Monday, January 25, 2010

Birding Report-January 20, 2010

As reported by Billy Sandifer:

I scouted the entire beachfront of the Padre Island National Seashore on January 18, 2010 and it was a high quality day as long as you weren't interested in fishing, as there were no fish. Very large staging flocks of Willets and Sanderlings along the beach and all the usuals; Black-bellied Plover, Ruddy Turn Stones, Dunlin, Long Billed Curlews, Royal and Forester's Terns and a few gulls but some good birds as well. Between the 32 and 35 mile beach I had 153 sub adult Northern Gannets. WOW…All going North. Some in groups of 15 and quite nearshore. On the remaining 57 miles of beach I only had 3 other Northern Gannets. Sure something going on. 12 Red Knots were at the 34 mile beach in the morning, none had tags. 2 Scoters were in the surf at the 42 mile but they swam offshore before I could get positive species id. 1 Peregrine at the 22 mile. 3 Reddish Egrets. 3 flocks of small ducks overshore flying North. 8 Savannah Sparrows, 2 Northern Pipits and 4 Horned Larks were also observed. Red-breasted Mergansers, Redhead Ducks and 16 Black Skimmers were at the Port Mansfield jetties. Osprey, Caracara, White-tailed hawks and Turkey and Black Vultures were also seen. I've had close to 300 Northern Gannets along the entire 60 mile beach front a time or two over the years but never this many concentrated in such a small area. Life's Good; Live it. Capt. Billy