Out on the beach in the summer

I hadn’t been out on the beach for a long walk all summer. In late July, I headed out for a walk to get some fresh air and hopefully a cool breeze coming off the gulf. My main reason for going though was to look for skimmer babies. I hadn’t been out to see them in 2 years.  I saw the above as I started my walk.

After a while I saw some skimmers soaring over the beach and finally made it to the skimmer nesting area.

The black skimmers nest right on the beach and there were a lot of babies at all different ages.

The baby skimmers have a tough time growing up. Besides sibling rivalry, there are so many other dangers. Gulls and crows will fly in and snatch the tiny ones if the parents aren’t guarding them. The beaches are full of tourist and the baby skimmers blend into the sand. They could get stepped on. Kids like to chase the birds and make them fly off which leaves the babies exposed. A really bad storm could flood the beach and the babies can’t fly off or swim yet. So many hurdles.

The view from the water. There are a group of volunteer bird stewards that rope off the nesting areas to keep people from stepping on the babies. They guard the area during the busy times and answer any questions that curious tourists may have about the skimmers. And yes, those are volleyball nets in the back so the babies could also get knocked out by a stray volleyball. I took a ton of pictures in the hour I was there so more to come on these cuties.

The dolphin show at Fort Desoto

After running around in the woods at Fort Desoto Park taking pictures of small birds migrating through the area in late April, I stopped at the fishing pier before heading home. The dolphins were feeding on the bait fish, swimming back and forth in front of the pier. The water was clear that morning so it was easy to see them as they rose to the surface. It was fun watching them splashing around.

Pelicans were also floating close to the pier.

Not too many people on the beach yet near the pier. The crowds were just starting to form north of the pier where the beach is a little wider and nicer.

SkyWatch Friday

Over the river and through the woods….

to Daytona Beach we go. On the east coast of Florida. This was our first trip and we were staying over for one night to visit friends who were visiting for the week from Georgia.

The view from our room on the 14th floor. I zoomed in with my phone on the last one.  Our hotel was next door to a small amusement park.

We met up with our friends who were staying near the Ponce Inlet and spent some time walking around the lighthouse before heading to dinner.

We had dinner at a fun little restaurant next to the lighthouse that was right on the water.

View from our table.

It was a quick short trip to have dinner with our friends. I was traveling light so all of the above were taken with my phone.

SkyWatch Friday

Honeymoon Island beach before the tourists get here.

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After walking the nature trail at Honeymoon Island State Park, I headed over to the beach to see if there were any shorebirds hanging around.

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The usual birds were there: marbled godwits, royal terns and dowitchers.

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The waves were splashing over the jetties. It was fun to be out in one of the last cool windy days before the heat sets in (and the tourists).

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Road trip to south Florida

A few sites from our trip to Hallandale Beach.

The beach had tall buildings as far as you could see.

This big statue was at the Gulfstream horse race track in Hallandale. I made Brett pull over so I could jump out and take a picture. It must be a new statue. The park around it had not opened yet.

Brett and I spent a long weekend in south Florida recently hanging out with his relatives. Hallandale Beach is in between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale so you get the best of both worlds. We spend 2 days running from the north end of Ft. Lauderdale to the south end of Miami. Tons more pictures to come.

SkyWatch Friday