Honeymoon Island beach before the tourists get here.

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After walking the nature trail at Honeymoon Island State Park, I headed over to the beach to see if there were any shorebirds hanging around.

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The usual birds were there: marbled godwits, royal terns and dowitchers.

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The waves were splashing over the jetties. It was fun to be out in one of the last cool windy days before the heat sets in (and the tourists).

SkyWatch Friday

End of summer at Fort Desoto??

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A sanderling in the sea grass at low tide.

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Black bellied plovers at different stages of molting. The one in the top picture has more black feathers and is still in his summer colors. The bottom one has lost most of his black feathers.  He’ll be mostly white through the winter. The middle one was chewing on something yummy.

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The ruddy turnstone also had something yummy to eat. The ruddy in the bottom picture still has his summer feathers.

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It was strange seeing the osprey in the water with the laughing gulls. I caught him as he was finishing taking a bath. After a few minutes he took off.

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A dowitcher walking the shore line.

Birds on the beach and fishing pier at Fort Desoto in late September.

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Summer at the beach

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A black bellied plover eating something gunky.

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Some of the resident oystercatchers.

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A sandwich tern flying by.

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“Got a light?”

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More laughing gulls.

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Trying to get a fish.

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Typical Florida shot.

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Dowitcher looking for snacks.

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One of the red breasted mergansers is still hanging around the fishing pier.

Stuff at Fort Desoto in early June.

 Linking to Saturday’s Critters

Napping and breakfast in the morning

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It’s always sad to see a one footed bird. This laughing gull seems to be doing okay though.

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Take a “tern”. Royal terns and a sandwich tern.

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The always present oystercatcher.

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Dowitchers and willets taking a morning nap.

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A baby laughing gull screaming for his mom to bring food.

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Breakfast time for dowitchers.

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Keeping an eye on me.

A few birds on the beach in the middle of summer.

Shorebirds at Fort Desoto in July

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A marbled godwit trying to sleep in the middle of dowitchers.

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A lost oystercatcher. “Excuse me, can someone tell me where the restroom is?”

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A few willets mixed in.

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Giving me the eye.

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A shorebird convention.

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“Can you please keep your peeping down? Us oystercatchers are trying to sleep.”

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A young laughing gull.

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A “loud as usual” laughing gull.

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Dowitchers busy looking for breakfast.

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Taking a break from the crowd.

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I think this is a Forester’s tern in non-breeding colors. Could also be a common tern.

Shorebirds are starting to move through the area. For the past month, there’s been almost no birds at the north beach marsh at Fort Desoto. When I went in late July, the marsh area was starting to fill up with birds. Mostly dowitchers, willets and marbled godwits. It was the usual hot sunny perfect morning on the beach.

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Also, check out more birds at Paying Ready Attention  for 

Fun morning at Fort Desoto – Skywatch Friday

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An oystercatcher couple were feeding along the shoreline right when I walked out on the beach.

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Upclose. He was digging pretty deep.

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A dowitcher also digging for food.

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It was dig deep day at the beach. Even the ibis were doing it.

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A snowy egret cruising for tiny fish.

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Turtle nests were everywhere at the park. I’ve never seen so many nests there before. The rangers keep them roped off and has even relocated a nest if the turtle lays the eggs right in the middle of a main tourist area. Taken with my Iphone. Update – on 7/20, the park reported having 86 turtle nests there. This is a record!

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A busy day for some photographers. I think they were shooting a great blue heron. When you fly down from across the country, you’re out there concentrating and getting the most for your day. Kind of like what I did when I was in Arizona for vacation. Every day was packed. It’s nice to know I can stop by here for a leisure stroll and get pictures if I happen to see something fun. The guy in the bright blue shirt is the famous photographer, Moose Peterson. I have his book Captured and love it. I stayed away from his group since I knew they were busy but I have chatted with him before in the parking lot a few years ago.

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Before I left the park, I stopped by the fishing pier to see if anything interesting was going on. There’s always snowy egrets chasing after dropped bait fish.

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A great blue heron staring down at me from the shelter.

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Someone had asked me how I had gotten the close up pictures of the bird’s face looking down at me. I took the above with my Iphone. There are several rain shelters on the pier and the birds hang out on the roof. You can walk right up to the edge of the roof and they stare down at you. They want to know if you’re going to throw them some food or fish.

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Crazy cormorant on the light post was giving me a big yawn.

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Overhead, a frigatebird flies by.

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“Sailing takes me away…”

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Off into the wild blue yonder! The view from the end of the pier.

Another perfect hot sunny morning at Fort Desoto park.

Check out more sky pictures at Skywatch Friday