless disturbed.


The Short-billed Dowitcher above (image 1) was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in September 2016.

I opted to remain at one observation point about a quarter mile east of the parking area where a good sized flock of shorebirds were actively feeding. The mangrove trees offered protection from the wind gusts, and surprisingly lacked sand gnats, yet a persistent biting fly found me.


The Forster's Tern above (image 2) was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in September 2016.


The Forster's Tern above (image 3) was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in September 2016.


The Semipalmated Plover with Piping Plover above (image 4) was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in September 2016.


The Piping Plover with Semipalmated Plover above (image 5) was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in September 2016.


The Western Sandpiper above (image 6) was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in September 2016.

It was a treat to see a flyby of an American Oystercatcher about 70 feet offshore. A white morph Reddish Egret with an antenna tracking device made a flyby in the opposite direction. I missed the Magnificent Frigatebird that was reported at Bunche this day.


The Marbled Godwit above (image 7) was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in September 2016.


The Brown Pelican above (image 8) was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in September 2016.


The Barn Swallow above (image 9) was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in September 2016.


The Black-bellied Plover above (image 10) was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in September 2016.


The Double-crested Cormorant above (image 11) was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in September 2016.

It was unfortunate that a beachcomber making several back and forth trips along the shoreline had a total disregard for the wildlife during my stay. Within a couple of hours, virtually all the shorebirds had disappeared from view.


The Black-bellied Plover above (image 12) was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in September 2016.


The Willet above (image 13) was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in September 2016.


The Black-bellied Plover above (image 14) was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in September 2016.


The Black-bellied Plover above (image 15) was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in September 2016.


The juvenile Black Skimmer above (image 16) was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in September 2016.

As I was patiently waiting for additional flybys I had the good fortune of again meeting wildlife enthusiasts Janet and Aaron Kirk. As we were chatting, a Belted Kingfisher flew toward us from the west.


The Short-billed Dowitcher above (image 17) was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in September 2016.


The Wilson's Plover with Willet above (image 18) was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in September 2016.


The juvenile Snowy Egret above (image 19) was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in September 2016.


The Mangrove Skipper on a Railroad Vine flower above (image 20) was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in September 2016.


The Willet above (image 21) was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in September 2016.

By mid-afternoon Tropical Storm Hermine was upgraded to Hurricane status when it achieved sustained winds of 75 miles per hour. Hermine made landfall just east of St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge in the early morning of 2 September which was the beginning of the hurricane's weakening.


The Belted Kingfisher above (image 22) was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in September 2016.

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The Belted Kingfisher above (image 23) was photographed at Bunche Beach Preserve in September 2016.

Please also see Tropical Storm Hermine At Bunche Beach: Part I

10 comments:

  1. Black-bellied Plover # 12...I've never seen one before ! Do they stay this color all year? Do they migrate?
    I got a picture of a Tufted Titmouse this week at 6 MC Slough....I had never seen that bird before either! So I as really happy I got a picture of it!
    Looks like the birds are talking to each other in image # 5 !!
    Thanks Bob!

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    1. If you are only making infrequent trips to our wildlife venues, you may not see the birds in their breeding colors. In answer to your questions, no and yes. Many birds that we see (seasonally) are merely passing through while in migration, with most not even bothering to stop for a rest. Be sure to attend the Bird Patrol tours. The next two for Bunche Beach are 9/15 @5:30pm and 10/15 @7:30am. $2.00 an hour parking without the annual pass. Make sure you are tuned into the bird calls as well so that you can identify species by ear in the future.

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  2. Boc, great posting. I loved the mangrove Skipper photo. I have tried to find that at Bunche beach or lovers key in March ... But no luck.-dm

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    1. Thank you, Dwayne. I was surprised to see the skipper in the windy conditions. My recollection is seeing this species year-round on the Gulf Coast, but it's not always present on a particular visit. You will hopefully have better luck with your next effort.

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  3. Sorry, Bob... My phone keyboard and autotext screwed up your name on the previous posting

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    1. No problem. Our phones clearly speak the same language.

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  4. Hi Bob, too bad you missed the Frigatebird!
    And too bad the stitch fly did not missed you ;-)
    But...your pictures are beautiful!
    My favorites are the Snowy egret and the Black-bellied Plover!
    Very nice post!
    Greetings,
    Maria

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  5. Wonderful documentation of the spectacular avian delights at Bunche, Bob! Nice to see Black-bellied Plover still in alternate plumage.

    Whatever happened to "take only memories and leave only footprints"? It seems this adage is oft ignored by many beachcombers as well as others whose notion of "enjoyment" is more accurately described as "disturbance".... lol!

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