Road trip to Nature’s Coast

Early morning at Pine Island beach, north of Tarpon Springs and south of Cedar Key. I had not spent any time in this area and it’s a beautiful quiet area. At least it was in October.

I was hoping to find some new shorebirds here but it was the same old ones that I can find in my usual spots near home.

Fiddler crabs along the shoreline.

Just me and my shadow on the boardwalk, looking out on the gulf.

This is a small beach compared to beaches in the Tampa bay area. It’s a little off the beaten path so it might not get the crowds in the summer that we see on Clearwater beach or St. Pete beach. It was a beautiful morning and I was glad to be out of the house and out on the road.

The drive into the beach is a long 2 lane road with marsh on both sides. The first two shots were looking right and the bottom two were looking left as you drive in. This is why they call this area the “Nature coast”.

SkyWatch Friday

A new bird and some old ones

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I finally made it down to Fort Desoto to see the smooth billed ani. This counts as a new bird for me.  I had seen the grooved billed ani at Boyd Hill Park back in 2011.  The smooth billed had spent a while at the park during the holidays but I wasn’t able to get down there until January. He wasn’t too hard to find. Just look for the group of people staring at it.

Above is the groove bill ani. They look exactly the same except for the bill.

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This was only the 2nd time I had seen a lark sparrow. One was hanging out near the same spot as the ani. This one spent the morning feeding on the ground.

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A kestrel high up in a tree.

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This snowy egret has a shrimp. He was fishing along the shoreline next to the pier.

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The pelican clan hanging out on the jetty.

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Some small things on the beach. A mangrove taking root and a small fiddler crab.

Fort Desoto in mid-January.

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