The dolphin show at Fort Desoto

After running around in the woods at Fort Desoto Park taking pictures of small birds migrating through the area in late April, I stopped at the fishing pier before heading home. The dolphins were feeding on the bait fish, swimming back and forth in front of the pier. The water was clear that morning so it was easy to see them as they rose to the surface. It was fun watching them splashing around.

Pelicans were also floating close to the pier.

Not too many people on the beach yet near the pier. The crowds were just starting to form north of the pier where the beach is a little wider and nicer.

SkyWatch Friday

The dolphin show at Fort Desoto.

Lots of dolphins at the fishing pier at Fort Desoto in early October.  They all had different scratches and markings on their fins.

They were buzzing around the fishing pier and at some points swimming right underneath where I was standing.

The people fishing were not happy that the dolphins were trying to steal their fish. I’m sorry but I think it’s the other way around.  People are trying to steal the fish from the dolphins.  Don’t the dolphins live in the water?  It’s not like they can stop by the grocery store on the way home and get their food. One guy was cursing the dolphin and I said “You are welcome to go fish somewhere else.”

Usual and unusual at the fishing pier.

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Two baby osprey were peaking out over the nest in the parking lot and the nest on top of the smoke stack next to the bait store.


Dad was close by with lunch. I think he was going to eat some first before he took it over to the nest.




You can almost always find a reddish egret fishing somewhere on the beach.


It rare to see a common loon here in the spring. Especially in his summer breeding colors. When they hang out here during the winter, they are a drab gray color. This one stayed pretty far away from the fishing pier.


Big gulp.  There are signs at the fish cleaning station to “Not feed or throw fish parts to the birds” They all do it anyway. In theory it seems okay but the cormorants hang around the pier and get too close and end up getting caught with fishing hooks.




The dolphins playing around the pier.

My Saturday morning walk at Fort Desoto in late May.

SkyWatch Friday

Non flying things at Fort Desoto


I was standing out on the north beach tip and these guys went swimming by.


At one point I counted 4 coming up for air at one time but I think there were more.

This one had a notch on his fin.


The South’s Finest. Across the channel they were camping out.


Big glop of something. Some type of jellyfish? These were all over the beach this morning.


“Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.” A line from one of my favorite movies, Finding Nemo. Someone was pulling up bait fish.


A view of the dog beach from the bay fishing pier. Dog day afternoons.

There’s always something to see at Fort Desoto Park.

The dolphin show at Fort Desoto






The dolphins were active, coming close to the pier. They were stealing the fish from the fishing lines. People were not happy that the dolphins were stealing the fish off their lines. You’d see a guy realizing he had something on his line. He’d start to reel it in and then you’d see the dolphin coming up behind it. When the guy reeled in his line the fish and bait fish were gone. I wonder if the dolphins swallow the hooks. Does it bother them? They eat whole fish with bones and all so I guess it’s okay as long as they don’t get it stuck in their mouth. People on the pier get mad at the dolphins but hey, they are the ones stealing the dolphin’s food.


Dolphin on the bottom right flipping his tail as the boat goes by. The gulls were going after any trailing bait fish that was left behind when they pulled up their nets onto the boat.


Everybody wants to hitch a ride in a boat, including snowy egrets. They were probably hoping the guys would turn their back on the bait fish they just pulled up in their boat.


‘Hey, get your own boat!” says the snowy egret on the motor.

Another beautiful Saturday morning at Fort Desoto.

Camera Critters

Dark cloudy drive on Gandy beach – Skywatch Friday

The sky was trying to break up in front of me. Behind me it was dark and raining farther down the road. There were not many people on the small beach due to the rain that has just passed through.

Mostly the usual royal terns on the beach.

The skimmers and terns flying around.

Juvenile royal tern staring at me.

This dog was having too much fun in the water.

The dolphins were feeding out in the water. They were pretty far away but I kept seeing them come up for air. Above is just a few of the shots I was able to get of them.

Another rainy night on the way home. This was the night there was a big wreck on the Howard Franklin bridge with three of the four lanes closed. Luckily I had my camera in the car so I took Gandy bridge (along with everyone else) to get home. Since traffic on the other bridge was so bad, I stopped off on the little beach before the bridge and hung out for about an hour watching the gulls and terns. By the time I left the beach, traffic had eased up a bit. I’d rather spend an hour walking on the beach than sitting in traffic, even on a rainy night.

Check out more sky pictures at Skywatch Friday