Seafood for breakfast.

The above sandwich tern flew right in front of me and landed with a fish. Adult sandwich terns have that yellow tip on their beak.

He then proceeded to fly around the flock of different birds on the beach looking for his mate or baby. Not sure which. He seemed to be lost and none of the other birds tried to take the fish.

Some of the other babies tried to steal it after a few seconds. Eventually the bird flew off down the beach. He must have come back to the wrong flock on the beach.

This royal tern baby was driving his parents crazy, begging for food. Royal terns have orange beaks and always look like they have a bad hairpiece sticking up.

This lonely willet had a sand flea.

Growing up a skimmer

In mid-July the baby black skimmers were growing up quickly and heading out on their own. Many were already down at the water line and practicing their wing flaps.

There were still a few younger ones including the one on the left with a young royal tern and much older juvenile skimmer on the right.

Soon the babies will start flying and leave along with the parents and then all that’s left on the beaches are those annoying laughing gulls, looking to steal some kid’s sandwich or chips.

A small part of the skimmer army, lined up along the water.

Photographing New Zealand

Baby chicks on the street

More on my morning walk at the farmer’s market in Ybor City in Tampa.  There were baby chicks running around everywhere at the small park near downtown Tampa. I guess the chickens in the streets brings charm to the old part of town kind of like it does in Key West.

Some of the statues and charm in the Ybor neighborhood.

image-in-ing: weekly photo linkupOur World Tuesday Graphic

Critters in my neighbor’s yard.

Pulling into my driveway one Saturday afternoon I saw an osprey on my neighbor’s dead palm tree. I ran out the side door with my camera and the osprey was was looking at me like “Don’t steal my fish.”  I stood in the door frame to take these. I was afraid he would fly off but he didn’t. Just kept eating his fish.

Later in the afternoon I saw some juvenile starlings hanging around the same palm tree. I’m assuming these were the ones that were born in the nest in the same tree. They were there for a few hours that afternoon and then gone.  Since then, the dead palm tree was removed. Luckily the neighbor’s waited until the babies were gone. I miss looking out of the kitchen window to see what was on the tree but the tree could have been a hazard if a storm or hurricane came through.

Looking out the side bedroom window, a squirrel was taking a nap on my neighbor’s screened porch. Not a smart move for a squirrel. Too many hawks in the area that could fly by and grab him.

Always looking up in the yard.

A few of the 4th of July fireworks from my driveway. Many of my neighbors were setting them off.

Lots of rainbows during the summer rains.

I was standing under the bismark palm tree trying to get some storm shots in the backyard and almost ran into the above. A harmless spiny orb, very common here but I really wouldn’t want to have to pull him out of my hair.

The sun was trying to peek out after a storm.

Dark clouds were swirling in the backyard right before dark.

Lightning shots taken with my phone in the backyard.

Standing on the Safety Harbor fishing pier, I could see a storm over my neighborhood across the bay.

I’m always looking up in the yard during the rainy season.If I hear thunder on one side of the house and the sun is out on the other, I always run outside with my phone hoping to see a rainbow.

SkyWatch Friday

Seeing the big boys

I stopped by Chesnut Park on the way home from work in late July just after it had stopped raining. I was hoping to see baby deer. It’s rare to see them on a Saturday morning when the park is busy but they usually come out from hiding and play in the rain during the week. I didn’t see any babies on this trip.

A very young buck with some pine straw hanging out of his mouth.

I did get to see 2 bucks with  bigger antlers which is a rare thing to see at the park. A park ranger once told me the park is mostly full of does and the bucks come down from Brooker Creek Preserve in the spring and summer to mate but don’t hang around Chesnut Park long. These 2 were hanging out on the baseball field by themselves. When I walked up to the edge of the field they stopped and glanced at me for a few seconds then ignored me. This guy was trying to be cool but little did he know that he had some grass stuck between his ear and antler.

I saw this red shoulder hawk on the ground with a lizard. He was still soaked from the rain. He took off after he saw me.

Photographing New Zealand