Florida Sea Grant Extension in Collier County

Welcome to the Collier County Sea Grant Extension Blog

This blog is an opportunity for me to share with you my extension outreach efforts and useful information to make you a more informed coastal citizen. If you have any questions about what you see, feel free to contact me at fluech@ufl.edu.

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

FMNP Field Trip with Fish-Tale Marina

On Friday we took the 2nd field trip of our Florida Master Naturalist-Coastal Module. Thanks to the generous support of FishTale Marina we went out on one of their boats to do a little bird watching in the Estero Bay area. It was a great opportunity  to see several wading and waterbirds as well as learn about a variety of human-use issues in the area (e.g. poll & troll zones, shorebird nesting areas,  renourishment projects etc.). Of course, I can't leave out that we also saw manatees and dolphins! We couldn't have asked for better weather! After exploring the bay Captain Jay took our group to the southern end of Ft. Myers Beach where we did a little beach and lagoon exploration. We found crown conchs, blue crabs, fiddler crabs, lightning whelks, and worm egg sacks to name a few. Below is a list of birds we saw and several pictures from our trip. Enjoy!

(March 9th, 2012 Bird List)
Osprey, bald eagle, brown pelican, kingfisher, grackle spp., wood stork, great egret, reddish egret, snowy egret, great blue heron, little blue heron, tri-colored heron, white ibis, red breasted merganser, double crested cormorant, anhinga, ring billed gull, laughing gull, royal turn, ruddy turnstone, black vulture,  turkey vulture, palm warbler, and mocking bird.

Studens looking for a manatee spotted by some of the boat slips.
Joy giving the group an overview of what we'll be doing for the day.

Our class checking out some red breasted mergansers in Estero Bay.

Scouting out the mud flat up ahead for shorebirds

Joy explains to the group about proposed "poll and troll" zones to protect the bay's seagrass communities.

Captain Jay talks to our students about the dolphins commonly seen in the Estero Bay area

Just a few of our feathery friends we saw while out on the water
(brown pelicans, cormorants, ruddy turnstones, and laughing gulls)

The group checking out some dolphins in the bay.

Several bald eagles were spotted on Lovers Key. Joy is pointing out their next.

Lagoon and beach habitat on Ft. Myers beach

Exploration time!
I show the group a polychaete (marine worm) egg sack

A patch of shoal grass in the lagoon

A nice sized crown conch

Some young black mangroves that have established themselves along the shoreline

Nice lightning whelk!

Exploring the flats

Pneumatophores associated with black mangroves

Its not a field trip unless you get to hold a blue crab!!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. A great outing, Bryan! Very good learning experience, thanks!