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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
plumage.

Here is a list of birds seen today:
5 Kestrels (2 hunting and catching prey, probably anoles)
Ospreys
6 Loggerhead Shrikes
3 Belted Kingfishers
D.C.Cormerants
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
Sanderlings
Black-Bellied Plover
Red Knots
Ruddy Turnstones
Willets
S.B.Dowitchers
Killdeer
Oystercatcher
Wilson's Plover
Snowy Plover
Ground Dove
Mourning Dove
Palm Warblers (lots)
Yellow rumped Warblers
Sparrow sp.
Redwings

On rt.679 heading back to the Bayway:
3 Pied-Billed Grebes
Moorhens
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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