Birds at the downtown Tampa coastline

Willet, laughing gull, oystercatcher, young blue heron and cormorants can all be found along the water at Davis Islands, a small island next to downtown Tampa.

Loggerhead shrikes are most prevalent there. They were in the bushes next to the boat ramp, in the trees that lined the yacht basin and on the fence that lined the airport. The ones on the fence were a parent and young one that was still being feed.

Mangroves line the yacht basin and the sea grapes in were in full bloom.

At first glance, there aren’t a lot of birds at the south end of Davis Islands where the small private airport and yacht basin meet up. There are lots of bicycles, joggers, walkers, and dog walkers along the road, most are not paying attention to the birds. People look at me like “Why is that girl staring up in the tree?” When you look along the shore line and up in the trees you see lots of things.

Linking to Wednesday Around The World.

Another baby duck family in the neighborhood.

More muscovy baby ducks in my neighborhood pond.  This has been a busy spring with more duck families than I’ve ever seen in the 13 years we’ve lived here.  Baby ducks everywhere. These babies were resting close to Mom. I stopped for just a minute and took these quickly.

A mallard couple in the pond.

We usually see a cormorant or anhinga in this pond.

Linking to Wednesday Around The World.

Fun morning at Fort Desoto

“Don’t go in there” said the lizard. “I had beans for lunch.”

Even the cactus were looking crispy from lack of rain.

On the fishing pier, the pelican stole the fish from the cormorant.

Flyby on the pier.

Cormorant with an itch.

Rush hour traffic in the gulf.

It was a windy morning so the kiteboarders were out.

SkyWatch Friday

“Oh say can you see!!”

This is what you see when you drive into Fort Desoto. This picture does not do it justice. It’s huge.

Blooming things on the trail.

Usual birds on the pier. A cormorant and a few snowy egrets.

Pelicans everywhere.

The osprey have been very accommodating with their meals. Usually they fly off quickly if you get anywhere near them. The ones on the boardwalk don’t even flinch.

Bye, bye, Ibis (take me with you!)

It was strange seeing 2 mallard ducks swimming in the salty gulf.

Summer fun at Fort Desoto.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

Funny faces at the petting zoo

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The pig slept and the donkey snorted at me.

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The top chicken was giving me the stink eye. The bottom one was too busy picking at his feet.

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The cormorant and bluebird are wild birds just stopping by for a visit. The finch was an escape bird that didn’t really want to leave.  He just sat on the top of the cage.

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Pretty fungi in the parking lot.

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A house down the street from the horse farm had a small pond in the front yard and robins had taken over.

Some shots from Horsepower for Kids.

My first trip to Ding Darling.

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A cormorant and a green heron along the water.

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A juvenile night heron filling up on fiddler crabs.

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The fiddler crabs were out by the thousands since it was a low tide.

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Pretty purple.

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Mangroves at low tide. You can really see the oysters that have built up on the roots.

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The water from the observation deck.

For years I have heard that Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge was the place to go to see birds. Half of Sanibel Island, just south of Fort Myers, is the refuge. It is on the east side of the island and runs along the water. There are lagoons and inlets all along the trail. It’s a paved driving trail over 4 miles long. We must have been there during the off season because we saw very few birds there. The winter snow birds hadn’t arrived yet, it was too early for fall migration and the summer birds had disappeared. It was still a beautiful place to visit.  I walked most of the trail and Brett would drive ahead and then wait for me to catch up. It was too perfect outside to be in the car. I need to get back there in the winter.