Day two. We got to the bridges and viewed a flock of Rusty Blackbirds. The tram rumbled out from the visitor center. We had one more to join, making 10 members from CCAS on the tram. A cancellation afforded our 10 member a seat. We were going out where no vehicle is allowed along the tops of the ponds and dikes. The sightings were remarkable. I got a view of a life bird, the Eared Grebe. We traversed the back ponds and Tom Gulley got this photo of these magnificent Bald Eagles and the beautifully reflected American Avocet. He also took the group photo at the Headquarters Pond where we saw the Yellow-crowned Night Heron along with about 30 Black-crowned Night Herons.
Recap - St Marks Field Trip
Cool morning at St Marks, as usual. BUT it was not as cold as last year. 9 hearty birders arrived on site Sunday to check out some of the birds in the area. We birded the Visitor's Center and got the Brown-headed Nuthatch right off the bat and then added a few warblers. We came back to the center and learned that a once in a Blue Moon trip on an open tram would be leaving on Monday morning at 9:00 AM. We signed up and got the last nine seats, or so we thought. We continued birding and had a most remarkable birding day. Blue, Green & Cinnamon Teal, Shovelers, Am Wigeon, Northern Pintail, Canvasback, Redhead, Scaup, Ring-necked, Ruddy, Bufflehead, Hooded & Red-breasted Merganser and the list goes on. This day brought our total to 81!
The Krider's Red-tailed Hawk was soaring above us very soon after starting the trek to the back. Willets, Purple Gallinule, Sora, Cooper's Hawk,. Northern Harrier, White-faced Ibis, Dunlin, Black-bellied & Semi-palmated Plover, Ruddy Turnstone, Wilson's Snipe, Least & Western Sandpiper, Yellowlegs, Dowitchers, and the list continues. This was one of the best in many years to come up with the variety and number of species that we had. Bottoms Road was late afternoon on Tuesday and the species list was small, but we did get a Clapper Rail and Common Loon. That 21 eBird list is here. Day one 81 at St Marks list is here. And day two St Marks is here of 79. The total for the two days was a whopping 103 species.