25 October 2008

Piping Plover Surveys at Fort Pickens

Today was a much better day for bird surveys, though it was still a little chilly.

The birds like to point that out as they hide behind whatever windbreak there is on the mudflats. The birds, like this snowy plover (SNPL) have the right idea!

There was one banded piping plover (PIPL) near the asphalt pile,

who seemed to be quite thirsty!

Another was fighting with a sanderling (SAND). Just look at those bright orange legs.

A young eagle (BAEA) hid in the woods,

Brown pelicans (BRPE) floated on the updrafts,

and a sandwich tern (SATE) kept flying away from me. We can't officially count a bird in our survey until we pass it or it flies in the opposite direction. I followed this little guy for nearly two miles as I tried to complete my survey. I keep telling myself it's good for them to fly on cold days - it warms up their chilly muscles!

By the time I headed back east on the south shore of the island, I was running with the wind behind me and the sun was high in the sky. It was a beautiful day indeed!

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