Friday, July 07, 2006

Beach grackles

After minor hotel wrangling - and learning that free wireless internet sometimes means $6 an hour if you actually use it wireless internet - we spent the night in Savannah.

The next day we drove to Melbourne. (The one on the Atlantic side of Florida, obviously, not the other one.)

Seaweed littered the beach. I'm not sure if that was due to a storm at sea, or if it's always like that.

Rather than the shorebirds I'm used to seeing on the Gulf Coast (sanderlings, willets, turnstones, etc), there were a great number of... grackles!

They hunted in the surf just like sanderlings.

They also dug around in the seaweed a lot. To great comic effect!


Other critters can be seen at the Friday Ark.


pablo said...

When I visited the island of St. Croix, there was a man who visited our beach each morning and racked away all of the seaweed that had washed up onto the shore the night before. I wonder if the stuff was too salty to make good compost. Didn't see any grackles there, but I do see them in my Kansas City back yard.

Rainypete said...

That's one tough looking bird in the last pic!! "Don't mess with my seaweed!"

sugarcreekfarm said...

Just wanted to say, glad you're back on the blog circuit. Missed your posts! Sounds like you've had a delightful time away, though.

Floridacracker said...

Sargassum weed. There must have been some good onshore winds before you arrived. It's not always there.
Wow, grackles outside of a Target parking lot...who knew?

robin andrea said...

Definitely a surprise to see grackles on the beach.

So how does free wireless internet wind up costing $6 an hour? That's a very strange definition of free.

happy and blue 2 said...

The bird looks so angry. He,or she, probably thinks you were the one who messed up the beach..

LauraHinNJ said...

Could they be Boat-tailed grackles?

Ron Sullivan said...

Laura, judging by range those would most likely be boat-tailed grackles. I can't see the eye color in any of the shots; that would be another distinction from great-tailed, but great-tailed's range starts around Texas, IIRC.

Or, as we've come to call them, the Dread Texas Steam Grackle.

They're showing up out here in northern California in ones and twos, and we saw a trio of them last summer at the Hayward shoreline park -- being hazed by barnswallows and, hey, digging around in the tidal wrack, kinda like Ru's birds here.

Hurricane Teen said...

Yeah, we've been seeing that Sargassum Weed the past week or so due to the tropical disturbance that was in the Bahamas. It should be gone in another couple of weeks. I hope you enjoy your stay in Florida!

Rurality said...

Pablo, yeah probably pretty salty I would imagine.

Rainypete - it's the birditude!

Thanks Kelli!

FC thanks for the ID. I knew you'd know!

Robin I thought it was very odd too. Such are the ways of shifty hotels.

H&B, no he thought I was going to steal his meal I believe. :)

Laura, Ron is right, I think that they are boat-tailed grackles. We saw both in Texas, if I remember correctly.

Thanks HT it was all too brief unfortunately!