February 2012 St Johns County Birds

I had the opportunity to go on a couple of shorebird surveys for Guana Reserve (north of St Augustine), led by Diane Reed, and accompanied by Pat Zaborsky and Lydia Schindler.  The highlight of the trip was my first look at a Glaucous Gull, resting on the beach with a group of shorebirds.  Diane had recently reported seeing the gull on the lake inside the Reserve.

Glaucous Gull

We also saw a Reddish Egret dancing along the shore and an Osprey overhead carrying off the rest of its meal.

Reddish Egret

Osprey

Other birds on the beach included a Forster’s Tern and a Great Black-backed Gull.

Forster’s Tern

Great Black-Backed Gull

A group of Brown Pelicans displayed a variety of plumages, including this juvenile (brown) and a breeding adult.

Brown Pelicans

Also, a pair of Ring-billed Gulls sported contrasting winter and summer colors.

Ring-Billed Gull (Winter)

Ring-Billed Gull (Summer)

A Kestrel worked the dunes next to the beach, staying ahead of us as we moved north along the shore.

American Kestrel

And a Boat-tailed Grackle watched from a picket as we passed by.

Boat-Tailed Grackle

After the survey I stopped by Lake Guana inside the Reserve and found Lesser Scaup swimming near the shore.

Lesser Scaup (Male)

Lesser Scaup (Female)

Before heading home I dropped down to Porpoise Point in Vilano Beach for a look at the Black Skimmers.

Black Skimmers

Later that week we visited Davis Park, which is located in the northern part of St Johns county.  Gary Davis (no relation, I think) had reported seeing American Pipits at he park, which we found shortly after our arrival.

American Pipit

Lastly, while there we also saw Bluebirds, Catbirds, and a Red-shouldered Hawk along with several other birds.

Eastern Bluebird

Gray Catbird

Red-Shouldered Hawk

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Thanks again,

Phil Graham–Photo Naturalist

NEXT POST   March 2012 –Two By Two: Nuthatch, Killdeer, Vultures and more!

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