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Dee and I spent the weekend in St. Augustine.  We wanted to
Hi all,

Dee and I spent the weekend in St. Augustine.  We wanted to show Peregrine falcons to some friends of ours from Gainesville.  Saturday morning, we hit the hawk watch, a week after the watch ended, at the north bach access of Guana River State Park.  The platform on top of the dune is a great spot to watch for hawk migration while also keeping an eye on the lake.  Winds were out of the southwest, probably the worst you could ask for on a fall hawk watch on the east coast of Florida.  A Merlin flew directly over us in the parking lot, giving us a comparison to what we were looking for.  On the platform we spied a distant Peregrine falcon which stayed far off for most of the time we were there.   Eventually, another Peregrine came right off the ocean, over our heads, giving us nice looks.

Later that evening, after finding some good ice cream in St. Augustine Beach, we headed to Vilano Beach to walk the beaches near Porpoise Point.  The tide was rising and the birds on the point across the inlet at Anastasia State Park were retreating and looking for higher beaches.  On our side of the water, we found a nice flock of gulls, terns, and eventually skimmers.  Most of the gulls were Laughing gulls as would be expected.  About 20 Lesser black-backed gulls were across the way at the park.  Other gulls were represented by singles, one Great black-backed, one Herring, one Ring-billed, and one FRANKLIN's.  The Franklin's was a first year bird.  Dee took some shots of the bird, or at least the portion of the flock where the bird was.  Lighting was a bit iffy at this late hour, and we have not looked at the pics to see what we got.

Sunday morning promised to be better for hawk watching.  It lied.  We saw nothing from the hawk watch.  Ducks were in better supply.  Blue-winged teal and Northern shoveler were cruising the lake at Six Mile Landing and near the tower.  Four Northern pintail came in for a landing near the tower.  Six Mile Landing had several birds around including two Swainson's thrushes and several Painted buntings along with several wintering birds including my FOTS Yellow-rumped warbler.

Also ran into James Wheat on both days at the platform.  James helped to point out several of the birds we saw.

David Simpson
Fellsmere, FL
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