Hey all, well I was planning on birding Merritt Island area today, but
before I left, I checked the weather and saw that it would be gusty east
winds in the AM. So I decided to head to Playalinda Beach first.  Turned out
to be a good choice, Gannets where streaming about 100 yards off the beach
and out as far as my scope could see and then I started seeing Jaeger's.  (I
would like to say thanks to Michael Brothers for putting on the pelagic trip
a few weeks ago and thanks to Murray, Bob, Andy, David, Bruce and everyone
else who helped me with id'ing jaegers, after several pelagic trips I think
I'm finally getting comfortable id'ing these guys.) 


The first couple I saw where Pomarine, 1 beautiful adult bird that flew by
about 50yards out, and then there was a cluster of Jaeger's.  They where
further out and best I could do was 1 Parasitic (very stream line, not
blocky and very dark with only a little bit of white at the end of the
wings), several Jaegers went by that were to far out for my scope.  Then I
got on this one bird.  It was very stream line; pale underneath, wings where
not a dark brown but maybe a soft brown with some white at end of wings, but
what got me was the head area was a pale gray (I remember that from the one
we saw during the pelagic). The bird seemed small, but it never flew near
anything for me to compare and was several hundred yards out, but I did get
a pretty good look.  I feel pretty good calling it a Long-tailed, but wish I
had someone next to me to back me up.


The whole time I was sea watching large groups of ducks where flying along
the beach line, mostly Green-wing Teal, but in the flocks where Black, Surf
Scoter, Red-breasted Merganser's, L. Scaup, and oddly one Avocet.  It looked
so out of place, but kept up well with the teal.  


Once I was done at the beach: I headed to Pump house to look over the
shorebirds for American Golden-plover, there was at least 100 plus Black
Bellied Plovers and 1,000 other shorebirds and one that looked perfect for
Golden (it had dark cap, looked smaller and domed head, then it lifted it
wings and had black arm pit), I never found a Golden this trip.  Ducks are
back and the 4 Snow Geese on Black Point Wildlife Drive are still there.

Turned out to be a pretty good day.


Snow geese- 4

Green-wing Teal- 500++

Surf Scoter- 8

Black Scoter- 4

Northern Gannet- 1,000'sss

Black-bellied plover- 150

Stilt Sandpiper-2 (probably more)

Gull Billed Tern- 1 (are they here in the winter?- it was a scruffy looking

Pomarine Jaeger- 10

Parasitic Jaeger- 1 (confirmed)

Un-identified jaegers- 15 (probably more, there was a lot birds moving out

Long-tail Jaeger- (probable)

Scrub-Jay- 5 (for John)

Have a good one,

Chris Newton



Directions: From I-95, exit Rt. 406, head East through Titusville to refuge.
Take Rt. 402 to Playalinda Beach. (DeLORME p.g82)






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