Duck on a golf course.
Goose on a golf course.
Egyptian Goose to be precise.
They are native to Africa but have busted free of zoos and backyard breeders and established wild populations in Florida and elsewhere.
A Mottled Duck, a common Florida duck.
This is a male, with the yellowy-green bill. Females have an orange bill. Very tame little guy. Looking adorable – hoping for a bread crust, I suppose.
My birdwatching wanders yesterday morning, at the Hutchinson Marriott Resort. I was trying to get close to a few ponds and look for winter ducks.
Also yesterday I used eBird mobile for the first time. The night before I (finally) completed the free course eBird Essentials in the Cornell Lab or Ornithology Bird Academy.
Here’s me trying to zoom in on some distant gulls to figure out what species were loafing around on the golf course. (Laughing gulls and Ring-billed Gulls, it turns out.)
Over the course of the hour I watched birds, I saw three different groups of Double-crested Cormorants. There were five individuals in each group. Cormorants come in fives?
My old eyes tuned in to the fact there were a bunch of little sandpiper birds out there too. I should have brought my binoculars but I felt like carrying my camera was enough.
They flew over to a different patch of grass. I hope nobody thought I was telephoto-stalking the golf players!
A lady walking her dog advised me to keep an eye out for flying golf balls.
Ruddy Turnstones, a couple of Sanderlings, some Killdeer.
And one lone Dunlin! It’s the bird with the longest bill in the photo above. A new bird to my blog, number 218.
Five Killdeer and one Ruddy Turnstone.
A small duck caught my eye. Wished I could get closer. Like, hitch a ride on a golf cart to go private-golf-course birding! There should be such a thing.
It was a Hooded Merganser, by itself.
In another pond was a group of three Hooded Mergansers.
I’ve seen this species of duck one other time, on a pond in NH in January 2016.
Anhinga and gulls out on the golf course, with the other winter visitors. Walking around the condos I noticed license plated from Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Maryland and West Virginia.
Fuzzy, cropped in pic of a Pie-billed Grebe, also down from the frozen north.
Ahoy, six mystery ducks!
My first Lesser Scaup, bird number 219!
In another pond I saw a bunch of floating golf balls.
Wait, do they hit golf balls into the pond on purpose? That’s weird.
Here’s my complete eBird checklist from my two-mile walk: January 29 Hutchinson Island Marriott.