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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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