Over Thanksgiving weekend I was being a tourist in my own town. It was easy to do since I actually had tourists with me. When my sisters were visiting we decided to take a dolphin tour out of Clearwater marina. Brett and I don’t get over to this beach area often since it’s usually busy and things like work get in the way so it was fun to walk around the marina on a cool sunny morning.
There’s a no wake zone coming out of the marina area so we went really slow until we got out into the open intercoastal water. I was snapping pictures along the way. We did finally see dolphins. More on that later.
On the way home we stopped by the Safety Harbor fishing pier and a manatee was cruising under the pier. I was able to snap the above with my phone as he went by.
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.