We had a sweep of the four regularly occurring North American "small belted plovers". Here are photos of three of them (quiz: what's the fourth?)
Willets were plentiful along the coastline and posed nicely for the camera.
We took a tourist boat to Anclote Key Preserve State Park; an offshore gulf coast barrier island only accessible by water. These barrier islands are important habitations for wintering shorebirds. While there, Hannah discovered a previously unreported Long-billed Curlew; North America's largest sandpiper which regularly but sparsely occurs in winter on the Florida Gulf Coast. We received some "eyebrows raised" emails from the local eBird police for submitting this one ("what you saw was almost certainly a Whimbrel"). Luckily I had the photo evidence.
While roaming the beach at Howard Park in northern Pinellas County, we startled a pair of American Oystercatchers that were sleeping in the tidal wrack line.
Notice the peculiar shape of the pupil in the bird above. The dark "fleck" which occurs in both American and Black Oystercatchers (and less prominently in other taxa) is thought by some researchers to be a sex-linked trait indicative of a female bird.*
* Reference: Guzzetti, B.M., Talbot, S.L., Tessler, D.F., Gill, V.A., and Murphy, E.C. 2008. Secrets in the eyes of Black Oystercatchers: a new sexing technique. Journal Of Field Ornithology 79 (2): 215-223.