Jan 06 2013
As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been to Wakodahatchee Wetlands so often in late December that it’s pretty hard for me to see a Life Bird(*) there, but bad weather did me a favor.
Our Florida vacation was supposed to end on the day after Christmas but if you remember the weather on December 26 a winter storm was wreaking havoc on everyone’s travel plans in Pittsburgh. Our flight was canceled. We were forced to stay in Florida one more day.
Of course I went birding. I tried to find razorbills at Boynton Beach Inlet but the big flocks had already left for the Gulf Coast. (Read here about the razorbills’ amazing invasion in Florida.)
On the 27th I had just a few hours to absorb birds so I went to Wakodahatchee.
Among the flocks of adult and juvenile black-bellied whistling ducks there was a bird that didn’t match. I checked my field guide and behold! A Life Bird! A fulvous whistling-duck.
If I hadn’t been there that morning I wouldn’t have seen him. Too bad I had to spend an extra day in sunny Florida.
(photo from Wikimedia Commons. Click on the image to see the original)
p.s. Some definitions:
A “Life Bird” is a species I’ve never seen before in my whole life.
Fulvous is a color — the color of this duck.