Saturday, May 1, 2010
More Dry Tortugas
Awaking to the sound of over 100,000 Sooty Terns (web photo) is better than any alarm clock. After a pancake breakfast with good coffee, we moved the boat (The Tiburon) around to the other side of Loggerhead Key where there is an operating lighthouse. Using the inflatable Dutch put us on the beach from where we walked the whole island looking for migrants. Finding only a few birds, we had lunch and moved over to Fort Jefferson where I took up a position at the water fountain to see what would come in to drink or bathe. The mix of birds was about the same as yesterday which is reasonable since no weather systems had come though. However, we did get a Warbling Vireo which is apparently a very good bird for Florida. Adrian and I made a strong effort to find a Black Noddy among all those dark terns but with no success. Before returning to the Tiburon , we motored in the inflatable past the tern colonies. It was news to me that both Sooty Terns and Brown Noddies drink the salt water. But then if you’re at sea as much as those birds are, what else should I have expected. We also saw several Nurse Sharks swimming along just below the water’s surface. We also visited a Magnificent Frigatebird colony where a couple of males had their red pouches inflated. Tomorrow we will return to Key West. We hope the route will be out into the Gulf weather permitting. The total is now 513.