July 2013 H & H Plus

July is usually a slow month for birding so I spent most of my time at Hanna & Huguenot Parks in Jacksonville (Duval County).  You can always count on shorebirds at Huguenot with all the breeding activity (mainly terns and gulls) going on.  However, we had a real treat this summer as several Scoters stayed at the park instead of making their usual trip to their northern (Canadian tundra) breeding grounds.  The White-winged scoter was a “new” bird for me.  While I’d seen the Black scoter before at some distance, usually flying by, I was glad to get a closer look this time.

White-winged Scoter

White-winged Scoter

Black Scoter (Male & Female)

Black Scoter (Male & Female)

The Oystercatcher chick showed some development since my last visit, but was still being fed oysters by the parents.  And of course their were numerous Royal tern chicks on hand still begging to be fed.  Wilson’s plovers, however, failed in their attempt to nest again this year.

American Oystercatcher & Chick

American Oystercatcher & Chick

Royal Tern Chicks

Royal Tern Chicks

Wilson's Plover

Wilson’s Plover

I also saw my first of the season Reddish egret, along with the usual Osprey, Great Blue herons, Ruddy turnstones and Willets in the park.

Reddish Egret

Reddish Egret

Osprey

Osprey

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Ruddy Turnstone

Ruddy Turnstone

Willet

Willet

Hanna Park also had some breeders.  I saw a family of Common Gallinules (Moorhens).  The chicks are kind of “ugly ducklings”, but eventually become attractive birds as adults.

Common Gallinule Chick

Common Gallinule Chick

Common Gallinule Adult

Common Gallinule Adult

Other water birds in the park included a Snowy egret and a Tricolored heron.

Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret

Tricolored Heron

Tricolored Heron

Also, the usual Anhingas, but this time a molting adult and a freshly plumed bird.

Anhinga (Molting Adult)

Anhinga (Molting Adult)

Anhinga

Anhinga

Osprey and Turkey vultures were on hand as well as a pair of Cardinals.

Osprey

Osprey

Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Northern Cardinal (Male)

Northern Cardinal (Male)

Northern Cardinal (Female)

Northern Cardinal (Female)

Finally, the “Plus” was having the opportunity to visit the Least tern breeding colony north of Huguenot to look for chicks.  I didn’t see any chicks but there were plenty of adults and juveniles on the beach.  For comparison I saw adult birds in summer and winter plumage.

Least Tern Adult (Summer Plumage)

Least Tern Adult (Summer Plumage)

Least Tern Adult (Winter Plumage)

Least Tern Adult (Winter Plumage)

And juveniles in gray and brown colors.

Least Tern (Juvenile)

Least Tern (Juvenile)

Least Tern (Juvenile)

Least Tern (Juvenile)

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Thanks again,

Phil Graham–Photo Naturalist

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