On the road to spring migration – Skywatch Friday

I heard the birds were here. After work I headed for Fort Desoto to get in an hour or two of looking for spring migration birds. Of course, I get stopped on the bridge waiting for a sailboat to pass. While waiting, I pulled out my camera and shot the above from my car window. Sunshine Skyway bridge is pretty far away.

I first stopped at the East Beach turnaround. I had heard the mangroves there had some migrating birds. I only saw a few shorebirds including the one above. I think this is a least sandpiper.

This female red breasted merganser was strutting the beach. She should be heading north by now.

My first tree barn swallow picture. There were tons of these flying high around the turnaround. For the first time I actually saw one land in the bushes. Thanks, Michael and Steve for the correct id.

Big barge heading under the Sunshine Skyway bridge. I didn’t stay long at the turnaround. I quickly headed to the mulberry bush woods to see if there was anything there I hadn’t seen before. Boy, was I in for a treat. More to come…

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My friend Michael mentioned that it was 32 years ago yesterday when an outbound freighter hit the original Sunshine Skyway bridge causing it to collapse and close for good. Thirty five people lost their lives.  The new bridge was opened in 1987 and part of the old bridge was taken down in 1990. Part of the old bridge is used today as a fishing pier. The above picture was taken sometime in the late 80’s by my dad with both bridges still up. I found his old picture this past weekend when I was looking through his  slides that I had scanned to digital.

8 thoughts on “On the road to spring migration – Skywatch Friday

  1. Great post, Dina! I especially like the bridge shot from your car. That’s a great perspective. Did you know that yesterday was the 32nd anniversary of the bridge disaster? It’s hard to believe it has been that long. Great shot of the merganser and swallow, but he’s a Barn Swallow, not a Tree Swallow.

  2. It’s great when swallows are accommodating. BTW that’s a Barn, Trees are all white and blue-green.

  3. I really like your pictures!
    Interesting information that you shared about the old and new bridge. And I must add that the new one is pretty impressive.

    I really like too the shoot of the birds.

    I’m visiting from SkyWatch Friday. Here’s My Sky.
Regards from Barcelona.

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