Sunday, December 27, 2015

Tierra Verde Duck Ponds

The previous post was put up first since it had more birds in it but the morning started with my desire to chase down the hundreds of Redhead ducks reported at the Tierra Verde Duck Ponds in the past few days. Dad decided to join me and we stopped there early but the ducks were not there. There was only a Ring-necked Duck and a Red Breasted Merganser.

Red Breasted Merganser

As we scanned the ponds we did start to hear a familiar call. A small flock of Nandy Parakeets. They squawked as they flew past and then disappeared. With no other ducks around we headed to Ft. De Soto as posted previously.

Nandy Parakeet

Once we finished up our survey at the beached, we headed back toward home. On the way, Dad mentioned that he thought there were birds flying off to his right. I glanced over and it seemed like a small set of clouds. Another glance suggested a moving flock but while driving at 55 mph it was hard to discern. But it did start to look like birds. I thought shorebirds.

Suddenly, they grew closer. We could see it was a big flock of larger birds and it seemed for sure it was ducks. They flew right over us and turned toward the ponds. There were all of the Redheads dropping into the ponds right over our heads and into the water! An amazing sight I will never forget. Once we parked and looked over the area all of the ducks were before us.


The raft of Redhead shifted back and forth and there was a moment when a few were undecided on which part of the flock to join. Instead, these few ducks swam toward us and gave a great shot right in front of us.


Most of my objectives were met but I had also heard that there were also a couple of American Wigeon seen the other day. I wanted to add them but could not spot them. I finished taking shots of the Redheads and then said it was time to move on. As we headed back to the car I noticed a pair of ducks with a white patch and froze. It was the American Wigeons joining the other ducks right on queue! Score number two! Finding Wigeon in Florida anywhere is a great find.

I had them at Lake Apopa earlier and now on the other side of the state. Sweet.

American Wigeon

Still missing the gulls I was after but my main birds were found today. Best of all, I got to share them with my Dad. Perfect morning complete.

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