Crazy summer skies

I was thinking it might rain but I wanted to get out of the house for a short walk so I headed over to the Courtney Campbell Causeway nearby in late June. The rain held off for a while and I was able to catch the rainbow going across the causeway. You can see a faint 2nd one above it.

There were pockets of rain all across the bay. It looked like it was coming right for me so I headed back to my car after snapping the above.

Instead of going straight home I stopped at a nearby parking deck to see what the sky looked like from higher up.

Making a pano with my phone, the rain was on the left side and the sun was coming out on the right. Another typical Florida summer shot.

When I got home, the clouds were rolling into my neighborhood.

SkyWatch Friday

Little critters at Chesnut Park

Little critters at Chesnut Park.

You can always find cardinals on the boardwalk here. That first one is a very young one. He was hopping around from branch to branch but I don’t think he could fly far yet.

A very young northern parula with a snack.

A cormorant preening on the side of the lake.

Lots of titmouse coming to see if I have a handout for them.

The sun hadn’t made it over the trees yet when I was ready to go home in July. After an early quick walk it was too hot to hang around much longer.

My Corner of the World

More little quackers

I’m a sucker for baby ducks, even annoying muscovy ducks. I came home from running errands in late July and saw a family in the neighborhood pond so I ran home and got my camera. They were hanging around the sidewalk when I got back so I plopped down and watched them running around for a few minutes.

They eventually wandered over to the bushes so I said goodbye and left.

This one is an older juvenile. He was following me around. He has what is called “angel wings” from poor nutrition. Some of his wings grew outwards. Even too many carbs is bad for the ducks.  He probably grew up with one of the neighbors feeding him only bread. He should be eating bugs and getting protein. One other duck had it on one side. They can’t fly with their wings like this and it can’t be fixed at their age. It will be interesting to see how long he’s at our pond, although he could move on to other ponds in the area as well.

Rain in the bay

The rain was moving in but I wasn’t ready to go home. I was hoping for either lightning pictures or at least a rainbow. I got neither but it was still fun being out. I headed over to tiny park on the other side of the St. Pete Pier. I could see the heavy rain out in the bay towards Tampa.

A pano of the Pier (on the left) to the small private airport tower (on the right). Typical Florida summer day, rain on the left, blue sky on the right.

Turning around I could see the downtown St. Pete skyline.

One sailboat was heading out for the bay. I hope they dodged that storm coming in. It was suppose to rain all day so I was surprised to see them going out.

Across the yacht basin, I could see the big model airplane. A tribute to the first commercial airline that started here.

SkyWatch Friday

North Shore Park

The tiny beach at North Shore Park, near downtown St. Petersburg was not as welcoming as these pictures look. They had just raked the beach of the dead fish from red tide but the fish were still floating up on the beach. At least the smell wasn’t bad and it was such a beautiful Saturday morning. The storms were coming in a little early since this was right before lunch.

The resident hybrid great egret/great blue heron was lurking around, trying to find a live fish to eat. Most of the birds don’t eat the dead fish but a few do and they get sick. The bird rescues are all full of sick fish from the red tide.

I stopped at Crescent Lake Park on the way home for a quick walk to look for otters. No luck on the otters but I did see the above in the vegetation in the lake. A juvenile little blue heron, a great blue heron, a blue jay, a snowy egret and a green heron.

My Corner of the World

Chesnut Park

Heading into Chesnut Park I always have to stop at the baseball field if there are deer in the outfield. They only hang out there very early and are usually gone into the woods before 8am.

This little blue heron was blocking the boardwalk out to the dock. Do I walk past him and spook him or just wait?  I would usually wait but there is always someone coming up behind me that’s not going to wait. He jumped down in the reeds and quickly pulled up a crawfish.

I saw 2 Limpkin heads poking out in the reeds and looking closer realized they had babies with them. I waiting until they hit a clearing and was able to snap a few shots of them.

Color on the boardwalk in June.

Walking through the tree path.

The view from the parking lot. The small pond was very quiet this morning.

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

 

Last visit to the bird rookery this year.

 

After leaving Lettuce Lake Park in north Tampa, I stopped by the bird rookery before heading home for one last look before it got too hot. It was fun seeing all of the juvenile wood storks almost grown up. It’s amazing how fast baby birds grow up. A few months later and they are as big as Mom. The young ones still have that pretty pale pink beak and a little fuzz on their heads.

Many of this spring’s early babies were already flying over to the side of the pond across from the mangrove island.

There were 3 snowy egret babies right in the front of the island. They were screaming for Mom who was close by.

High up in the tree a young cormorant was waiting for Mom to cough up the regurgitated fish.

On the way out of the neighborhood I saw a pair of sandhill cranes and stopped for a few minutes to get the above shots.

Great big blue (although they look gray to me) birds

The great blue heron is such a big bird. You can usually find them hanging around the fishing pier at Fort Desoto. I saw several when I was there in late May. I caught the one above flying in from across the pier.

One was busy scratching his head when another one flew in to land on the same light post on the pier. The one scratching his head took off and let the incoming bird land but not without a fight. Then he flew over to another light post that had a cormorant on it. The cormorant was not going to let him land on his post. So much bird drama on the pier!

Later I saw one with a bait fish that was stolen from a fisherman.

Cruising low along the pier.

This one let me walk right by him. He was checking me out to see if I had any fish. I pulled out my phone and took the above since he was too close for my camera.

SkyWatch Friday

Hovering for fish

Standing on top of the lookout tower at Lettuce Lake, a snowy egret cruises by down below. I walked down a flight to get a closer look.

 

There were several snowy egrets feeding right in front of the tower. It was funny to watch them skimming the water as they were looking for fish. Sometimes it felt like they were hovering over the water. Sometimes they were successful and sometimes they missed. They did this for a while before one by one they all started to fly away.

My Corner of the World