Outstanding Weekend

Sunrise … Boynton Beach Inlet

I had such a wonderful weekend, with an incredible three new year birds and many other nice encounters.  I should have guessed yesterday was going to be special when I saw the sun coming up over the Atlantic.

Redish Egret … One of this year’s nemesis birds.  This was the 219th species of bird I have photographed in Palm Beach County Florida this year!

I had ventured down to the inlet in hopes of seeing any Pelagics blown in by the strong East winds.  After watching the sunrise I walked along the beach looking through the Laughing Gulls hoping to pull out a Franklin’s Gull when I noticed one of my favorite Heron species dancing in the waves.  A beautiful young Redish Egret was putting on quite the show chasing after its breakfast … very cool way to start the morning!!

I stood on the jetty for an hour and a half and had quite a few Northern Gannets and two flocks of Ducks heading South.  The problem with seawatching is that often what you are hoping to see is sooooo far out that it makes getting a picture with a positive ID nearly impossible.  I know one of the flocks heading South were a flock of Scoters just by the way they were flying but all my pictures were not satisfactory so I couldn’t count them.

Spotted Sandpiper … There were a couple of these guys on the rocks by the pier.

Yellow-crown Night Heron … This guy was sharing the rocks with the Sandpipers and a couple of Little Blue Herons

I had started to catch a chill from the strong winds when I decided to head over to the Snook Island Sanctuary in search of a pair of American Oystercatchers that have been reported there.  I never did see the Oystercatchers (more about them later) but I did manage to find two AWESOME birds for my Photographic Big Year list.

After getting to the end of the observation pier I noticed 3 Ducks off in the distance just a little to far out to ID.  I have seen Mottled Ducks here before but I decided to walk down the Intercoastal just to be sure that they weren’t something better.  I sure am happy I did as they were all Scoters!  There were two Black Scoters and one Surf Scoter.  I never in a thousand years would have guessed I’d see these guys so close and not only were they year birds but also county and state birds!

Black Scoter … What a RARE treat to see one of these guys this close!! This was the 220th species photographed this year in Palm Beach County.

The best part of finding these guys was I was able to get my good friend Carl Edwards on them also.  He got there about an hour after I had left and got great looks at all three and he also saw the Oystercatchers!  I’ve now been to Snook Island at least 6 times this year looking for them and he see’s them the first time he’s there.  This morning Linda Fell called and told me she, Ruth, Marcello and Scott S. were looking at the Scoters and they also saw the Oystercatchers!  Argh … I guess I have to keep trying!

 One of the greatest parts of Birding is being able to share your findings and knowledge with others.  Over the years I’ve learned a tremendous amount of information from Carl and it was nice to be able to give back!  Good birding Karma!  Thanks so much for visiting!!


About sheriffsmith

I have worked for the Broward County Sheriff's Office the last 13 years and spend most of my free time birdwatching / naturewatching and photographing the birds and nature that I encounter. I believe God has blessed us with a world that is so absolutely fascinating and wonderful and I'm doing my best to discover and show others all that he has provided us with in nature.
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4 Responses to Outstanding Weekend

  1. I truely enjoy your photos. Sheriff, you never disappoint.

  2. Deb Platt says:

    Lovely photos; I’ve seen so many birds at your blog that I’ve never seen in person. It’s nice to be introduced to them!

  3. treehugger8700 says:

    Good luck with the Oystercatchers! Your posts always brighten up my day- not only because of your fantastic photos of such gorgeous animals, but also your indomitable spirit!

  4. dou dou says:

    Ha! Love the egret’s expression

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