North Florida … Part Two

So day two was the Snowy Owl day that I wrote about a couple of days ago and while I spent a good 4 1/2 hours looking for it and another 3 hours looking at it I did manage to see a few other birds that day including a wonderful male Harlequin Duck up at Ft Clinch State Park.

Harlequin Duck ... This was the first breeding plumage male I've ever seen!

Harlequin Duck … This was the first breeding plumage male I’ve ever seen!

Red-breasted Merganser and Black Scoter at Ft Clinch State park

Red-breasted Merganser and Black Scoter at Ft Clinch State park

On the beach at Little Talbot Island State Park I had a small group of shorebirds including about 20-25 Red Knots, Semi-palmated Plovers, Ruddy Turnstone and a Sanderling.  Red Knots are a species I don’t see much of as they don’t show up in Palm Beach County very often.

Red Knots

Red Knots

This Sanderling has the darkest shoulders and wings that I have ever seen.  It is quite a unique looking fellow.

Sanderling ... Quite the handsome fellow!

Sanderling … Quite the handsome fellow!

When I finally pulled myself away from the Owl and left Little Calbot I headed the car West towards Tallahassee with St Marks NWR as my target for Friday.

I car camped just West of Tallahassee and after having a wonderful breakfast at Denny’s I headed through the fog the 30 miles or so to St Marks.  The weather forecast had not mentioned any fog so I figured it would quickly burn off and become sunny like the forecast called for … how wrong I was !

Bald Eagle ... This guy was no more than 20 feet over my head and I guess he didn't care for the fog either as he stuck his tongue out at me!!

Bald Eagle … This guy was no more than 20 feet over my head and I guess he didn’t care for the fog either as he stuck his tongue out at me!!

I literally had fog the entire 11 hours I was there and while it occasionally lifted some I was very limited on my photo opportunities.  Most of what I managed was of little guys from fairly close range.  I did get one new lifer … a Nelson’s Sparrow which was quite cooperative and posed for a few pictures.

Nelson's Sparrow

Nelson’s Sparrow

Another nice bird was this Sedge Wren.  I have seen them before and at one time had a picture of one but I think it got eaten by a bad hard drive sometime a couple of years ago!

Sedge Wren ... One of the toughest birds to get to pose.

Sedge Wren … One of the toughest birds to get to pose.

One of my main reasons for going to St Marks is for the variety of Ducks that are usually quite good subjects.  I did manage a couple of shots but nothing like what I have in the past … guess I’ll just have to go back again next year!

Bufflehead

Bufflehead

Redhead .. If you look closely you'll notice all the Ducks have water droplets on them from the nearly constant fog.

Redhead .. If you look closely you’ll notice all the Ducks have water droplets on them from the nearly constant fog.

Canvasback ... One of my favorite species of Duck!

Canvasback … One of my favorite species of Duck!

St Marks is an incredible place with a huge variety of habitats that allow for quite the species count.  I had 85 plus species even tough I wasted a good chunk of the day waiting for the fog to clear or I could have found another half-dozen or so.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet ... He was the first bird I photographed in the morning!

Ruby-crowned Kinglet … He was the first bird I photographed in the morning!

Hermit Thrush ... A first for Florida!

Hermit Thrush … A first for Florida!

Song Sparrow ... There were many Sparrows to sort through with the majority being Swamp and Songs.

Song Sparrow … There were many Sparrows to sort through with the majority being Swamp and Songs.

I have one more post from the North from Ft DeSoto park in Tampa where I got one more “lifer” and two new state birds.

I also had a great birding day today riding my bike a little over 39 miles to the Boynton Beach Inlet, Lake Worth Pier and Snook Island and was able to add a bunch of new birds for my Bigby.

Thank you so much for visiting and God Bless!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

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.
This entry was posted in Birds, Places and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to North Florida … Part Two

  1. Great photos! I don’t think I’ve ever had quite that perspective on a wren before.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s