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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Birding at the Dry Tortugas National Park

On September 14th, I went to the Dry Tortugas National Park which is found 70 miles west of Key West. It was a beautiful trip (albeit a bit rough going out there). After I walked Fort Jefferson, ate lunch, snorkeled, and walked down Bush Key (see previous entry for pictures), I wanted to check out a large flock of gulls and terns I saw when the boat pulled up. If you’re into birding, and want to see some rare birds, Garden Key is the place to visit, which is the Key that the Fort is built on. Within close proximity are several rookeries, including Brown Boobies, Sooty Terns, and Brown Noddies. I luckily saw all 3 of those (no pics though, it all happened so fast!), and all 3 were new species for me! In total I added 6 new species to my life list, all in one day. Pictures to follow!

I’m not sure what this was, maybe a dock? All that’s left are the iron pilons, and the birds were covering it!

Fort Jefferson on Garden Key in the Dry Tortugas National Park
Royal Tern (Thalasseus maximus)

A group of Sandwich Terns (Thalasseus sandvicensis) A new bird for me!

A Laughing Gull (Leucophaeus atricilla) and a Roseate Tern (Sterna dougallii)… and the Roseate was a new bird for me, and considered “rare” in the Dry Tortugas!

Willet (Tringa semipalmata)
  
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)in the foreground, and a Willet in the background. The Whimbrel was a new bird for me as well!
With a total of 6 new species for the day, this bird nerd was very happy! I’m so glad my aunt and I braved the seas and the 3 hour trip out to the Dry Tortugas National Park!

2 comments:

  1. What a day out, and those pylons or reinforcing poles, looked like some weird tripods at first. Lovely bird photos, what a collection. Cheers,Jean

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