The beach has reopened.

On the trail at Fort Desoto. A butterfly and some kind of fruit that I have never noticed before. The red really stuck out in all of the green right on the trail.

A snowy egret trying to steal a snack from a fisherman.

Some of the birds near the fountain includes a loggerhead shrike, a female summer tanager and an ibis.

Dolphins were swimming around the pier.

Looking across the lagoon, lots of different shorebirds. The  middle shot has black skimmers in the front and the bottom picture shows red knots.

It was the first week in May and the park had just recently opened. I got there early and was leaving before 10am and shot this from the pier. The beach was filling up fast. Time for me to head home.

SkyWatch Friday

Morning walk on the beach

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

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Ghost crab on the beach.

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Sandwich terns showing off.

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

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Ibis looking for snacks.

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A hawk flies by on the beach.

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A dolphin goes by out in the gulf.

The last of my Sanibel Island vacation pictures.

Swimming under the water

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There was a manatee right in front of the fishing pier. He stayed in the same spot for a while before moving on. They usually swim past quickly the few times I’ve seen one here. As I leaned over to take a picture, he stuck his nose up for air.

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Dolphins were swimming all around the pier.

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The water was full of little jellyfish. I haven’t seen the water filled with jellyfish here before like this. They were floating far out at the end of the fishing pier so I don’t think they were bothering the people swimming close to shore.

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Someone caught a fish.

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The cormorants were diving under and getting fish. They seemed to be catching more that the fishermen on the pier.

It was a busy morning under the water around the fishing pier at Fort Desoto.

Saturday's Critters

Quiet Saturday morning at Fort Desoto

 

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Pretty pelican floating by.

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A cormorant sleeping on the top of the light post.

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Dolphins were cruising by the pier.

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This osprey did not want to share his meal. After a closer look, I didn’t want it anyway.

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Climbing a tree.

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Great egret getting a snack.

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It was a windy morning. The storm clouds had not moved in yet so the kiteboarders were out taking advantage of the wind. The park is pretty limited on wildlife sightings for the summer. Other than the usual laughing gull and reddish egret, there’s not much around the beach except tourists. When is summer over????

Skywatch Friday

A walk on the fishing pier

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The snowy egrets are always putting on a show at the fishing pier. They are hanging around waiting for the fishermen to turn their backs on their bait buckets so they can steal the little minnows. Sometimes the fisherman will clean their fish on the pier and the egrets try to steal the scraps. There are signs saying not to throw the scraps in the water or to the birds but some people still do it. Then the ones that don’t are annoyed by the birds being aggressive.

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A sting ray cruises by the pier in the shallow water.

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Dolphins feeding around the pier.

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Looks like he caught a little shark.

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It was a beautiful morning to watch the big boats from the pier at Fort Desoto.

Skywatch Friday

Right before spring break at the beach.

 

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The laughing gulls were pairing up. Chasing each other and fighting over the ladies.

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Young herring gull with a snack.

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Blurry picture of a barn swallow. These guys rarely sit still. I saw him from across the lagoon.

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The dolphins were active this Saturday morning.

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Heading towards the pier.

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One of the bird steward volunteers at the park. He was checking out the roped off area for nesting birds. They work on keeping the tourist out of the nesting area and answer questions about the birds.

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Rush hour  traffic in the bay.

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Having fun on a boat ride.

A few things at Fort Desoto Park in mid-March.

 Skywatch Friday

Another perfect morning at the fishing pier – Skywatch Friday

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Snowy egrets getting a bait fish snack.

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Flipping them into their mouths like popcorn shrimp.

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They were having a feast since someone left a good portion of their bait fish catch on the pier. People tend to pull up their nets, empty as much as they can in the bucket and don’t bother to pick up all of the stragglers.

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This juvenile laughing gull was having problems with his beak. At first, I thought his bottom beak was broken but it looked okay. But, he did have something wrong with his tongue.

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Some alone time under the pier.

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Beach bum lizard.

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“Man, I’m thirsty and tired of drinking salt water.”

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“Lady, can you come over here and turn this on?”

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Dolphin at the pier.

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Out in the gulf.

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Passing a sand bar.

Speaking of sand bars, the one above is a fairly new one. I zoomed in on it and the picture is extremely cropped so it’s pretty far away from the beach. I have heard that there are hundreds of birds that hang out there now. Maybe that’s why there hasn’t been many shorebirds at the north beach marsh. That’s where I’d be if I was a bird, not on the crowded beach at the park.

Check out more sky pictures at Skywatch Friday