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Meret,

    I am unsure if the raking goes on every day along the Gulf beaches, but
we are experiencing a Red Tide outbreak from Treasure Island north up past
Indian Rocks Beach, and that may have been why (cleaning up the dead fish to
keep the tourists happy).  What? Red Tide?  Not here!!!
    I saw lots of Black Terns this morning flying north-to-south across
Tampa Bay.  Caught some nice speckled trout, too!

bird on,

Ron Smith
St. Pete, FL
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----- Original Message -----
From: "Meret Wilson" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, July 26, 2002 9:18 AM
Subject: [FLORIDABIRDS] Treasure Isalnd birding


> Just got back from 4 days over on the West coast area around St. Pete and
> Treasure Island.  Was quite interesting but got me so angry at one point I
> had to go inside to cool down.
>
> One AM I got up early to check out the birds along the waterline, which
had
> been really good, when along comes this "rake" being pulled by a tractor,
> right where the birds were resting at top speed.  This was being done by
> Treasure Island City employees, obviously by design from the department.
If
> this is done every single morning, which I assume it is since I saw it
being
> done for 3 of my 4 AMs there, I wonder what the effect is during the
nesting
> season.
>
> Not that nesting season was a bust.  There were "tons" of fledged
Sandwich,
> Royal and Least Tern young all over the place.  I enjoyed watching how the
> adult would try to encourage the young to go to the water to fish, using
> already caught fish as an enticement.  Their voices are all still very
> squeaky.  Some just flat out refused to go anywhere but would stay on the
> beach begging.
>
> There were large, large numbers of Willets, Laughing Gulls (no surprise
> there), Short-billed AND 5 Long-billed Dowitchers, and much to my
amazement,
> about 15-20 Sanderlings in the area where we were staying as well.
>
> The Monk Parrot colony must be growing by leaps and bounds.  They were
> everywhere on the barrier islands as well as the mainland.  At one place
we
> stopped to eat our lunch, we turned to find 16 of the little guys all on
the
> ground about 10 feet from us just grazing like little tiny green cows in
the
> grass.  At another place we stopped 3 came down to a puddle to drink and
take
> a bath.  I would guess I easily saw a couple hundred around and about the
St.
> Pete area.  We did catch one flock of the Nanday Conures (Black-headed
> Parrots) not too far from Sunken Gardens.
>
> Ft. Desoto had all the usual waterbird suspects.  I won't go into the list
of
> birds seen on my trip, but it was 53 total species and nary a warbler
seen.
> But, I was the designated driver the whole trip so my eyes were on the
road
> much of the time!
>
> Meret Wilson
> Ormond Beach, FL
>
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