Sunday, April 29, 2012

Dry Tortugas - Day 1

Took an awesome trip to the Dry Tortugas with HFC David. Technically this wasn't really a DeeMotivation trip, but we sure GOOBs! If you didn't come with us, here's what you missed on day 1 of the trip (click photos to enlarge):

We started out the trip with the traditional stop at Starbucks for fuel.
After much driving around in circles, we finally found the boat. Here is David in front of it.
Before the boat left the doc, we went out to dinner with Larry and a few other folks from the boat. This is us at the Hogfish restaurant. Really yummy seared tuna.
This was the first critter I saw, a big dolphin playing in front of the boat. There were some pretty big waves, and I really didn't want to barf my first day on the boat, so I took a nap for a while after I took this picture.
 We made it to the Dry Tortugas National park, shown here behind a bunch of brown boobies.
There were lots of warblers on the island. Shown here is a female cape may warbler. This was a lifer for me.
 Tennessee warbler, also a lifer for me.
Palm warbler, looking all fluffy.
Female black-throated blue warbler. Another lifer for me.
Male redstart.
One of my favorite warblers, the common yellowthroat.
I thought I had gotten a picture of two frigate birds mating. David pointed out to me that it is in fact one frigate bird, apparently mating with his own wing.
The water is just an unbelievable color there.
 Grey king bird.
Rock pigeons. Notice that one of them is chewing with his mouth open. Ew.
Lesser yellow legs.
Another one of my favorite warblers, the northern parula.
Prairie warbler.
Blackpoll warbler.
Some lacy coral that was on the beach.
Eurasian collared dove.
Ruddy turnstone, mooning.
My favorite critter of the weekend, a hermit crab. He just has such a happy little face.
An antilean nighthawk, taking a nap. This was a lifer for me.
Palm warbler.
 Magnolia warbler, another lifer for me.
Rose-breasted grossbeak, another lifer for me.
The boat, from shore.
The Dry Tortugas are really the main resting stop between here and Cuba. Many birds don't make it and many who do are weak and easy prey. This was a shore bird of some kind who was predated by something.
There was a blue grossbeak (forefront) hanging out with an indigo bunting. I like this picture cause it shows how despite both being blue, they aren't even close to being in the same color palette.
A close up of the blue grossbeak.
This was kind of a weird looking white winged dove, with a blue face.

That was the last bird we saw on day 1 on the island. After birding we returned to the boat for noms and much needed sleep.

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