Pink on a cloudy day

It was a cloudy day in late September and I stopped by the Oldsmar pier to look for the eagles. I didn’t find any eagles but I did see something almost as good. Two spoonbills were feeding along the grass next to the pier. The white ibis are almost always feeding here but this was the first time I had seen spoonies at this pier.

They fed for a while, stopping a few times to keep an eye on me.

Someone walked up behind me and off they went.

A yellow crowned night heron was also walking around. I think he was looking for lost mangrove crabs.

Looking for a breeze

It was a perfect day to head down to St. Pete for a walk and hopefully catch a breeze in mid-August. My first stop was Crescent Lake Park. I was hoping to see hummingbirds at the big firebush but all I got was bees.

I happen to look over near the playground and saw this squirrel trying really hard to get in the unattended bag. A lady saw what was happening and ran over. She had donuts in her bag. I don’t blame the squirrel for trying to get those.

I stumbled on an outdoor dog obedience training class. Since I had my longer lens I was able to watch from pretty far away. All of the dogs seemed pretty chilled.

I left the park and headed over to the yacht basin near downtown for a quick walk before it got crazy hot. 

SkyWatch Friday

Halloweens of past

The above were all taken at Bok Tower Gardens several years ago. I love the pumpkin spiders that they make.

Halloween at Horsepower For Kids.

We were in Boston in October of 2019. It really felt like fall.

We also spent a day in Salem while on our trip to Boston. I don’t think there’s anything more Halloween than Salem in October.

Fun scarecrows at the Botanical Gardens in Largo.

Inspire Me Monday

Seeing a lot of spots

I had started keeping my camera in the car because you never know what you see driving through the neighborhood on the way home. I was coming home from a late appointment in early September and saw the twins with Mom. I pulled over and took the above from the car. I didn’t want to spook them by getting out. They started making their way towards the woods and that’s when I realized there was another set of twins just down the road.

They were on the other side of the road and these twins looked just a little younger than the first set. Now I know that are there are 2 sets in the neighborhood. Plus I’ve seen 2 Moms with one baby each.

One of the babies went to Mom to start nursing right when another doe came walking up. I was silently screaming “Move” but she didn’t so this is what I got. I still stayed in the car so they wouldn’t all scatter. It was such a treat to see all of these babies from the comfort of my car.

The other doe eventually moved but not without scratching herself first.

After a few minutes the babies went behind some hedges and sat down to rest. I could see them as I turned down the street and stopped to snap the above before heading home.

So glad to see the eagles again

I finally caught the bald eagle in the tree at the Oldsmar pier. I had stopped by several times with my camera before finding him sitting high up there. He didn’t stay long, taking off not long after I had arrived.

As he left, he flew by so close that I couldn’t fit his wings in. I still haven’t figured out if this is one of the eagles that has a nest in my neighborhood or somewhere else. There is a another nest nearby but that couple did not use it this past year. He always flies north towards my neighborhood when he leaves which is why I’m thinking it’s him.

Walking on the pier I noticed another eagle sitting in a tree at the far end of the park. He was facing the water and wasn’t very visable from the sidewalk but I caught the above from the pier.

A few of the other birds at the pier. I think that tricolored heron was keeping his eye on the sky in case the eagle was heading towards him.

A cormorant cruises by the pier.

The black terns were still there.

The next day I was heading up to Tarpon Springs for a walk and I saw 2 eagles on a tower. I pulled over into a parking lot and shot the above. It wasn’t until later when I cropped up the picture that I realized the eagle on the right is a dummy. I don’t know if they put the fake up there to attract or repel other birds. The real eagle on the left didn’t seem to mind. Now I laugh when I drive by there and see that fake sitting up there.

SkyWatch Friday

Is it Thanksgiving yet?

I saw a hummingbird buzzing by the window in late August so I put the feeder back out. A few hours later there she was, getting a snack. She came to the feeder several times the next day and that was the last I’ve seen of her so far.

Walking by the window I saw the turkeys roaming around the backyard. A few minutes later they had disappeared. Where did they go that fast? Was that one in the tree? I snuck out the back door with my camera and found them all over the big oak tree. They were settling down for an afternoon nap so I quickly snapped these and went back inside.

About an hour later I peeked out the window and they were back on the ground feeding. I took all of these through the window. Some golfers had come by, causing them all to stand at attention for a few seconds but they went back to feeding as the golfers kept going on the cart.

Getting a drink on a hot afternoon.

That’s not a bird sticking his head out of the bird house. I hope this frog doesn’t plan on living in it. Although the birds aren’t using anyway.

Inspire Me Monday

The butterfly garden

In early September I went for a walk at Wall Springs Park near Tarpon Springs. I found some mallards swimming around the natural springs area but not many other birds.

The small butterfly garden that’s near the playground was in full bloom, almost overgrown from the summer rains. I keep saying there are less and less butterflies around but I did manage to find a few flying around the bright colored blooms.

Summer skies from the yard

Late August into early September brought some beautiful skies to our neighborhood. These were taken with my phone from the front yard or the backyard. The rainbows always end up in the backyard since the storms usually come late in the day and the sun is setting from the front. We were getting them almost every day for a week.

Lightning from the upstairs bathroom window.

SkyWatch Friday

Sunrise and beach birds

I found the whimbril on another trip to Fort Desoto Park in late August. He was right when you walk out on the beach so he wasn’t hard to find.

An oystercatcher was taking a bath.
A snowy egret with a fish for breakfast.

A ring bill gull was posing for me.

I found another whimbrel far up on Outback Key.

The sun was just coming up over the trees when I headed out for a long walk on the beach.

I’ve slowed down a little on my blog posts for a while. I had shoulder surgery on the 6th and can’t pick up anything heavier than a pound for 6-7 weeks so I won’t be out with my camera for a while. I’ll probably be caught up with previous outings by the end of October. I still plan to get in my walks with my phone starting later this week though. I do have my camera set up on a tripod in front of the back window hoping to catch some migrating birds coming through our backyard so I don’t miss out on fall migration completely this fall.

Inspire Me Monday

Dancing for breakfast

I didn’t just stumble upon the beautiful white morph reddish egret. He’s been spending a lot of time at the north end of Outback Key at Fort Desoto. He’s quite famous with the bird photographers there. I found him dancing around in front of a ton of sleeping shorebirds.

He was running back and forth in the water catching bait fish. This went on for quite a while. He was such a show off for the photographers out in the water watching him (I was not alone, there were at least 6 other photographers there early on this weekday morning). White morph reddish egrets are rare and he’s the only one I’ve heard of being in the Tampa Bay area. I’ve been taking pictures of one here since early 2012 but I’m not sure if it’s the same one. I hadn’t seen him in several years so I was excited to find him again.