Winter Regulars Sticking Around

Howdy DRTO birders,

Not too much to report in the last couple of days, but the good old stand by winter birds are sticking around.

I’ve had a lone young herring gull that showed up for a couple of days, dwarfing the numerous laughing gulls in the Park.

This young herring gull was paddling around the boat the other day.

The sanderlings are finally starting to arrive, who seem to really enjoy shadowing their larger cousins, the ruddy turnstones. I got a nice shot of one sanderling foraging among a group of turnstones near the Park Service dock.

One lone sanderling keeping company with a group of ruddy turnstones.

A couple other photos I thought that were worth sharing include a juvenile brown pelican taking a nap in a funny pose on one of the south pilings, as well as a grouping of our three tern species on a single piling: note the royal, sandwich, and Forster’s terns.

Very sleepy juvenile brown pelican on the South pilings, complete with leg sticking out to the side.

Another nice shot of the size comparisons between the three most common terns at the Fort (largest to smallest): Royal terns, sandwich terns, and two Forster's terns.

Any future rare sightings, I’ll be sure to report to y’all!

Happy birding and see you at the Tortugas,

–Chelsea B.

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