Hiding in hole. I was wondering if they nest in this hole.
Some of the shorebirds close to the trail, a ruddy turnstone and a black bellied plover.
I stopped by the fishing pier before heading home.
Far across the bay near Egmont Key.
Sailing past the pier, this old sailboat reminded me of my dad. He would have loved that boat. I turned it into a black and white photo so it would have looked like something he would have taken many years ago.
Right after Hurricane Irma came through someone had posted that they had seen a golden plover at Fort Desoto. I have never heard of a golden plover being anywhere near here and someone else had said they are never seen in Florida so this one must have gotten blown way off course from the storm. Everyone was questioning it until some expert birders had gotten pictures of it. After a couple of days I was able to run down to the park after work one night. I had about an hour before it got dark to find it. The bird was easy to find and close to were people had seen it days before. It was feeding along the rack line so I sat down on the beach and took some shots with my 300mm and extender. The little bird seemed curious and kept getting closer to me. I kept getting up and backing up. He looked okay and was running around feeding but I couldn’t help wondering if he was trying to tell me something. A few days later a rehabber picked him up and he’s been recuperating since then. I last heard he was doing much better and should be released soon. We get a lot of black bellied plovers in the same area. See below for recent pictures of those.
Two black bellied plovers above. The top is during the breeding season and the bottom is in the winter. The golden plover has a lot of brown on his head that shines.
A few things I saw near the golden plover that night. The tide was so low that you could see the crabs in the crab trap.
Sanibel Island has a reputation for having a lot of shells on the beach. People come to visit to go shell hunting. We must have been there during a down time because all of the beach looked like the above. Mostly small broken shells. I guess all of the good ones get taken during the summer or you have to be there very early in the morning right after a storm. I did manage to find a few small ones though. The sanderlings and black bellied plovers spent a lot of time digging through the shells for tiny critters to eat.
The willet wants to know who left their shoes on the beach. I told him they weren’t mine. I don’t think he believed me.
Black bellied plovers at different stages of molting. The one in the top picture has more black feathers and is still in his summer colors. The bottom one has lost most of his black feathers. He’ll be mostly white through the winter. The middle one was chewing on something yummy.
The ruddy turnstone also had something yummy to eat. The ruddy in the bottom picture still has his summer feathers.
It was strange seeing the osprey in the water with the laughing gulls. I caught him as he was finishing taking a bath. After a few minutes he took off.
A dowitcher walking the shore line.
Birds on the beach and fishing pier at Fort Desoto in late September.