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Friends of St. Marks
Wildlife Refuge
PO Box 368
St. Marks, FL 32355

Phone: (850) 925-6121

Email for more information

Photo Credits

Don Morrow's Bird Survey

Survey taken on Saturday, January 6

In a long, cold 10.5-hour day of birding that began at 6:00 am, I logged 104 species. I birded with Alachua Audubon from 8:00 am onward; a dedicated corps of passionate and knowledgeable birders led (sort of) by John Hintermister. I had 17 waterfowl species not including Black Duck and Mallard, which were reported by others from Stony Bayou II.

My night birding produced Wood Duck, 3 owl species (GH, Barred & Screech) and 3 rail species (Sora, King & Virginia). I had 8 eagles in the air at first light, around 7:00 am. They scared up Ring-billed Gulls off of Stony Bayou I. I estimated between one and two thousand gulls. Over 500 Tree Swallows moved through low over the water heading West.

Some highlights of my day were:

Double Bridges

  • Woodpeckers (Pileated, Red-bellied, Downy & Sapsucker)
  • Warblers (Orange-crowned, B&W and Yellow-rumped)
  • Vireos (White-eyed and Blue-headed)
  • Chickadee & Titmouse
  • Hermit Thrush & Robin
  • Rusty Blackbird (flock of around 15 birds)

Tower Pond

  • American Avocet (single bird)
  • SB Dowitcher
  • BB Plover

Picnic Pond

  • Eared Grebe
  • Northern Pintail
  • Gadwall
  • American Wigeon
  • Redhead
  • Scaup
  • Bufflehead

Lighthouse Pool

  • Blue-winged Teal
  • Northern Shoveler
  • American Wigeon
  • Canvasback
  • Redhead
  • Scaup (mostly Lesser)
  • Bufflehead
  • Hooded Merganser
  • Red-breasted Merganser (single bird)
  • Ruddy Duck


  • Common Loon
  • Horned Grebe
  • Redhead
  • Scaup
  • Common Goldeneye
  • Bufflehead
  • Common Goldeneye
  • Red-breasted Merganser
  • American Oystercatcher
  • Ruddy Turnstone

Ducks & shorebirds seem to have abandoned the South end of Mounds Pool III. We had a female Wilson’s Warbler along Lighthouse Road, South of the Double Dikes. There are still Ring-necked Ducks and a Purple Gallinule on Headquarters Pond. We had Nelson’s Sparrow in the shoreline vegetation along the Lighthouse Levee Trail and RC Woodpecker in the woods along the Plum Orchard Pond Trail.

The rails were all in the Northwest corner of Stony Bayou II, where I also heard the GH and Barred Owls. The Screech Owls were calling in the woods across from the Tower Pond Trailhead. It was a great day of winter birding at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. More of them are available. Get up early and go birding.






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Copyright: St. Marks Refuge Association, 2013