St. Lucie Audubon Society

Caspian Terns (LS)



The Flamingo Quest field trip of 2017 was great fun, except our beloved flamingos did not arrive.  But despite our disappointment, it turned out to be a wonderful day.  The weather was sunny with just the right amount of a cool morning breeze.

Our group consisted of 19 excited participants and we were joined by Audubon Society of Everglades who sponsored the trip.

As we drove along, caravan style, our first stop was at a Red-Shouldered Hawk’s nest.  It was very visible from the road.  Two babies sat snuggly together waiting for mom to bring some vittles. And then behold, mom flew in with a scrumptious snake.  We watched as she fed her little ones.

As we continued on, a Peregrine Falcon was spotted. Later we saw it again with another one, possibly a mate (left, HR).

As we traveled along, we came to a large body of water where there were hundreds of waterfowl and shorebirds, mostly Black-Necked Stilts and American Coots. Among the shore birds, there were Dunlin, Dowitchers, and Yellow-legs. Other interesting finds were Fulvous Whistling Ducks, Black Skimmers and a Gull-billed Tern.  

Thanks to all who helped make our field trip a success and especially to Susan McKemy and the guides from Audubon of Everglades. Despite the location of the sun interfering with our photo ops, and the distance of the shore birds, Richard, Hart and Linda managed to get some very good shots.

A total of 56 species were seen which included 9 species seen on route.

Report by Adella Blacka

Photos by Richard Lynch, Hart Rufe and Linda Sullivan

Click photos for larger versions

Red-shouldered Hawk nest (HR)

Black Skimmers (HR)

Boat-tailed Grackle (RL)

Common Yellowthroat (RL)

Total: 56 Species

9 Species Seen on Route

Waterfowl: Mottled Duck; Black-bellied Whistling Duck; Blue-winged Teal; Ring-necked Duck; Fulvous Whistling Duck; Northern Shoveler

Storks: Woodstork

Pelicaniformes:  Double Crested Cormorant; Anhinga

Wading Birds:   American Bittern; Great Blue Heron; Great Egret; Snowy Egret; Little Blue Heron; Tricolored Heron; Cattle Egret; Green Heron; White Ibis; Glossy Ibis

Raptors & Allies: Black Vulture; Turkey Vulture; Osprey; Northern Harrier; Red-shouldered Hawk

Rails & Gallinules: Common Gallinule; American Coot

Limpkins & Cranes: Limpkin

Shorebirds:   Black-bellied Plover; Black-necked Stilt; Greater Yellowlegs; Lesser Yellowlegs; Dunlin; Short-billed/Long-billed Dowitcher; Ring-Billed Gull

Gulls, Terns & Skimmers:  Caspian Tern; Black Skimmer; Gull-billed Tern

Pigeons and Doves: Common Ground Dove; Mourning Dove

Falconidae: Peregrine Falcon

Martins & Swallows: Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Wood Warblers:   Common Yellowthroat

Cardinals & Blackbirds: Red-winged Blackbird; Eastern Meadowlark; Common Grackle; Boat-tailed Grackle

On route: Sandhill Crane; Swallow-tailed Kite; Northern Crested Caracara; American Kestrel; Red-Bellied Woodpecker; Kingfisher; Mockingbird; Northern Shrike; House Sparrow

Gull-billed Tern (HR)