What is this bird flying over the Gulf of Mexico on a windy, chilly day

What is this bird that was flying over the Gulf of Mexico?

What is this bird that was flying over the Gulf of Mexico?

I went to Indians Rocks, Gulf of Mexico, central Florida Feb. 15 on a very windy day when it was a bit chilly.  I was hoping to see a couple of pelagic birds.  Is this one?  

I also saw this bird on the beach today, and I think I know what it is, but am not positive.  It was running back and forth in a zig zag motion in the low surf.  Shorebirds in their non-breeding plumage can be flummoxing for me. -SLB

What is this shorebird that is smaller than the Short-billed Dowitcher it ran past.

What is this shorebird that is smaller than the Short-billed Dowitcher it ran past?

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2 responses to “What is this bird flying over the Gulf of Mexico on a windy, chilly day

  1. Is your first bird perhaps a Northern Gannet? Dimensions and head coloration look good to me; not sure if the bird’s too grayish, though, or if that’s just the lighting.

    Your second bird’s a Sanderling. :)

  2. I was hoping it was a Northern Gannet, but I guess the bird would show a white back in flight. I think I saw a Brown Pelican. Thanks for the Sanderling ID.