Thursday, January 24, 2013

Florida Rarities

 Some things you expect to see in Florida: sand, sunshine, surf.

Other things you hope to see in Florida: Wood Storks. These strange looking birds are somewhat rare and always a thrill to see.

 Bridges, like the one that spans the Sebastian Inlet, are a regular part of our travels, too.  This particular inlet holds great interest for vacationers as it is known for marine life, fishing and very strong currents flowing out to the sea.

We sought out the inlet's calm and deep water, where the most unusual of Florida's visitors has been seen.  

No, I don't mean Canadians.  They seem gather here in good numbers; we met 2 couples on the beach taking in the sights. So, we showed them the sight that brought our group to Sebastian Inlet.

Razorbill at Sebastian Inlet, Florida - photo Cheryl Harner
This is the strangest sight one might hope to see in Florida this year, a Razorbill.   These members of the Alcid family of ocean birds are usually found in the northeastern waters like  Maine or New Brunswick.  Winter of 2012 has dumped flocks of them in Florida waters.  Unfortunately, they are dying off big numbers and generally giving the wildlife rehabbers fits. (Follow that link to a news article.)

The locals can't figure out why they are seeing these "penguin" like birds!  That is a great question.  Some suspect it has to do with Hurricane Sandy.  (We blame that "witch" for everything, don't we?)

Behold, the paparazzi watching the Razorbill swim past the boat docks.  Greg Cornet (in the photo above) graciously loaned his photo of the bird for your enjoyment, and was our tour guide for the day.  Hats off to Greg.

Jan Auburn, Cheryl Harner and Leslie Cornett at Sebastian Inlet.
What could be better than a little sand and sun among friends? A Razorbill- seen in shirt-sleeve weather!

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