I was out for a walk at the end of September and the tide was super low. I could see the gulls eating some type of puffer fish that was stranded in the grass beds. Although I never did actually see the gulls eating them, they just kept picking them up and playing with them. Maybe they were waiting for them to deflate.
An osprey cruises by with a tiny fish in his feet.
The little blue heron was busy eating.
There were several snowy egrets looking for food.They look so pretty against the blue water.
This boat must have lost anchor during Hurrincane Ian. It’s still there, stranded near the Dunedin causeway. It’s in pretty bad shape at this point.
It’s not easy getting close up shots of dolphins at the fishing pier. They pop up at random places and move so fast that they are gone before you can get your lens focused. If the light is bad and the water is dark, it’s hard to see them coming up. On a recent Saturday morning, the light was good and I could see them coming up fairly early. They were doing zoomies towards the pier since the bait fish were thick right under the pier. They were filling up on tiny appetizers.
A beautiful sunny morning, taken with my phone.
The usual birds were finding snacks.
I had stopped by the fishing pier at Fort Desoto before heading home to see if “Harry” the hybrid (great blue heron/great egret) was hanging around. He was still there in his usual spot but I got distracted by the dolphins and ended up leaving an hour later.
Dolphins were swimming all around the fishing pier in late September.
This fishing boat came close to the pier to pull up some bait fish. It became clear that these guys didn’t really know what they were doing as they ended up hitting the pier and breaking several of the the fishing poles sticking up in their boat. All of the fishermen on the pier were giving them a hard time about getting stuck. They eventually got some bait pulled up and left.
Then they went out to the tower where the pelicans were peacefully sleeping. They got too close to the tower and scared all of the pelicans away. I hope they eventually got the hang of it, for the wildlife’s sake. Never a dull moment at Fort Desoto Park.
When you’ve eating too much over Thanksgiving weekend and you have family in town, you head to the beach. Since the actual beach was too crowded and parking was impossible, my sister and I stopped at the Clearwater Beach marina and walked around for while. Looking at the big boats and enjoying the afternoon. I don’t get over to this area often, too crowded and congested. But, it’s fun to stop by once in a blue moon. It reminds me of coming to visit my grandparents as a child with my family.
We also stopped at Sand Key beach for a quick walk and found these above. They are going to submerge them in the gulf so the coral can grow on them.
I rarely go to Clearwater Beach anymore. It’s very crowded and cost a fortune to park, if you can get a parking spot. Although, it is fun to go over every once in while to see what’s going on. Right after I picked up my sister from the airport we headed over to the beach to walk around. She had not been in several years. We were hoping to get a good sunset but dark clouds had moved in. I guess the weather had kept most people indoors because it wasn’t too crowded the Tuesday before Christmas. It was fun walking around the beach and marina.
This is the rare hybrid that was seen recently hanging around the fishing pier. Local experts say it’s a cross between a great blue heron and a great egret. He’s got a great blue heron beak and body but legs of a great egret. I found him pretty easily right on the pier, looking for a handout like the other birds.
Great blue heron portrait.
An osprey flying by.
This snowy egret has found a good perch.
Someone caught a big one.
It’s always fun to guess where these big ships are going.
The osprey (or fish hawk) is a fairly common bird here At least for me. I see them in my neighborhood, on the bridges to and from work, in the parking lot at work and most of the parks that are near water. I was walking the trail at the east beach at Fort Desoto looking to see if the owls were back and all I could find were osprey. There are several nests along this trail that sits right on the beach so you can always find several here.
I watched the osprey fly off the branch and circle over my head.
As she was heading toward the water, I thought she was going to grab a fish. Instead she just landed on the edge and stayed there for a few minutes.
Then she took off and fly far down the beach. Oh well.
Now it’s just me and another common bird, the boring ole great blue heron out on the beach.