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Bravo Susan. Too often all we hear about is species and numbers ticked off
and seldom do observers share their pleasure just observing the wonders of
nature. Sometimes ardent birders cannot see the forest for the trees and
post like yours remind us of what we all should appreciate and value. Thanks
for a wonderful report and pleasant reminder. Here's wishing you have many
more such experiences in the future.  

Patrick Leary 

-----Original Message-----
From: Florida Birds [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Sue
Cerulean
Sent: Thursday, December 12, 2013 8:49 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [FLORIDABIRDS-L] Winter feeding at the coast

I love watching the patterns of birds moving and living their lives.

Yesterday I enjoyed a very plover-y afternoon at the east end of St. George
Island, along the East Pass across from Dog Island (18 snowy plovers! 10
black-bellied plovers! A killdeer on the beach. 3 semipalmated plus the
usual shorebirds...)

But best of all was watching a feeding guild develop as the tide dropped.
Present were:
Brown Pelicans 8
Red-breasted Mergansers 25
Forster's Terns 30
Bonaparte's gulls 25
Common Loon 3....Edging in from deep water to see what the fuss was all
about Horned Grebe 1...ditto Double-crested cormorant 1 Ring-billed gull 1

It was fascinating to observe how the birds moved among themselves, to watch
which species seemed most successful, and then to see dolphins come after
the baitfish as well. And finally, of course, a bald eagle, sweeping in from
the Sound, whisking all the birds into flight, and then moving on.  Such a
different constellation of birds than in a summer or early fall feeding
group on one of our Passes.

Susan Cerulean

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