Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Oh My, the Boat Ramp on a Cold Monday Morning!

My sister and her husband headed back to Florida via the ferry at Ft. Fisher.  Of course they took the time to go to the boat ramp to see if there were any birds even though it was high tide (and a very high tide at that).  Imagine their surprise to finally see all the birds I had been talking about!!  Crowded in this picture are a flock of Forster's Terns, several Willets, a Marbled Godwit and several Short-billed Dowitchers.  She called me from the ferry to tell me she had seen just tons of birds so I headed straight down!

The Dowitchers and several other birds were all crowded on the rocks by the boat ramp.  I stayed in the car (using it as a blind) so I could get pictures of as many birds as possible so I could identify them when I got home.  Most were asleep when I arrived but all flew off when a fisherman came by but did come back and roost and were awake!!  The rocks were completely covered as they were one other morning when I spotted them.

There were also two Marbled Godwits in the midst of the Dowitchers.

There were also Horned Grebes up close and keeping above the water for picture taking -- they tend to dive a lot in a whole flock usually!

A closeup of one of the Grebes.

A closeup of one of the Forster's Terns -- about the most common one down here but usually seen diving for food from high in the sky.

I may be mistaken but I think there is a Red Knot in the bunch here!  It is the one with the much shorter black bill.  They have slightly darker greenish legs as well but are about the same size as the Dowitchers.

There were also two Red Breasted Mergansers swimming around.  This was a life bird for Gail so we succeeded again as last time she added a Long Tailed Duck to her list.  Too bad the White Winged Scoters didn't show up this time.

Eventually a fishing boat came to use the ramp and all the birds flew off -- most are Dowitchers but you can see a Willet or two in the bunch.  If you look closely you can spot the white patches on the back of the Dowitchers.

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