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

Flying things at the Florida Aquarium

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This is the closest I’ll get to a hooded merganser. They are so skittish. The ones that float around in the channel behind my house take off if I open the back door. It’s interesting that his beak looks like it has mini teeth on the edge, almost like a crocodile snout.

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Ruddy duck floating around on top of the fish exhibit.

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I think this is a fulvous whistling duck. He was quacking at an ibis to get out of his spot.

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Spoony with an itch.

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Close up of a spoonbill living at the aquarium.

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They are very used to people so they came close to the edge of the exhibit.

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This little kildeer had his own private beach next to the stingrays.

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This must have been a lost sooty tern that was sick or injured and found a home here.

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Oh yeah, there is fish at the aquarium. Lots of fish.

More pictures from my fun pre-Christmas trip to the Florida Aquarium. I think I like the wetlands exhibit the best since they have birds there and you can see them really close. All of the birds were injured and unable to release back in the wild so now they live here.

Camera Critters