Date: 3/3/17 5:23 am
From: robert lane <ohiomagpie...>
Subject: [BRDBRAIN] Thursday Gulf Of Mexico Birding / Pinellas County
Yesterday I had the opportunity to go with friends on an all day eight hour fishing trip out into The Gulf of Mexico. I thought what a great way to socialize and see what birds are out there this time of year. We departed Clearwater Harbor on The Gulf Queen at 9AM. The weather was perfect. About an hour later at about eight miles out, we encountered the only birding highlight of the entire day, a continuous raft of about 85 Common Loons on the water and 6 scattered adult Northern Gannets floating off the north side of the boat. At about 11AM we arrived at about twenty-two miles out. The water depth was up to sixty feet. On the way to this location we saw 5 Herring Gulls, 2 Laughing Gulls, and 1 Ring-billed Gull. That's it!!! For the next four hours, unbelievably, I did not see one bird. On the two hour return to port, our only offshore birds were seeing the 6 Northern Gannets and the 5 Herring Gulls again. Where were all the birds? At least the fishing was good! I am surprised that there were no gulls following the boat, plus we saw no dolphins, and no turtles.

Bob Lane / Clearwater, Florida

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