Back to the “Bigby”

Getting back into local birding I have gone on one very long bike ride and visited Green Cay Wetlands a couple of times.

Great Black-backed Gull

Great Black-backed Gull

I’ve seen and photographed most of the local birds I expected to see in my immediate area for this time of year so I decided that on my last day off, after my North Florida trip, to venture over to the beach to add a few more species to my Big Green Birding Year.

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Lesser Black-backed Gull

I left the house at 5:30 am with the hopes of being at the Boynton Beach Inlet for sunrise … oops, about 3/4 of the way there it began to sprinkle and just as I arrived it really opened up.  Fortunately there are a number of picnic shelters and while I was slightly damp it was no big deal.  It was still dark but after looking at Weatherbug and seeing that the rain looked like it would be done just after sunrise my hopes were still high for a good day.

Sandwich Tern

Sandwich Tern

Just as it was starting to get light I saw the Common Eider that has been seen here and at the Lake Worth Pier since the beginning of December.  It was still raining but I made my way over to another shelter but there just wasn’t enough light to get an image … I guess I’ll have to try again in a week or two.

Laughing Gull

Laughing Gull

Eventually I did make it over to the beach area and was happy to see all five of the regular Gulls I had hoped for and a bonus Sandwich Tern that was loafing with the Royal Terns.  The one Gull I was hoping for, the Bonaparte’s wasn’t around so now that’s two reasons to have to come back.

Herring Gull ... This is a second Winter bird.

Herring Gull … This is a second Winter bird.

After a while I continued my ride up to the Lake Worth Pier where there was more of the same that was at the Inlet so I worked my way over to the Snook Island Preserve.  Over the Summer a new oyster bed with some mangroves were built and it has become quite the attractant for the birds.

Willson's Plover

Wilson’s Plover

The tide was just going out and a group of Plovers, Dunlin and Sandpipers flew into a small strip of now exposed sand. There was a dozen or so Semi-palmated Plovers, 3-4 Piping Plovers and 1 Wilson’s Plover.  The Wilson’s is a really good bird for the county and one I didn’t really expect this year.

Black Scoter

Black Scoter

Two years ago while doing my County Big Year I discovered a pair of Black Scoters and a Surf Scoter at Snook Island.  This year there is another pair of Black Scoters and I was happy to record one for the year as well as a nice Red-breasted Merganser.

Red-breasted Merganser

Red-breasted Merganser

Roundtrip I ended up riding 39.94 miles.  My Bigby list now stands at 110 for the year with a week or so left in January.  When I started I had no idea of what was possible for this type of Big Year so we’ll just have to wait and see what I have the ability to chase on my bicycle!

As always, thank you so very much for visiting and God Bless!


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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One Response to Back to the “Bigby”

  1. Kathy Walters says:

    Wow this is ambitious, but it is really paying off. Thanks as always for the fabulous pictures.

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