My 2nd trip to the Sunshine Skyway fishing pier to look for the rare kittiwake was successful. I parked my car near the end of the pier (you can drive on this pier since it used to be the old bridge) and got out of my car thinking I was going to spend hours looking at every bird flying by for it. Well, it was sitting right outside my car. I took this from my car window.
He had a friend, the royal tern, standing next to him.
Many birds were on the pier even though it was a windy cold morning.
After watching him for a few minutes, he stood up. By now several other photogs were standing there taking his picture.
He flew off.
Snowy egrets were hitching a ride on a fishing boat.
The rare kittiwake sighting in central Florida comes at a price. Because the two birds (yes, there were two at first) picked a busy fishing pier, one of them got caught in a fish hook and sinker and died about a week after they arrived. A birder happened to be on the pier and saw the rare birds and posted it on a bird forum. Hoards of birders came from all over the state to see the birds. Several people saw the bird swallow the sinker and get hooked and posted the event on the bird forum. Not to mention all of the hooked pelicans, loons, gulls and terns that they saw. Because the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary is not taking in injured birds due to financial issues, they did not respond to the numerous phone calls they got. A new bird rescue group is starting up and hopefully they will be able to help save many of the injured birds there. More on injured loons later.
An article about the recent kittiwake death and all of the injured birds at fishing pier from The Tampa Bay Times can be found here.
Check out more pictures at Our World Tuesday