Today, 6/4, Dave Stock and I surveyed the southern end of Volusia County in Canaveral National Seashore by canoe for the breeding bird atlas. We came across a number of interesting sandpipers for this late in the year with a total of twelve species. The most interesting birds were one Whimbrel and one White-rumped Sandpiper. We also found a Short-billed Dowitcher, many Semipalmated Sandpipers, two Lesser Yellow-legs, 2 Greater Yellowlegs, 3 Ruddy Turnstones, 2 Semipalmated Plovers, many paired up Wilson's Plovers on territory and one Killdeer, as well as Willets and Black-necked Stilts.

On my way out of the park, I stopped off and looked over the ocean for about 1/2 hour. There was nothing happening offshore when I saw a large black shape. A moment later this large black head with the distinctive pink patch on the top of the head showed that it was a huge Leatherback Turtle. While I was watching it, a little black bird flew over it and I followed it in the scope and it was a Band-rumped Storm-Petrel. I followed it north until I lost it in the waves when I found a second Leatherback Turtle. Seeing two Leatherback Turtles from shore was a first for me.


Michael Brothers
Marine Science Center
Ponce Inlet, FL

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