St. Marks NWR Birding Update

St. Marks NWR Birding Update

written by David Moody

 

I logged 88 species, including 18 species of waterfowl, during a five-hour morning recon for Saturday's Wildlife Tour at St. Marks.

Duck numbers and diversity are building steadily. Shorebirds are abundant. Lots of winter residents have returned and more will be pushed down by this week's front. 

Some highlights of the morning were: 

Stony Bayou I (where most of the shorebirds are)
Canvasback
Lesser Scaup
Bufflehead
Ruddy Duck
Black-bellied Plover
Semipalmated Plover
American Avocet (10)
Willet
Greater Yellowlegs
Western sandpiper
Least sandpiper
Dunlin (abundant)
Short-billed dowitcher 

Stony Bayou II
 Snow Goose (one blue phase)
Wood Duck
GW Teal
Mallard
BW Teal
Gadwall
Redhead
Hooded Merganser
Wood Stork (15) 

Mounds Pool
IGW Teal
Gadwall
Redhead
Greater Scaup 

Mounds Pool III
 GW Teal
Black Duck (one pair)
Mallard (including one pair in aberrant plumage; pale bluish-gray with dark head and tail)
Northern Pintail
BW Teal
Northern Shoveler
Gadwall
American Wigeon
Redhead
Lesser Scaup
Bufflehead 

Lighthouse Pond and offshore
 Common Loon
Horned Grebe
White-faced Ibis (two hanging with a Glossy)
Nelson's Sparrow (several along the shoreline) 

Ring-necked Ducks have been regular on Headquarters Pond. Although Vermilion Flycatcher has been reported off-and on at several spots on the refuge, I didn't have one. All in all, it was a great way to burn a few vacation hours. 

Call the refuge at 850-925-6121 to sign up. 

Good birding.