John Murphy and I headed out of Tallahassee at please pass me the red bull o'clock this morning! Our destination? Pensacola and a 1st winter male King Eider! Yeah no shit, one did show up in Florida. What? 2,000 miles or so away from the species' winter stronghold off the east coast of Canadia!
We arrived at thank god for red bull o'clock and waited impatiently for the sun to wake up too. It was drizzling and overcast so it took a while to lighten the gloom. We scanned the Project Greenshores area for some time finding several Common Loons, Horned Grebes and Red-breasted Mergs. There were lots of gulls mostly Ring-billed and Laughing but a few Herring-ish ones too. We crossed the highway and searched the other side of the bay but saw more of the same. Back across the road again and John spotted a potential candidate swimming towards some rocks. It looked good but disappeared out of view for about 3 minutes. Bingo! It reappeared and we'd both scored a Florida lifer! Chicka chicka yeah!
The bird was very close to the shore so we wandered over and got sublime views for nearly an hour. I took some video.
|1st winter male King Eider - Project Greenshores, Pensacola, FL|