I’ve been trying to do a “Big Day” at least once a month and last Tues/Wed I made my monthly attempt for December. I had read recently on the ABA blog about the differences between a normal Big Day and a Photographic Big Day and one of the things I liked was that the rules for a Photographic Big Day allow you to start at any time during the day and you then have 24 hours to see how many species you can get pictures of.
With the ability to start later in mind I decided to begin at 1 Pm at Snook Island as low tide was “supposed” to be around 3. When I got there the tide was still so high there was no point in staying so I headed down to the Boynton Beach Inlet to see what was being blown in by the strong North winds. I did manage to see some Northern Gannets and a couple of nice Magnificent Frigatebirds along with the expected Gulls and Terns.
I stayed at the Inlet for a couple of hours and then headed back to Snook Island. The tide had gone out some but it was still much higher than I expected and the lack of a good sandbar significantly cut down on the expected shorebirds. I did get a few shorebirds and a pair of Coopers Hawks kept all the Rock Doves on their toes!
What had started out as a nice sunny day had quickly deteriorated into a windy/cloudy mess. I left Snook Island a little discouraged but decided to see if I could salvage the day by stopping at Green Cay Wetlands. My beautiful wife Terri decided to join me and even with my lucky charm I had a tough time finding many of the species I expected.
I woke up on Wednesday to perfectly sunny skies and a brisk 48 degree temperature. I put the bike on the back of the Santa Fe and off to Stormwater Treatment Area 1 east. The STA’s have always been good for Waterfowl and I was hoping to pick up 7-8 species of ducks along with the expected Shorebirds and Raptors.
If you noticed there were not any Duck pictures above. STA 1 East was fantastic and even though I only found a couple of Northern Shovelers and Blue-winged Teal I still had a thoroughly enjoyable morning birding a fantastic local habitat. I then headed back over to Green Cay to end my 24 hours.
I did pick up a couple of new species for the Big Day at Green Cay but not anything unusual and not any really great shots. I ended the 24 hours with a total of 79 species photographed. I have to admit this was only a half-hearted attempt and I left many, many easy birds on the table … I think 100 species is not unrealistic with the right weather and schedule … maybe January!!
Thank you so much for following and God Bless.