It was a stagnant morning in late July. Not even a slight breeze or ripple on the water. I stopped at the pier at Weaver Park to see if I could spot any dolphins but the tide was so low that they would be far out anyway so I didn’t stay long. It was too hot to be out so after my quick walk I headed home.
A few days later it was cloudy when I went out for a walk at the Dunedin marina. There was at least a breeze and a chance of rain.
The tide was low and the water was clear around the pier and I noticed someone must have dumped some fish bones in the water. I’ve never seen this before. The tiny bait fish were picking the bones clean.
A little farther down the pier I could see coral growing on the oyster beds.
The usual great egret was there, trying to catch some tiny fish.
I had heard there were some fun eclectic mailboxes on a few of the streets just off Main street so I took some back roads to get home.
These are just a small sample of some of the ones I saw. All snapped with my phone.
When I got almost home I could see some rain clouds out in the bay. I took a detour and stopped at the Oldsmar pier hoping to see some rain headed our way. I started to walk out on the pier and heard some thunder so I ducked under a picnic shelter and caught the above lightning across the bay. We did get a short storm at home but we are still in severe drought conditions. Through September this is the driest year on record for Pinellas county.
I realized I had not posted the baby purple martins from May. I had been keeping an eye on the purple martin house at the Dunedin marina and when I stopped by in mid-May I saw lots of older babies being fed. Above is a male parent bringing a dragonfly to the baby.
Both male and female parents were bringing in food. The babies, almost as big as their parents, were sticking their heads out of the nest holes.
This time Mom brought a dragonfly.
Some of the juveniles were just starting to fly and were landing on another martin’s nest deck. It was constant chaos with parents chasing away someone else’s babies. By early June the nest building was deserted and all was quiet until next spring.
As I was standing in the small parking lot I looked down on the sea wall and could see some other critters watching me. Mallards and great blue herons are common along the rocks in front of the marina.
Looking across the water at Clearwater Beach, it was a picture perfect morning.
It was mid-July and we were expecting rain. We hadn’t had much in months so I was not holding my breath. It sure looked like rain was coming even though the sun kept peeking out so I went to the Dunedin marina to walk around and see if there were any rainbows or lightning. It started to rain so I made it back to my car.
I drove over to the Safety Harbor fishing pier where I could see pouring rain out in the bay. No rainbows or lightning though, not that I could see from the pier. But the weather had cooled off so it was nice being outside.
There’s a new statue in the park at the fishing pier.
I headed over to the Oldsmar pier, much closer to home and I could still see the rain out in the bay. We got a quick shower at home but not nearly as much as we needed. The ponds in my neighborhood were still almost empty at this point.
It’s been a hot summer with little rain. Most days looked like this. Sunny with no real chance of rain (at least the rain lowers heat). I went out early for a short walk on the causeway, hoping for a breeze.
The water was so clear you could see the little bait fish swimming in between the old concrete pillars.
The north side of the causeway has never been nice but now it’s really full of dead seaweed. I wonder if this is part of that big 5,000 miles of sargassum seaweed that was floating out in the Atlantic Ocean and heading for Florida.
Walking over the bridge I was almost eye level with the terns diving for fish.
The south side of the causeway was nice and clear.
A kiteboarder goes cruising by.
After my walk I headed over to the marina to see if there were any dolphins or manatees swimming by.
A pelican sits on the corner of the pier and for a short while no one was bothering him.
I could see a dolphin fin breaking the water (just below the red sign) but I couldn’t find him again after I snapped this. He must have turned around and headed out under water.
My favorite great egret was there on the floating dock, trying to catch bait fish through the hole.
There’s a live camera on top of the restaurant next to the pier (it has a minute or two delay). I pulled it up on my phone and screen shot the above of me standing there leaning on the pier (in the blue shirt on the right). I had the pier all to myself this morning, no fishermen or joggers stopping by.
It was late April and I headed out looking for some storms that were in the forecast. We were desperate for rain. The ponds were all dried up and the lakes were so low. Our grass was turning brown and we were only allowed to water once a week. My first stop was the Dunedin marina where the clouds were just coming in but didn’t look like rain clouds.
