A new bird blown off course

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.

Linking to Wednesday Around the World

An afternoon walk on the fishing pier

There were not many birds on the beach near the pier.  A few laughing gulls and this lone black bellied plover.

Looks like this is a couple of laughing gulls flirting.

The rare hybrid great blue heron/great egret made an appearance at the pier.

This osprey was eating some yummy fish on the light post on the pier.

Another osprey was also eating.  These osprey have been hanging out on the pier a lot lately. They are not skittish and don’t fly away as tons of people are walking by just below them.

It’s been a beautiful afternoon but I was hungry and had a 45 minute drive home so I left to get some dinner.

SkyWatch Friday

Morning walk on the beach

dsc_5700 dsc_5690 dsc_5683

Young royal terns and sandwich terns were yelling at the parents to get them fish.

dsc_5712

Ghost crab on the beach.

dsc_5676

Sandwich terns showing off.

dsc_5655

dsc_5669

dsc_5663

dsc_5658

Young black bellied plovers. I’m not sure if they were fighting or  playing.

dsc_5652

dsc_5761

Ibis looking for snacks.

dsc_5671

A hawk flies by on the beach.

dsc_5648

A dolphin goes by out in the gulf.

The last of my Sanibel Island vacation pictures.

Broken shells and shorebirds

dsc_5867 dsc_5866 dsc_5865 dsc_5861 dsc_5846 dsc_5833 dsc_5831

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.

dsc_5828

dsc_5823

dsc_5826

dsc_5832

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.

All of the above were taken from my beach chair.

End of summer at Fort Desoto??

dsc_5217

A sanderling in the sea grass at low tide.

dsc_5223

dsc_5304

dsc_5312

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.

dsc_5243

dsc_5245

dsc_5280

The ruddy turnstone also had something yummy to eat. The ruddy in the bottom picture still has his summer feathers.

dsc_5292

dsc_5296

dsc_5295

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.

dsc_5314

A dowitcher walking the shore line.

Birds on the beach and fishing pier at Fort Desoto in late September.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing