Hi all,
Took a ride to Fort DeSoto this morning and got there in record time,
hardly catching a light on rt.19. Usually I hit a dozen or so. First I
checked out the Bay Pier area for the Thayer's Gull and met a couple who
said they saw it earlier at the East Beach swim area, so I went there
with no luck (a Simpson moment? Sorry about that, Dave!)) Then I drove to
East Beach turnaround, then to North Beach, still no bird. At one of the
areas I ran into Marge Wilkinson and followed her to Gulf Pier where she
said it might be. For some reason I had never checked that area before,
never knew it existed. Thanks, Marge, for showing it to me and giving
directions to the pond! Before heading home I checked out the Swim area
again, no Thayer's, but got to see the Heermann's Gull, which is looking
a lot like the 2nd winter gull pic in Sibley's, being quite dark with
white-edged secondaries and black-tipped red bill. It will be interesting
to see if he (she) stays around long enough for us to see it in breeding

Here is a list of birds seen today:
5 Kestrels (2 hunting and catching prey, probably anoles)
6 Loggerhead Shrikes
3 Belted Kingfishers
Great Blue Heron
Cattle Egrets
Snowy Egrets
Great Egrets
Reddish Egret
White Ibis
Wood Storks
Forster's Terns
Royal Terns
1 Herring Gull
1 Heerman's Gull
Laughing Gulls
Black-Bellied Plover
Red Knots
Ruddy Turnstones
Wilson's Plover
Snowy Plover
Ground Dove
Mourning Dove
Palm Warblers (lots)
Yellow rumped Warblers
Sparrow sp.

On rt.679 heading back to the Bayway:
3 Pied-Billed Grebes
2 Blue Winged Teal
Mottled Ducks
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Large flock of Starlings being harassed by a large Falcon flying quite
high, quite possibly the Redington Peregrine.

Ray Smart
New Port Richey, FL
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