Standing in one spot taking pictures

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It’s always fun seeing a cormorant trying to gulp down a big fish.

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Wood duck reflection.

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I think this is a male american goldfinch in his winter feathers. He was high up in the trees and didn’t sit still for a minute. I rarely see these here.

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Great blue heron hopping around in the trees.

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There were a lot of great blue heron nests high up in the trees. It was hard to see up there but this nest had two babies that were almost grown.

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Green heron hanging around.

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Most of these birds were not tagged. They might just be hanging out with the permanently injured birds for the winter.

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This is a white morph great blue heron. I’ve never seen one here before and this is 2nd time I’ve ever seen one. He wasn’t tagged so I’m not sure if he is just stopping by for a quick visit.

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A great egret trying to catch some minnows and coming up with a beak full of leaves.

I made my annual trip to Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park in early March. It’s a safe haven for permanently injured birds and other Florida animals.  A lot of wild birds and ducks hang out there to get free food. Some come in to nest in the trees over the water.  There’s always a lot to take pictures of at the park. Sometimes in nice not to have to run around in the woods looking for tiny birds high up in the trees. Sometimes it’s nice to just stand in one place and take lots of pictures.

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Floating around the pier

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Most days you can find cormorants diving for fish around the fishing pier.

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I realized when I cropped this up, it was not a good sign. He must have stolen this fish from someone’s fishing line. I’m not sure if he swallowed the hook and bait.

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This one was busy. He caught 3 fish in a matter of minutes.

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A lone red breasted merganser floating close to the pier.

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After preening, she was showing off.

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Here’s something I’ve never seen before. A common loon already in his summer colors. This bird is a drab gray during the winter and I occasionally see them floating around piers. The common loon is the Minnesota state bird and this is how they usually see them. They look so much prettier here.

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Catching fish.

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Above is how we usually see the common loon in the winter. I took this last winter. They are usually all gray except for those red eyes.

I thought it was going to be a quiet morning at Fort Desoto but seeing the common loon in his black and white feathers was different. All dressed up and ready to go. This was in mid-March so he was molting early. He was probably on his way back home to Minnesota and decided since it was still snowing up there to stay here in sunny Florida a little longer. I would too.

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Fort De Soto on Christmas day

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Ruddy turnstone convention on the jetti.

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This one was on the pier.

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His feet were tangled up together. He was flying around pretty good so I’m not sure how you could catch him.

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My first common loon sighting of the winter. There were two of them swimming around in a lagoon.

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They are not common at all.

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A cormorant was going after a fish on someone’s pole.

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He’s thinking he has an easy meal.

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He was giving it a good tug but in the end the fisherman was able to pull it up with the fish intact.

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Although later, he did  manage to steal a fish from someone who wasn’t paying attention.

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Someone pulled up a starfish. Back he went into the water.

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I checked on the old owl’s nest from last winter. There was an owl sitting there sleeping. Hopefully there’s an egg underneath it. Last year the owl couple had two babies but only one survived.

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A great blue heron flying by.

We had a big late breakfast and wasn’t going to eat dinner until much later on Christmas day. We were tempted to spend the day on the couch in our pj’s watching old Christmas movies but it was just to gorgeous outside. Sunny and 70 degrees. My sister was visiting for the week from South Dakota and she wanted to get outside and walk around so we headed to Fort De Soto. It was a perfect afternoon. We walked around both piers and looked around at the North beach but it was too windy for any shorebirds. Perfect day off.

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Also, check out more birds at Paying Ready Attention  for 

1# beach in the country!

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“Why does it feel like people can’t read? Or do they just choose to ignore the sign?” says the little eastern phoebe.

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Hairy or downy woodpecker?

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A little yellow bird. I don’t think this a palm warbler.

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Bee up close.

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Cormorant’s gotta itch.

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This one’s gotta fish.

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I was hoping the reddish egret on the right would wake up and start looking for fish but he just sat there forever. All of a sudden I realized a kingfisher had landed on the barge.  These barges sit in the lagoon at one of the roped off areas in Fort De Soto park. Least terns nest on them in the spring. That’s why there are little wooden least tern decoys on there. They are called “Love Boats”. The netting is around the edges so the little babies don’t fall off and land in the water before they can fly.

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 A few white pelicans were hanging out with a lot of cormorants on a sand bar on the backside of the park.

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Big boat heading past the fishing pier.

Another beautiful morning at Fort De Soto Park (recently named the #1 beach by USA Today poll for best family beach).

Shine the Divine