I ran into Blondie on my walk around the neighborhood pond.
Later I came back with my camera (really to shoot the hoodies below and she just happen to be there).
It’s not often I see hooded mergansers in my own duck pond. Usually we just have mallards and muscovy ducks. I was heading home one Saturday afternoon and saw the big white circle on his head out of the corner of my eye and turned around. Luckily I had my camera in the car and was able to hide behind a tree for a few minutes when they swam by. They are very skittish.
The tricolored heron standing near the old fountain (that’s never turned on anymore) was looking at me like I was crazy.
It’s funny that we took 3 ferry rides while we were in Boston but have never taken the ferry across Tampa bay. It’s hard to do fun tourist things when you are working and on a schedule. When my sisters came to visit we booked the ferry from St. Pete to Tampa. It’s a little less than an hour each way. It was fun hanging out and being a tourist. As we headed to Tampa we got close to the TECO electric plant. It was so nice out that there were a lot of boats on the water.
In the middle of the bay you could see Tampa.
Passing by the ports and Davis Islands yacht basin.
We were close to the big boats at the port.
Heading into the channel. I took a ton of pictures on the trip so more to come.
This ring billed gull spent the morning eating tiny horseshoe crabs.
Lots of ducks but nothing new. Ring billed and lesser scaup way out in the bay.
Teeny tiny on the ground.
I saw an eagle high up in a utility tower near my house on the way home.
I stopped by Veterans Park in Oldsmar looking for a long tailed duck. I heard he was there earlier in the week but I couldn’t find him by Saturday. That’s a rare duck here. I briefly saw one years ago near the same area but haven’t heard of one being around until early December. I’ll keep checking back this winter. It was a beautiful day to be out walking even without the duck.
It’s that time of the year when the purple gallinules at Circle B Bar Reserve hang around the alligator flag plants close to trail. They feed with their young that were born earlier that spring. As I walked out on the trail in late October, there were several feeding right in front. The pale purple one is the juvenile that hasn’t gotten his full adult feathers in yet. It’s funny to watch them balance on the branches as they try to hold on.
Things along the trail including a snack left behind by some bird.
A great blue heron strutting along.
Alligator Alley trail was finally opened after being closed for 2 years. When Hurricane Irma came through in 2017, part of the trail was washed out. The county finally rebuilt the trail and it was great to walk down it after all that time.
The view along the lake.
The marigold were still out in late November, washing the trail in yellow.
The best was the octopus. It was awake and moving around. I’ve only ever seen them balled up in a corner. This one was right on the glass, looking at us.
The seals were our favorite though. I think that one seal was making faces at us, telling us what he thinks about us. The seal exhibit is outside with a view of the harbor. They were probably saying “Break that glass lady and let us out.”
Since we were a 10 minute walk to the aquarium in Boston, we spent a few hours visiting before dinner.