I got to Fort Desoto Park early on a Saturday morning in late July. The clouds were starting to roll in before the people got here.
I could see it raining over to the far left and was debating on how far to walk out on the Outback Key spit. I had my umbrella in my backpack but wouldn’t want to have to walk back half an hour with lightning.
I walked out a little ways but the storm was moving in quick.
I stopped in the little lagoon near the parking lot to get pictures of a spoonbill. It was drizzling on me but the sun was behind my back and I could see a faint rainbow.
Minutes later the storm had moved away and I headed over to the bird sanctuary.
On the trail at Fort Desoto. A butterfly and some kind of fruit that I have never noticed before. The red really stuck out in all of the green right on the trail.
A snowy egret trying to steal a snack from a fisherman.
Some of the birds near the fountain includes a loggerhead shrike, a female summer tanager and an ibis.
Dolphins were swimming around the pier.
Looking across the lagoon, lots of different shorebirds. The middle shot has black skimmers in the front and the bottom picture shows red knots.
It was the first week in May and the park had just recently opened. I got there early and was leaving before 10am and shot this from the pier. The beach was filling up fast. Time for me to head home.
A beautiful morning out at Fort Desoto. Out on Outback Key, you can see St. Pete beach far off in the distance. That big pink hotel (Don CeSar) really stands out.
Rush hour traffic on the water.
Usual birds around the fishing pier. A ruddy turnstone, loggerhead shrike and a ring billed gull with just a touch of orange around his eye.
TOTO, the banded oystercatcher, was there in his usual spot.
His mate was close by looking for food.
A nice cool morning for a walk on the beach at Fort Desoto in February. Sadly now this is more important than every, just being outside. Yesterday Brett and I went to the beach just to be outside since everything else is closed. Even the zoo is closed (although the keepers will still be there taking care of the animals). I’m working at home for the next few weeks and I’m sure the walls will start closing in. I’m going to try and walk in the neighborhood after work each night to get out. Hope everyone stays sane out there. Thanks for stopping by and let me know how you are coping.
Pano of the north beach tip at Fort Desoto during the extreme low tide.
It was cold and windy and a perfect day for a walk on the beach. There were a few other people here but I still felt like I had the beach all to myself. This was the lowest tide I have ever seen here. Someone told me it was because of the full Snow moon (the tides are lowest during the full moon in February). I came out to see if there were any shorebirds but I think the wind kept them hiding somewhere else.
The backside of Outback Key was exposed and all of those little mounds had live sand dollars hiding under them.
A few of them partially exposed.
I’ve read that the pink sand comes from microscopic animals in the water.
Textures on Outback Key.
Walking back to the parking lot.
The beach was littered with the above.
This one had a lot of things living on it.
My stash from the morning when I got back home and washed them off. The beach was covered in whole dead sand dollars. It’s rare to find them not broken. I like collecting shells with barnacles. I feel like it gives them personality.
A few of the usual birds at Fort Desoto including a crow with an apple, a loggerhead shrike and our favorite hybrid great blue heron/great egret.
It’s rare to see the ghost crabs out of their holes. They are pretty skittish.
Heading into Tampa bay.
A quiet morning on the beach. Very few people here. This was the Saturday before Hurricane Dorian was headed our way. On this morning it was forecasted to head straight across the state and hit us on Monday so many people had canceled their vacation plans. Little did we know at this point it would stall over the Bahamas and then head north.
A phone pano of the north beach tip.
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.
Late on a Saturday night, Brett and I were heading to Honeymoon Island for a party at the end of June. Seeing the clouds on the way in, we were expecting rain.
The rain was far off in the gulf and stayed out there the entire night.
Crazy grackles hanging out at the pavilion we were at.
The sun peaked out right before it went down creating an orange glow.
A few more clouds rolled in right before dark but the rain held off all night.
We always say that we stay away from the beaches on a major holiday weekend. We broke our own rule on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. We decided to go spend a few hours in the morning at Fort Desoto Park and then swing by to visit Brett’s aunt since her nursing home is close by. We were there before 9am and left before lunch. The crowds were thick before we left.
Sea hares in the water and on the beach.
A manatee cruising by the fishing pier.
On the fishing pier, I caught this dragonfly resting on a fishing pole. This poor shrimp was bait.
Ships passing by the pier and snowy egrets hanging out on the shelter.
We took the scenic route over to St. Pete beach before heading to visit his aunt.