Almost alone at Fort Desoto

This was a morning in early May when a nasty storm was suppose to already be here. I got to Fort Desoto hoping to get some storm shots and it was sunny and hot. It was also a rare Friday that I had off so hardly anyone here yet.

Only me and my shadow at the fishing pier.

I walked the swampy trails and only found a young armadillo. All above were taken with  my phone including the one of the armadillo. He walked pretty close to my feet but I didn’t let him get that close.

SkyWatch Friday

“We have fall out”.

The star of the spring migration weekend at Fort Desoto was the rose breasted grosbeak. They were everywhere, eating in the mangroves and not shy at all.

The blue winged warbler was also not shy.

More shots of the Tennessee warbler although we think there were several there.

A prothonotary warbler hopping around.

I had to take some phone shots of the crowd. “What are you guys looking at?” was what we heard from people passing by. We were in the far corner of the park so there wasn’t a lot of traffic. It was actually a lot of fun with people calling out what they see. Everyone was quiet and friendly.

A secluded spot at the park.

 

Fall out is an exciting term for birders. It means a storm came through earlier and the birds stopped to spend a few days in the park resting and eating before finishing their trip back up north for the summer.

Photographing New Zealand

Early May at Fort Desoto

High up in a tree, I watched this yellow warbler stuff himself with snacks.

There were still a few other birds in early May at Fort Desoto including the blackpoll warbler in the last picture.

Frigatebirds were flying high overhead.

At the east end of the park I could just barely make out Downtown St. Petersburg.

Birds at the fishing pier.

Recently I keep seeing parakeets popping out of trees.

The sand trails are covered with these grasshoppers.

image-in-ing: weekly photo linkupOur World Tuesday Graphic

The laughing gull soap opera.

This laughing gull was trying hard to flirt with his mate. He brought her several fish and continued to yell even as they were being stalked by a ruddy turnstone who was probably trying to get a fallen piece of fish.

He tried to mate but she wasn’t not having any part of it and knocked him off.

He brought her another fish and at that point people were walking down the fishing pier so they flew off.

Bright colors on a Saturday morning.

Summer Tanagers only come through the Tampa bay area twice a year during spring and fall migration. The only place I can usually find them during that time is in the woods at Fort Desoto. In mid-April the woods were full of them including young ones that were just starting to turn red and still had some of their yellow baby feathers.

Female summer tanagers are all yellow.

A few of the orange and black birds were there including the orchard oriole and the American redstart above.

The female orchard oriole is also all yellow.

A cute little wood pewee.

A Tennessee warbler.

Also flying in the mangroves.

Most of the birds on this particular Saturday morning were feeding in the mangrove bushes along the road. Huge crowds had gathered to see the birds and the people who were coming into the park to fish or hit the beach were slowing down trying to figure out what we were all staring at. People would stop in their cars and ask us what we were looking at. “Birds” was the answer. They looked at us like we were crazy. It was a fun morning to be crazy.

Photographing New Zealand

 

Shorebirds at Fort Desoto in May.

A lone marbled godwit on the beach with a snack.

He’s cruising the shoreline looking for more snacks.

Another one flies in.

At first, the original godwit tries to chase the intruder away but after a few seconds they find their own space and both start looking for snacks.

A black bellied plover was also looking for snacks. I think that’s a sand flea. Yum…

Farther down the beach I find some dowitchers trying to nap.

The laughing gulls are getting frisky.

An old shell on the beach. It was still alive so I moved it farther into the water.

image-in-ing: weekly photo linkupOur World Tuesday Graphic

 

A windy day at Fort Desoto

I had a rare Friday off in mid-April and headed to Fort Desoto to see if there were any birds migrating through. I was really too early since a storm was just starting to move through. It was drizzling on and off most of the morning but it was still fun to be out at the beach, even in bad weather.

Birds were diving in the water to catch the tiny fish near the pier.

The usual great blue herons and pelicans were flying close to the pier.

A lone frigatebird was hovering right over the pier. They usually stay high up in the sky but this one was right over my head. She just kept hovering in the wind. The above are not cropped at all. I felt like I could almost reach out and grab her.

Before leaving I hit the back trail and caught this nanday parakeet peeking out of a hole in a dead palm tree. I think they nest back here but I rarely go back this far in the summer since the bugs will attack no matter how much bug spray you use.

SkyWatch Friday