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Snow Bunting! at Palm Coast Waterfront Park

Dyeyo and I planned a bird-watching “safari” trip for today.  Our first stop was the Palm Coast Waterfront Park where a tiny Snow Bunting has been hanging out for the last couple of weeks.  This bird nests in the Arctic and migrates to the New England latitudes.  Only about twenty have been documented as far south as Florida.   This little guy has an injured tail and cannot fly long distances.  Over the past few weeks, he has been on the ground just off the sidewalk.  He eats grass.  When he gets scared (like when large boats pass by on the nearby Intercoastal waterway), he hunkers down, practically flattening himself.  He blends in so well with the grass that it’s easy to walk right by him.  As we stood there photographing him, several couples walked by us, wondering why in the world we were photographing grass!

Snow Bunting

Snow Bunting

Snow Bunting

Snow Bunting

We stood there for about an hour photographing the bunting.  It was in the shadow of a tree for most of the time.  He finally came into the edge of the shadow, and the sun lit his face.

Snow Bunting

Snow Bunting

While we waited for the bunting to move into the light, we got to watch the other birds flying by.  We saw a juvenile Bald Eagle circling overhead:

Juvenile Bald Eagle

Juvenile Bald Eagle

Ring-billed Gulls flew up and down, grabbing fish out of the water and flying away with them.  A lone Bonaparte’s Gull was swimming in the Intercoastal when we arrived.  I’ve never seen a Bonaparte’s Gull before, either. :)

Bonaparte's Gull

Bonaparte's Gull

Update: for people who want the address of the Waterfront Park in order to enter it into a GPS unit, here it is:

150 N Park Ln

Palm Coast, FL 32137

Note that my GPS unit did not recognize number 150, so I entered 50 instead and the GPS navigated me to the correct general location.