After leaving Crescent Lake Park, I headed over to the bay to see what the new St. Pete Pier was going to look like. Last time I was in the area, it looked like a shell. This was before the big opening back in early July. They were still putting the finishing touches on it but it didn’t look like much from across the Vinoy yacht basin.
Above is an old shot of the original pier that I grew up visiting when we came to visit my grandparents. Several functional piers were built in the early 1900’s but the first “attraction” pier was built in 1926. (Pictured below from the St. Pete. Pier History site). It was demolished in 1967 and the new pyramid pier opened in 1973. I also found a mural in downtown St. Pete of the pyramid pier painted on the side of a building.
Zooming in, far out in the bay near the pier, there’s always a lot of activities going on in the water and you can see the Tampa electric plant.
I realized why there wasn’t any little birds around the firebushes early one Saturday morning at Crescent Lake park. A hawk was keeping watch.
You can usually see monk parakeets hanging around the ball park there.
No birds but plenty of moths.
This dog looked bored when I was taking his picture. He was standing guard while his human was fishing.
Starlings are everywhere.
I got all the way across the lake from my car and it started raining. Luckily I had thrown my tiny umbrella in my backpack so I stood under a tree for a few minutes hoping it stop quickly. It was raining on one side of the park and the sun was on the other side. After 15 minutes I just walked back to my car and was soaked from the waist down.Typical Florida weather. By the time I got to my car the rain had stopped so I decided to head over to the North Shore beach park in nearby downtown St. Pete before heading home.
When I got out of the the car there were a few parakeets eating on the ground in front of me. They were chomping on the ground covering.
Meanwhile, this squirrel had found a piece of pizza in the garbage can, probably left over from last night’s picnic. He seemed pleased with himself.
There were still storms out in the bay so I headed home for lunch.
I usually only see reddish egrets on the gulf beaches but I found this one at a park on the bay near downtown St. Pete. I was bummed that the sun wasn’t out to show off his pretty colors but he’s still an amazing bird.
An osprey flew right over my head.
Usual things on the beach. Coconuts (although they look like tree boobs to me) and mangrove crabs.
The view from North Shore Park just north of downtown St. Pete on the bay.
I stopped by the Safety Harbor fishing pier on the way home and just missed the greyhound meet up. I would have liked to have gotten pictures of them all together but they were just leaving to go on a walk around Safety Harbor. The dog in the first picture was wondering why he couldn’t go although he looked pretty happy just chilling by the water.
A few monk parakeets were flying around the parking lot.
It was low tide on the beach and very few people were there so the shorebirds were napping. Although, something kept spooking them and they would all take off flying in a circle and then come land in the same spot.
There were two white pelicans floating around in the area around the beach. They were hanging out with a bunch of cormorants. They stayed pretty far out in the water so these were all extremely cropped.
I rarely go the tiny beach next to downtown St. Pete. It’s usually pretty busy and there’s a big public swimming pool in the parking lot. I was in the area so I stopped and talk a quick walk in the sand. It was fairly early in the morning so there wasn’t anyone on the beach. The paved trail along the side of it was packed with people walking, jogging, biking and walking their dogs. It was a normal weekend rush hour traffic on the trails.
Not the bird I was looking for. This osprey right next to the boat ramp did not want me to steal his fish.
This could have been the bird I was looking for but as he got closer I realized it wasn’t a great cormorant but just an ordinary double crested cormorant. This one flew over my head and was full of fishing wire.
Downtown St. Petersburg from the boat ramp.
Still not the bird I was looking for, this spotted sandpiper was trying to hide in the weeds that had floated up on the beach.
No great cormorant on this side of the park. Only shorebirds and gulls.
Maybe he hitched a ride on one of these boats.
Back in mid-December I had heard there was a rare great cormorant hanging around the boat ramp at Fort Desoto. This would have been a first for me so I finally made it down to the park after work on the night before Thanksgiving. It had been raining for days and it was nice to see blue skies again. This was my first of 3 trips looking for this silly bird with no luck. Hopefully he will show up when I least expect it.