Monday, April 30, 2012

Dry Tortugas - Day 2

Day two of the trip started out a little iffy. The winds were very strong, so we were not able to visit the smaller islands. Instead, we spent the day back at Fort Jefferson. The weather went between rainy and sunny, but it was all good birding. I forgot to charge my camera and was waiting for it to charge, so David went on the first boat to the island, and I stayed back for a bit to wait for my camera. It was worth it though cause I got a really cool shot of David on shore from the boat. If you didn't GOYB, here's what you missed on the second day of the trip:

There is a little speck on the end of the island near the rainbow. That is HFC David, looking at a sandwich tern, which I did not get a picture of.
There were a ton of redstarts all over the island. This is a male.
This is a female redstart. They both do this little fan dance with their tail feathers to stir up bugs to eat.
Me and David, during one of the rain delays, inside the fort.
Some of the arches in the fort.
David, taking a break.
David, Larry, and some other birders we ran into on the island.
We spent some time going through the museum in the fort. This was their coral display.
Male black-throated blue warbler. This was a lifer.
I don't remember who this was.
Ovenbird, another lifer for me.
A grasshopper sparrow being eaten by a cattle egret. Ironically, the dead grasshopper sparrow was a life bird for me.
Outside the fort.
Me and David outside the fort. We took this same picture on our honeymoon, 7 years ago.
Another antilean night hawk, also napping.
Yellow-billed cuckoo.
A conch shell on the beach.
A merlin.
A cattle egret, getting a drink. We saw a cattle egret drop dead right in front of us, from exhaustion. It was pretty sad, but a fact of life on the island.
Can't remember who this is.
Worm-eating warbler. Another lifer for me.
Can't remember who this is.
This was weird - a leukistic hooded warbler. Hooded warbler is a lifer for me. I doubt I'll ever see a partly albino one ever again.
Male cape may warbler, another one of my favorites of the weekend, and also a lifer.
Merlin. Not a lifer, but the first decent shot I've taken of one.
Back on the boat. Our cabin.
David, looking out at the island.
Of course the skies cleared as we neared home. But actually, the weather is one of the reasons we had so many birds, so it was a trade off.

All in all it was a great trip, and one that I was very glad I GOMB for! Hope you join us on a future (more local) walk soon. Remember you can see stuff like this on the internet, but you can only experience it if you GOYB!


  1. I had to read that 3 times. "A grasshopper sparrow being eaten by a cattle egret." Wow. Who knew?

    Looks like a great time. I need to get out there some day.

    BTW, in order from top questions, Grey Kingbird, Black-throated Green, and looks like a Palm Warbler.

  2. OMG!!! That was an amazing trip. So jealous!!!