Excellent birding at Saint Marks NWR today. In about 3.5 hours (between
appx. 1030-1400), we found 65 species, even though we completley skipped the
primitive walking trails.
DARK-PHASE REDDISH EGRET: In the mudflats behind the lighthouse, easily
found from the observation platform.
CATTLE EGRET: Two in breeding plumage in Lighthouse Pool.
GREEN HERON: HQ Pond and Mounds Trail.
DUCKS: Blue-winged Teal, Wigeon, Canvasback and Redhead in Lighthouse Pool.
No ducks seen (alive) anywhere else on the refuge!
BALD EAGLE: Adult flew over carrying a duck!
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER: One in winter plumage on the shore behind the
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD: Two on Mounds Trail
Late EASTERN PHOEBE: On the west part of the Florida Trail, just before the
EASTERN KINGBIRD: Small group on the back side of Mounds Trail; one on dead
tree in Stony Bayou(very wet)Field.
BARN SWALLOW: Flying *under* the road through the culvert at the Mounds Pool
PROTHONOTARY WARBLER: One in the woods next to the restrooms at Mounds
WILSON'S WARBLER: One at the start of the trail behind the lighthouse.
SUMMER TANAGER: One male next to the fire tower on Mounds Trail
FLORIDA'S *OTHER* STATE BIRD: 9,000,000;they carry you off to dine on you
(not at St. Marks)
CHUCK-WILL'S-WIDOW: Calling from our yard this evening.
Great Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron
White Ibis - in Lighthouse Pool only
Bald Eagle - immatures on back side of Mounds Trail, then adult flew over,
headed to the nest, carrying something with webbed feet!
Sora - flying across Lighthouse Pool!
Short-billed Dowitcher - large groups behind lighthouse
Common Snipe - 1, flying over lighthouse observation platform
Royal Tern - lighthouse pilings, both breeding and (as Mom says)
"Groucho Marx" plumages.
Common Tern - Stony Bayou Pool, bill just starting to change color
Forster's Tern - lighthouse pilings, doesn't have an orange bill yet
Mourning Dove(heard only)
Tree Swallow - outnumbered by the Barns for the first time
Carolina Chickadee(heard only)
Brown-headed Nuthatch(heard only)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet(heard only)
European Starling - small flock on the shore(!) behind the lighthouse
Northern Parula - singing everywhere
Swamp Sparrow - nesting in East River Pool
Hit a few spots in Tallahassee, mostly busted (skipped San Luis Mission
Park, shouldn't have) but still wound up with a daily total of 81 species!