Monday, December 22, 2014

2014 CBC in St. Pete, Part 2

Part Two. Still at the duck pond and among the Mottled Ducks and all of their hybrids we found a male Blue-winged Teal trying to blend in.

Blue-winged Teal

Over on a culvert, a Tricolored Heron was soaking in the morning light.

Tricolored Heron

As we passed the Tricolored we spooked an unseen Green Heron which flew off to the side of the waterway across from Maximo Park. It perched in a mangrove in harsh backlight but I will take it for now.

Green Heron

We circled around the boat slips and passed through the gates but not before noticing another new species for the morning. A few Eurasian Collared-Doves were busy trying to stay unseen but I managed a few shots just the same.

Eurasian Collared-Dove

How can you miss the call of Parakeets? Once we got to the edge of the road around the ball park we found a flock of Monk Parakeets on the grass foraging so Becki and I had to make our way over for a chance of getting a photo or two. We don't get these in large numbers in Orlando as they do her around St. Pete.

Monk Parakeet

The Monk Parakeets here are nesting under the numerous Osprey nests in the stadium lights and make themselves known quite loudly. I love this shot of this one from the lawn.

Monk Parakeet

Nearby, European Starlings were feasting on things on another part of the lawns but soon turned to drink form a puddle along the road.

European Starling

On the way out of Eckerd College we had a great view of a Wood Stork in a retention pond near the parking lots.

Wood Stork

Our last stop of the day was at Dolphin Cay. We all had high hopes on this spot. It is a gated community but we had access and all maps seemed to be promising. Boardwalks through a mangrove marsh. A beach on the water. A few ponds. Sadly, the boardwalk only offered up a few birds and the beach held less. Only a pond in the center of the development added to our list. It was full of Lesser Scaup.

Lesser Scaup

The males reflected in purple and greens while the females flashed their whites and browns.

Lesser Scaup

Resting along the edge of the pond was a very accommodating Double-crested Cormorant.

Double-crested Cormorant

All we found down at the beach was a ghost. A lone Gull footprint along the shore.

Gull Print

We tried a couple more ponds along the golf zones and then settled down to take a full count before our day was over. A nice Kelvin-Helmholtz cloud formation (thanks, Peg!) ended our day before we all headed home.


The final St. Pete count was 157. OK for what the year has been. It has been higher but there really are not a lot of birds around this season. Another CBC down. I always look forward to the next one!

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