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Hi all,

I have been seeing many Northern gannets this summer including a few  
adults.  Yesterday morning, I hit several spots along the coast  
starting with the west side of Destin Bridge.  There I found two  
gannets, one of which was in what I described as "subadult" plumage.   
It had the yellowish head of and adult.  The body and tail were  
white.  The primaries were black.  The secondaries had a mix and  
black and white feathers.  The other bird was too far out to tell the  
age.  The next stop at Henderson Beach State Park yielded at least  
three gannets feeding far offshore among several fishing boats.   
These were all "two year olds" with the dark extending across their  
backs.  One full adult was observed from Topsail Hill Preserve at the  
western beach access.  I did not see any from Grayton Beach State  
Park, though the Audubon's shearwater was a nice surprise.  It was so  
close to shore, I almost missed it.  It skimmed the bottom of my  
field of view as I scanned left and it went to my right.

Here is a summary of my sightings of Gannets this summer.


Location	County	Date		Num	Comments
Camp Helen State Park	BAY	06/06/2009		1	First year bird heading east.
Destin Pass	OKALOOSA			06/27/2009	      	27	Two adults, five 2Y, 1  
1Y, then a mixed flock of 15.  Many adults in the mixed flock.
Destin Bridge	OKALOOSA	07/12/2009		6	One adult, several immature  
birds.  One my have been a three year bird.  It had a solid dark back  
and upper wings with a yellowish cast on the head.  The immature  
birds had light uppertail coverts.
Beach Access  Grayton Beach	WALTON	07/20/2009		1	2nd year bird.   
Black across back.
Opal Beach	ESCAMBIA	07/28/2009		1	Firstyear/Juvenile
Destin Bridge	OKALOOSA	07/30/2009		2	One was a “subadult.”  The head  
was yellowish.  The rest of the plumage was like an adult with the  
exception of the secondaries.  The secondaries were a mix if dark and  
white feathers.
Henderson Beach State Park	OKALOOSA	07/30/2009		3	Two year olds.  Far  
offshore.  Black across back.
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park	WALTON	07/30/2009		1	Adult.

David Simpson
Fellsmere (Crestview), FL
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