Birder's Eye View

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Life bird and other animals

Today I went to see the manatees that come every year to the warm water discharge canals at a nearby power plant.

I haven't seen a manatee in a long time, so it was a lot of fun. There were at least a hundred of them (probably more, even) swimming around in the canal.

I also saw a life bird! It was really far away and I didn't have my binoculars with me, so I took a bunch of pictures and IDed it when I got back. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks like we have a Spotted Sandpiper!

The shorebird isn't in breeding plumage, but it does have a couple spots on the under belly. It also seemed to bob its tail a lot when it walked.
If it's possible to have a "life fish" (as opposed to a "life bird," of course) this sting ray would be one of them! I have never seen such a sea creature before -- the Spotted Eagle Ray's fins spanned at least 4 feet across and its tail was over 5 feet long. It was just swimming in circles in front of the nature boardwalk.

I also saw a couple of bonnet head sharks chasing fish around near the manatees. These, too, were nearly 4 feet long.
Today was a lot of fun. I didn't see many birds besides the lifer, but it's always great to see new animals in general.

Happy birding!

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