Terns, Brown Pelicans, Cormorants

Terns, Brown Pelicans, Cormorants

Matt with oyster cluster

Matt with oyster cluster

We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day.  It was sunny, with soft breezes and a comfortable humidity level.  We had a total of 13 participants and many were returns from last year’s trip. We started out with the same enthusiasm as last year, with two boats, one piloted by Matthew Anderson and the other by his colleague Kirk Fusco.  

As we began the trip, a boater along the way was having engine trouble. We did our good deed for the day and towed him back to the dock.  

We then started our journey and headed straight to the island rookeries. On the way, we saw an Osprey nest on one of the channel markers and several groups of Least Terns flying overhead.  On the island rookeries, there were multitudes of active Brown Pelican nests and many other active nests of herons, egrets and anhinga’s.  We had the pleasure of seeing young spoonbills sitting on the nest, their heads popping up occasionally.  To our surprise, a Black-Capped Night Heron took flight giving us the opportunity to get a good look with our binoculars. 

There was a sand flat with a Reddish Egret and Caspian and Royal Terns. It was easy to compare the differences between the terns. Afterwards, we took a rest and enjoyed lunch together on one of the islands. 

On the way back, we stopped at an oyster reef.  Matthew & Kirk educated the group about oyster clusters, how they reproduce and the different types of marine life that depend on them.   We learned that oysters are a keystone species that provide essential habitat.  

Thank you Matthew and Kirk for giving us a day to remember.  

For more information about the Friends of the Spoil Islands, friendsofspoilislands.org 

Report Submitted by Adella Blacka   

Photos courtesy of Doris & Steve Brookens, Richard Lynch, Adella Blacka

(Bird list below photos)

TOTAL: 36 species

Waterfowl:   Red-breasted Merganser, Mottled Duck

Pelicaniformes: Brown Pelican; Double-crested Cormorant; Anhinga

Wading Birds:   Great-blue Heron; Great Egret; Snowy Egret; Little Blue Heron; Tricolored Heron; Green Heron;  Black-crowned Night Heron; White Ibis; Roseate Spoonbill; Reddish Egret; Cattle Egret 

Raptors & Allies:  Black Vulture; Osprey; Red-shouldered; American Kestrel

Shorebirds:  Spotted Sandpiper

Gulls, Terns: Laughing Gull; Ring-billed Gull;  Royal Tern; Least Tern; Caspian Tern

Kingfishers:  Belted Kingfisher

Woodpeckers: Red-bellied Woodpecker

Empidonax:  Great-crested Flycatcher

Corvidae:  Fish Crow

Swallows: Tree Swallow

Mimids: Northern Mockingbird

Wood Warblers:  Northern Parula

Cardinals: Northern Cardinal; Blue Jay

Blackbirds: Boat-tailed Grackle 

For a complete list of birds, see link below: