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Greetings:

With rigorous westerly winds and a roiling sea -- conditions impeccably
suited for a major rarity to come near shore along the Gulf Coast in
Collier County -- I headed out to Laudermilk Park in Naples this
afternoon for a few hours of seawatching. Dreams of Wilson's and Leach's
Storm-Petrels were soon vanquished and replaced with the reality of much
more "mundane" birds. "Out there" were a total of eleven Northern Gannets
(all juveniles/immatures), a flock of 16 Red-breasted Mergansers flying
north, myriads of Laughing Gulls with only two Ring-billeds among them, a
few Brown Pelicans, Double-crested Cormorants and the usual Sandwich and
Royal Terns. Fly-by Red Knots, Sanderlings, Ruddy Turnstones and a few
peeps accounted for the shorebirds.

Afterward, I stopped for a brief look at the holding ponds at the North
Naples Waste Water Treatment Plant off of Goodlette-Frank Rd. There I saw
my FOTS Hooded Mergansers (two males and four females), fifteen or so
Blue-winged Teal, one lone Lesser Scaup, two Wood Storks, most all the
"usual" waders, one Lesser Yellowlegs, one Spotted Sandpiper, a
half-dozen or so Least Sandpipers, many Laughing Gulls, Double-crested
Cormorants, Sandwich Terns, a Belted Kingfisher and an Osprey. The
closest holding pond, that only a few weeks ago held many shorebirds, had
almost completely dried-down, thus the possible reason for the lack of
shorebirds.

Almost forgot, I saw one lone Rose-ringed Parakeet in a ficus tree on
Friday along Gulf Shore Blvd. near Laudermilk Park. Where-o-where have
these birds gone? They are not in any of their "typical" locations,
especially their evening roosts, where I have encountered them many times
previously. . . .

Good birding to all!

Vincent Lucas
Naples
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