Fort De Soto, 2/25/2012

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Fort De Soto
On the second day of our birding weekend, we returned to Fort De Soto this afternoon.  It was a very different  but equally enjoyable experience.  We first went to the Egmont Key Ferry.  While we didn't ride on the ferry, we walked out on the pier, and were met by three dolphins, including one young dolphin.  They were right by the pier, so I had to change lenses to get photographs of them.  We also saw a Brown Thrasher, a few Forster's Terns, and two Red-breasted Mergansers.

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Red-breasted Merganser
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Snowy Egret
From there we went back to North Beach, where we saw many of the same species we saw yesterday.  We entered the beach area on the south side of the parking lot this time in search of warblers, and we found many, though most were Palm and Yellow-Rumped.  We did find 2 Pine Warblers there.  On the beach we saw about 50 Royal Terns and lots of shorebirds including Wilson's Plover, Sanderling, and Willet.  Two of the Willets got into a pretty good fight--that was amazing to watch.  As we were leaving, we came across a bunch of photographers with their long lenses pointed up into the trees, so we went to see what was there--there was a Great Horned Owl  nesting in a tree.

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Pine Warbler
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Royal Tern
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Willet Fight
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Great Horned Owl
Below is a list of the species we saw at For De Soto from about 2pm to 6pm.

Northern Shoveler X
Redhead X
Lesser Scaup X
Red-breasted Merganser 2
Pied-billed Grebe 5
Wood Stork 1
Double-crested Cormorant X
Anhinga X
Brown Pelican 15
Great Egret 5
Snowy Egret 1
Tricolored Heron 1
Reddish Egret 1
White Ibis 5
Black Vulture X
Turkey Vulture X
Osprey 8
Bald Eagle 1
American Kestrel 1
Wilson's Plover 3
American Oystercatcher 2
Willet 35
Ruddy Turnstone 5
Sanderling 15
Dunlin 10
Laughing Gull X
Ring-billed Gull X
Herring Gull 1
Forster's Tern 3
Royal Tern 51
Mourning Dove 10
Common Ground-Dove 5
Great Horned Owl 1
Belted Kingfisher 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Eastern Phoebe 1
Loggerhead Shrike 1
Fish Crow X
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1
Gray Catbird 1
Brown Thrasher 1
European Starling X
Palm Warbler X
Pine Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler X
Northern Cardinal 3
Red-winged Blackbird X
Common Grackle X
Boat-tailed Grackle X


  1. All great photos Scott! Sounds like a great day! I really like the shot of the pier, and the dolphin, and the owl!

  2. NIce Willet fight! Did you put money down?


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