Birds on the beach during red tide

There were few birds out on the beach at Fort Desoto when I visited during the peak of the red tide algae bloom. The few there were busy eating breakfast. Some were eating the dead sea life that had washed up on shore. I didn’t see any birds acting sick during this trip. Volunteers were out on the beach every day looking for sick birds that could be affected by eating too much of the dead fish. I kept yelling “Don’t eat that.” but they weren’t listening.

A cormorant and osprey were fighting over a lamp-post on the pier.

Even the crows were eating the dead fish. The park rangers kept raking up the shoreline but the dead fish kept washing up on shore.

Royal terns in the air.

The sandbar spit across the channel was full of birds.

Still a beautiful day out at Fort Desoto.

Watching baby grow up at work

We have an osprey nest in our parking lot at work. Every morning and evening for weeks I watched the osprey parent sitting on the nest. Finally, on May 16th, I saw a head pop up. The baby was finally visible to see from my car. Later I would find out there were 2 babies but on this day I only saw the one head.

The parent took off. The other parent was close by on another light post.

The fish crows were relentless this year. They were driving the parents crazy, buzzing close to the nest and chasing after them as they come into the nest with a fish.

Mom finally settled down to feed the baby. I kept my camera in the car for several weeks so I have more pictures of the babies growing up to post later.

Some new things at the Botanical Gardens

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I think these are both a 5 stripe skink. This is the first time I’ve been able to get a shot of one. The top one is a juvenile and the bottom is an adult male.

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Tiny critters in the butterfly garden.

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My first hummingbird moth sighting. He was tiny and fast. He buzzed in for a few seconds next to a butterfly I was taking a picture of and then he was gone over the bushes. I looked for him for a long time with no luck. At least I got the blurry shots above. These guys are really cool.

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Soft shell turtle near the pond.

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Turtle on the lily pad.

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Juvenile osprey that grew up in a nest on the utility pole.  All three were born this past winter and were just starting to fly around.

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Not many birds at the gardens in late June. Just the above.

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At the fishing pier

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These two female red breasted mergansers are still hanging around the fishing pier. They should be north for the summer by now.

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A ruddy turnstone on the rocks.

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A royal tern brings her a fish. Since she’s eating it, I guess they are an official couple.

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The laughing gulls are pretty this time of year.

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Having a conversation about something. All of the gulls are pairing up.

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The juvenile reddish egret is still hanging around the pier.

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Two baby osprey on the smokestack tower nest.

 

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Someone got their snack stolen. Or maybe, the bird is being paid to advertise.

Saturday morning at Fort Desoto.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

We got fallout – Skywatch Friday

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My first cedar waxwing of the year. There were several in the bush and this was all I got.

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I think this is a female orchard oriole. With berry stains on her beak, looking at me.

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Same as above.

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One of the few male summer tanager sightings I saw.

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Another yellow bird. I’m still going with female orchard oriole.

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Same as above.

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An immature rose breasted grosbeak with berry stains on his chest.

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An immature male orchard oriole.

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Eastern kingbird all covered in berry stains.

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A male orchard oriole.

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A summer tanager with a bug in his beak.

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Hooded warbler with a bee in his beak.

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A prothonotary warbler so busy eating he didn’t even notice us.

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A few seconds later he looks up, all covered in berry juice.

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A crow chasing all of the little birds away from the fountain.

What a busy morning. In mid-April we got spring migration fall out at Fort Desoto. We had storms earlier in the week but the birds stayed put through the weekend. I was expecting to show up at the park and only see cardinals.  Birds were busy hopping from bush to tree and back. Most were eating the mulberries but some were also eating bugs. You really had to pay attention to get pictures for the few seconds they sit still which is hard to do when you keep running into people you haven’t seen since last spring migration and you want to catch up. There were a lot of people on the trails but everyone was nice and pointed out what they were seeing. There were lots of bird experts there and I was going to try to take notes but I was afraid I’d miss something if I stopped to write something down. April was a busy month so I’ll have more little bright bird pictures. If I got any of these wrong, please let me know.

Check out more sky pictures at Skywatch Friday

Chesnut Park on a Saturday morning.

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Some type of crow, either an American or fish. Since American crows are fairly rare around here I’m going with fish crow.

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The same little titmouse always come down to say hello.

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Some type of warbler, either palm or yellow?

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He doesn’t distinctly look like a palm. But then, they all look alike in the book.

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I was taking pictures of the warbler and this little Carolina wren flew right in front of me. Landed and started singing away. What a showoff!

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Anhinga posing for me.

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I only saw a few deer this trip and they were deep in the woods off the boardwalk.

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Someone there before me that morning had left bird seed for the little birds but it was the squirrels who were feasting.

A quiet morning at Chesnut Park. I went there looking for northern parulas, which I found a few. More on those later.

Linking to Saturday’s Critters