My next stop was the Dunedin causeway and by that point the clouds were clearing up and the expected rain didn’t happen.
This is something you don’t see everyday in mid-March. That water was a little chilly, even with a short wetsuit. I was out for a short walk on the Oldsmar pier and saw this guy. It looked like fun but you really need some heavy upper body strength to hold that big sail up. Once he got up he went flying by and across the bay.
It was a quiet morning with only a few willets flying around so I headed over to the Dunedin marina.
These grackles were happily singing the morning away.
The usual beautiful scene from the marina.
The only birds I saw were willets and starlings on the little grassy area.
Also, house sparrows. They were busy taking dirt baths.
I found the purple martins at the end of the nesting season last year. The babies had already grown up and were flying. I checked on them early this year and caught them working on their nests. There were so many of them and someone had added a 2nd house although I didn’t see any of the birds going in the holes on that one yet.
It felt like the females (in the lighter color) were the only ones getting sticks and leaves for the nest. The males were watching but I only saw one male picking up a stick from the ground.
As one female brought a big stick back to her hole in the house another male tried to mate with her (while her mate was sitting right there). She ran into her hole as her mate chased the intruder away.
It was a busy morning.
The stick gathering went on all morning as I sat and watched
This female brought back a stick that wouldn’t fit in the hole. She eventually dropped it.
This was in mid-March so I’ll be checking back for babies soon. This is the only place that I know of that they nest in the area although there may be some hidden ones in backyards. There’s a house in my neighborhood that I pass by as I leave but in 2 springs I haven’t seen any birds on it. I love the sound they make. It sounds like one of the animals on Jurassic Park.
I had heard the purple martins were back at the Dunedin marina so one morning I drove around to the front of the marina to see if I could get some shots of them in the bird house. I also found some other birds there as well. The spotted sandpipers will be going back up north soon
Pigeons get no respect but they are pretty when the sun shines on them.
A kingfisher was hanging out on the channel marker at the entrance to the marina.
All of the usual birds were there. Green herons, great egrets and pelicans.
The purple martins were busy moving in to the martin house. It looks like most of them were in couples and had staked out their spots. Last year I found them when the babies were almost fully grown and ready to leave to I’m hoping this year I can see some young babies.
The view from the purple martin house. You can see Clearwater beach across the water. It used to be a quiet little beach area with 2 story Mom and Pop hotels but not anymore. All highrises and the traffic is terrible. Parking is $30 a day. Only the tourists go to this beach now.
I had to get out of the house so I went for a short mini walk in late January at the Dunedin marina and the fog started rolling in. It started out sunny but got foggy pretty quickly.
Standing on the pier, looking back into the marina, I could see the sun trying to stay out. It cast a sleepy glow back on land.
Out in the water I would see a fog bow.
The usual docile birds were hanging out on the pier.
The sea fog kept rolling in and getting thicker as I was leaving.
I was back at the Dunedin marina in late December for a quick walk (can you tell this is one of my favorite places to walk?). That damaged abandoned boat is still stuck to the channel marker. You can see where it’s cut into the boat. It’s a great place for birds to rest and I caught a green heron sitting on it the morning I was there.
A great egret was fishing through the little hole around the floating piling. I kept seeing him sticking his head down thinking he couldn’t catch even a tiny fish that way but he sure did.
A little blue heron was creeping around the dock, also looking for fish.
There’s always a lot of pelicans around the marina.
I caught this grackle eating some kind of seeds.
I saw this osprey flying across the marina with some sticks and moss in his talons. It’s the start of nesting season for osprey so I thought he was heading to one of the 2 nests in the marina parking lot. He flew around with it for a while. Then it looks like he’s going to land on a light pole that didn’t already have a nest and I’m thinking “What is he doing?”. He did land but then took off across the marina and headed to the nest on a pole at the other end of the marina.
There’s a nest high up in a tree near the boat ramp and another nest across from it on top of a pole. There’s always a lot of osprey flying around so they guard them pretty well during nesting season.
Far out in the water I could see a dolphin coming up every few minutes. I was bummed he didn’t come close to the pier.