On Friday, 1/25/2013, I visited Lake Woodruff NWR before joining Michael Brother, Bob Wallace, and Cameron Cox for the fantastic gull fly-in at Daytona Beach Shores where as many as 50,000 gulls stage before going back out beyond the breakers to spend the night on the water. We had distant views of a razorbill and looks at both parasitic and pomarine jaegers from shore. A number of lesser black-backed gulls were among the most numerous gull species–Laughing, Ring-billed, Herring, and Great Black-backed. Earlier in the day I explored Lake Woodruff NWR near DeLeon Springs, FL. It was my first ever visit.
Cloudless Sulphur – Lake Woodruff NWR – near DeLeon Springs FL – 2013-01-25 photo by Greg Miller
Eastern Pond Hawk – Lake Woodruff NWR – near DeLeon Springs FL – 2013-01-25 photo by Greg Miller
Here in Ohio things have been relatively quiet with the passing of Hurricane Irene EXCEPT for a report I just found out about from yesterday of a flyover ANHINGA seen west of Walnut Creek, OH and flying in a northwesterly direction. Birders in Ohio should keep a lookout of this individual. Not only is this a rare bird for Ohio, it is quite unusual for the bird to be traveling northward into the wind. The winds on the west side of the hurricane actual rotate counterclockwise, so for us in Ohio, the winds from the hurricane have been out of the North.
But thing were most certainly NOT quiet on the East Coast as Hurricane Irene traveled north all the way up the coast. Birders near the coast had outstanding results as the eye of Irene was very close to the coast and at times actually came inland. Birders just to the EAST OF THE EYE often have some of the best opportunities. Birders from the Carolinas all the way up into New Hampshire were delighted by the diversity of birds deposited by this storm.
I quickly scanned through many of the listserves along the East Coast and here is a preliminary (and entirely unofficial) report:
Inland reports of Magnificent Frigatebird came from the Hudson-Mohawk region of New York and Eastern Pennsylvania. I did not include the numerous reports of Royal Terns, Black Terns, and even Sandwich Terns and a Gull-billed Tern further North than normal due to the hurricane. This report was compiled from information collected by Jack Siler’s regional mailinglists at birdingonthe.net. Congratulations to all the intrepid birders who braved the elements for a chance at some really good birds. It looks like it was very rewarding!