The last stop on this weekend birding trip was Magnolia Beach. It served as my dinner break on the way home. Although, there were picnic tables available, it was very windy, so I simply parked on the beach and ate in my car while watching the sea birds.
After eating my sandwich, I got out and explored the grassy area where I found the Royal Tern and Brown Pelicans.
I returned to my car and drove along the hard-packed, gravelly beach where I found gulls, turnstones, and sanderlings. The beach is very drivable in any car. I found no soft sand anywhere.
On the narrow strip of land between the beach on one side of the road and the rice fields on the other, I found grackles and shrikes. The rounder head and darker eye of the Boat-tailed Grackle is an easier distinguishing field mark from the Great-tailed than the longer tail feathers. Unless they are standing side by side, it's not that obvious a difference to me.
The Loggerhead Shrike sometimes tricks me in flight. He's got white on his wings very similar to a mockingbird. I'm wondering how many I misidentified in the beginning of my birding days.
Just as I was starting to find some interesting birds in the rice fields, my camera battery died. It was almost time to go anyway, so I watched the sun set and then headed home.
I have since obtained two extra batteries to bring along.
Linking with Wild Bird Wednesday
Date of visit: 10/19/2014
80's, partly cloudy, windy
Species identified (11): Royal Tern, Brown Pelican, Laughing Gull, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Boat-tailed Grackle, Great Egret, Loggerhead Shrike, Mourning Dove, Black-crowned Night Heron, Franklin's Gull