Blue Grosbeaks and a few other birds

Blue grosbeaks were all over Fort Desoto during spring migration back in late April.  The all blue ones are males and the blue and brown one is a juvenile male that will eventually be all blue.

Hanging out on the fence. The light brown ones are females.

I think this is a very young male rose breasted grosbeak.

A laughing gull playing with his food.

A cardinal checking himself out in the mirror in the parking lot.

Osprey are everywhere at the park.

SkyWatch Friday

Early start to spring migration

My first ovenbird, hiding deep in the bushes.

My first Louisiana Waterthrush at the fountain.

An unidentified bird on the top. Any ideas?  The 2nd one is a Cape May Warbler.

Eastern kingbird high up in the tree.

A blurry shot of a young blue grosbeak. I thought his color was interesting. I guess he’s molting into his adult male colors.

An osprey with a fish.

And a pretty moth.

By  mid April there hadn’t been too many birds passing through on their way north for the summer.  I headed down to Fort Desoto Park expecting not to find too much. As usual there were more people than birds on the trails. Not too many birds but some good ones. Two new birds for me, the ovenbird and waterthrush so it was a good morning.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

Boobies, noddies and a chuck

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My first masked boobies. We were far away on a boat headed for the Dry Tortugas. They nest on this small sand bar out in the middle of nowhere. The sandbar is protected so we could not get to close. Lucky I had my 200mm lens with me and ready to shoot as we went by. These are extremely cropped.

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Another first sighting was the sooty terns. These birds were flying in between a sandbar and the Dry Tortugas.  Several flew close to the boat.

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Not a first but still cool to see. Frigatebirds were circling overhead as we docked at the Tortugas.  A juvenile on the left and a female on the right.

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Then the entire family with dad on the left with the red chest flew by.

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Thousands of birds were on one end of the island.  That section was closed off since many of the birds were nesting.

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Another first, a chuck-will’s-widow on the ground. I have to give credit to several other birders who had found him right before I walked up. They were looking for the Kentucky warbler and found him instead.

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He was hiding under some bushes. I could just make out his face through the branches.

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I did find the Kentucky warbler, another first for me. They told me to look for a bird that looks like a hooded warbler but doesn’t have as much black on the head.

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Heading back onto the boat for lunch, the frigatebirds were still cruising close to the boat.

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Several blue grosbeaks were flying around inside the fort but they were very skittish.

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My 5th new bird of the day was the brown noddies. There were a lot of these flying in between the closed off end of the island and old pilings next to the fort. They are part of the tern family.

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More noddies flying in.

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A male frigatebird flies close by as the boat was leaving the island.

I’m going to bore you with my tons of vacation pictures. Brett and I recently spent a week in Key West. It was our first time on the island. We had a great time and I lugged my camera stuff everywhere. We took the all day boat trip out to the Dry Tortugas on the first day of our trip. It was a 2 and a half hour boat ride each way. The boat felt a little crowded with close to 200 people on it. Once we got to the island and everyone was spread out on that big island, it felt like we almost had the place to ourselves. Lots more pictures to come.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

Which blue bird is it?

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Indigo bunting in the flowers.

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A female something. I was told this is a female blue grosbeak. It looks like it but it also looks a little like a female indigo bunting.

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People were saying this was a blue grosbeak.  It looks just like an indigo bunting to me. In my Stokes Birding Guide, the blue grosbeak has brown in his feathers.

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Another blue bird. Grosbeak or bunting?

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Female blue grosbeak?

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This one is easy. A male painted bunting on a rusted fence.

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I’m going with indigo bunting on both above and below.

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More pictures from spring migration at Fort Desoto. These little blue birds are throwing me off. There was flashes of blue everywhere. Both indigo buntings and blue grosbeak with a few painted buntings thrown in. People were saying this and that was a blue “something”. They all look like indigo buntings now that I have gone back and looked them up.  The female indigo doesn’t have the darker brown feathers that the female blue grosbeak has so I’m pretty sure the females are grosbeaks.  Way too much work for a hobby. Anyway, most of the migrating birds are gone. Now all we are left with are the usual summer birds.

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