Thursday, January 09, 2014

Kayaking Summerland Key to Cudjoe Key

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (Nyctanassa violacea), Cudjoe Key

It's amazing how close you can approach birds in the mangroves while silently approaching on a kayak. Today we were working on Cudjoe Key and the field work went well. On top of this I had amazing close views of Yellow-crowned Night-Herons and Green Herons. We kayaked from the west end of Summerland Key, along the eastern side of Cudjoe Key, round past the southern point at Gopher, then along the south side of Cudjoe Key to the western end of Cudjoe Bay. Some very large Maritigrella crozieri (a polyclad flatworm) were found. I also managed to count most of the birds encountered:
Brown Pelican (42), Double-crested Cormorant (53), Great White Heron (3), Little Blue Heron (4), Green Heron (6), Black-crowned Night-Heron (1), Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (7), White Ibis (8), Turkey Vulture (3), Cooper's Hawk (1), Osprey (4), American Kestrel (3), Killdeer (1), Spotted Sandpiper (4), Laughing Gull (67), Ring-billed Gull (17), American Herring Gull (1), Lesser Black-backed Gull (1), Forster's Tern (1), Royal Tern (34), Belted Kingfisher (7), Tree Swallow (1), Palm Warbler (5), Red-winged Blackbird (15).

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