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St Marks NWR-Saturday

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  • Don Morrow
    St. Marks had slow, but steady Spring birding this morning. The migrants were nearly all males in breeding plumage. There are still Lesser Scaup and BW Teal
    Message 1 of 15 , Apr 6, 2013
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      St. Marks had slow, but steady Spring birding this morning. The migrants were nearly all males in breeding plumage. There are still Lesser Scaup and BW Teal hanging around. A few highlights were:

      Double Bridges
      White-eyed Vireo
      Red-eyed Vireo
      Yellow-throated Vireo
      Blue-headed Vireo
      Prothonotary Warbler
      Northern Parula
      Northern Waterthrush
      Yellow-rumped Warbler

      Mounds Trail (The best birding is in the trees near the bathroom and parking lot)
      White-eyed Vireo
      Red-eyed Vireo
      Yellow-throated Vireo
      Prothonotary Warbler
      Yellow-rumped Warbler
      Cerulean Warbler
      Blackpoll Warbler
      Hooded Warbler
      Kentucky Warbler
      Yellow-throated Warbler
      Palm Warbler
      Scarlet Tanager
      Summer Tanager
      Indigo Bunting

      Tower Pond (probably 500 shorebirds, worth lugging a scope out)
      Herring Gull
      Caspian Tern
      Forester's Tern
      Black-necked Stilt (about 40)
      American Avocet (two, one in breeding plumage)
      Willet
      Dunlin
      Short-billed Dowitcher
      Western Sandpiper
      Greater Yellowlegs
      Lesser Yellowlegs
      Black-bellied Plover
      Semipalmated Plover



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    • Don Morrow
      The January wildlife tours at St Marks attempted to take place on a foggy, stormy day. Both trips were canceled due to lightening and heavy rain. However,
      Message 2 of 15 , Jan 11, 2014
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        The January wildlife tours at St Marks attempted to take place on a foggy, stormy day. Both trips were canceled due to lightening and heavy rain. However, early in the morning and between rain showers I birded with groups from Alachua and Duval Audubon and managed to log sixty species. The most notable of which was a wintering Least Bittern at Lighthouse pond.

        Alachua reported a very light gull seen briefly before disappearing into the fog that could have been Glaucous or Iceland. Visibility was down to fifty feet and it was raining steadily, preventing a gull chase. There is better weather tomorrow and you may want to look for the gull and the possible alcid reported earlier in the week.

        There were no Rusty Blackbirds at the Double Bridges, but that could have been due to the weather.


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      • Don Morrow
        On a cool foggy morning I logged 80 species in just under six hours, including a probable Barn Owl calling near East River Pool. I had 17 species of waterfowl.
        Message 3 of 15 , Dec 7, 2014
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          On a cool foggy morning I logged 80 species in just under six hours, including a probable Barn Owl calling near East River Pool. I had 17 species of waterfowl. Duck populations continue to increase. With a low coastal tide and high water still draining from Stony Bayou II, I only had 10 species of shorebirds. Some highlights were:

          At 6:30 am, I had a calling owl. The call was coming from the far side of a pine stand on the right side of the entrance road as you approach East River Pond. The call was the screeee call that is made both by Barn Owls and by young Great Horned Owls. It was made every 10 seconds or so for about fifteen minutes. Because it is so early in the season, I suspect that this was a Barn Owl, an uncommon resident at St Marks.

          Wood Ducks have become much more common. Their dawn flight begins around 6:45 am as the return to the swamps near the Double Bridges.

          Great looks at a cooperative Nelson's Sparrow along the shore at the Lighthouse.

          Lighthouse Pond ( Cooper's Hawks were hunting along the dikes)
          Northern Shoveler
          American Wigeon
          Canvasback
          Redhead
          Lesser Scaup
          Bufflehead
          Ruddy Duck

          Offshore (there are rafts of thousands of Redhead/Scaup just offshore)
          Common Loon
          Horned Grebe
          Common Goldeneye
          Bufflehead
          Red-breasted Merganser

          Stony Bayou II (the South dike is now closed. use the West or North dikes for viewing. Bring a scope if possible)
          Roseate Spoonbill
          Wood Stork ( they have been common here during the last month)
          Mallard
          Blue-winged Teal
          Green-winged Teal
          Gadwall

          Headquarters Pond
          Black-crowned Night Heron
          Blue-winged teal
          American Wigeon
          Ring-necked Duck

          Good Birding




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