SCBWF 2018: Thursday

January 30, 2018

[Note: With the loss of my PC, I’ll be authoring and uploading photos through my tablet. This means most of my upcoming posts may be brief and with fewer and/or smaller photos]

Another Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival is in the proverbial rear view mirror, as the region turns to Spring.

I scaled back my activities this year, but the two main field trips were new for me. They also had the bonus of being led by Mitchell Harris, one of the most proficient birders in the area.

But first, on Thursday, Camille and I did an “unofficial” field trip to the T.M. Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area. In our quest for ducks and perhaps a Snail Kite, we ran into one of the largest gatherings of shorebirds I’ve seen in recent years. Besides the ones recorded in our lists, there were thousands of shorebirds in flocks too distant to identify. There were also hundreds of Glossy Ibises and many herons and egrets.

Open freshwater marsh with areas of open water and small grassy islets with yellow flowers and taller tussocks. Palmettos in the distance, with a pale blue sky with a translucent altocumulus cloud layer.

The broad expanses of T.M. Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area provide habitat for more than just waterfowl. Many types of animals depend on the marsh for feeding and breeding.

Here are a few photos from that trip.

A Red-shouldered Hawk sitting on a small stump, facing to its right, with a background of twigs and branches from low bushes.

This Red-shouldered Hawk is a northern visitor, as you can tell from its darker, more saturated colors. Compare it with the pale, local form in the photo below.

A pale

Local Red-shouldered Hawks tend be be pale and less saturated, with a much grayer look than their northern counterparts.

A Snow Egret walking away from the camera, in the right half of the photograph. The bottom of one of its bright yellow feet is displayed as it walked through mud and shallow water.

A Snowy Egret, showing one of its “golden slippers”, which it is believed to use to help stir up prey in shallow water.

This adventure set us up for “official” trips over the next two days, with more “unofficial” stops along the way. This Festival was strange for me, not only due to my scaling back – which included not scheduling the pelagic boat trip for the first time in years – but also not seeing many of the friends I know from around the state, as many of them were on day-long trips every day.

Here is the eBird list for T.M. Goodwin plus a couple from a side excursion along Buffer Preserve Road, at the St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park.

T.M. Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area-Original Unit:

T.M. Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area-Broadmoor Unit:

St. Sebastian River Preserve SP-Northwest:

St. Sebastian River Preserve SP-Northeast:

Stay tuned for some photos and words from Shiloh Marsh, Canaveral National Seashore, and MINWR.


  1. Thanks for explaining the northern red shoulder hawk coloration vs our local birds!  

    From: Lonely Birder To: Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2018 7:38 AM Subject: [New post] SCBWF 2018: Thursday #yiv3305479965 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv3305479965 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv3305479965 a.yiv3305479965primaryactionlink:link, #yiv3305479965 a.yiv3305479965primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv3305479965 a.yiv3305479965primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv3305479965 a.yiv3305479965primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv3305479965 | Lonely Birder posted: “January 30, 2018[Note: With the loss of my PC, I’ll be authoring and uploading photos through my tablet. This means most of my upcoming posts may be brief and with fewer and/or smaller photos]Another Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival is in the” | |

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