Last week I walked out to the St. Johns River at Puzzle Lake from Brumley Rd with a friend of mine. It was his first time out with me to this location.
We were both hoping for some new Seminole County birds – he wanted Pectoral Sandpiper and Cliff Swallow and I wanted Black Tern and, much less likely, Willet.
We walked about 8 miles and ventured a bit farther north than I’ve gone in the past. It seems the farther north I go the better the birding is.
I suspect that’s because the Econ River and St. Johns River are closer together and there’s more sand flats and mud flats for shorebirds.
We missed out on a Willet or any other more rare shorebirds, but we did see several Pectoral Sandpipers. They were easily the highlight of the morning. One in particular flew right by me and even landed close enough for me to get my best photos of the species.
Aside from this, good photos were few and far between. We did however, raise the eBird total for this hot spot up to 129, and I raised my personal total up to 123. New birds for the hostpot were Yellow Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler and, oddly, Green Heron. There’s so much potential for this place. If it wasn’t so grueling a walk, I suspect more people would bird this area and it would become the premiere birding location in Seminole County. Anyway, here’s my eBird checklist for the morning.