Wild parakeets

You can usually find wild nanday parakeets flying around Fort Desoto Park. Most of the time, you hear them before you see them. They buzz overhead, screaming the entire way. Lately I’ve been seeing them hanging around the east beach trails.

On a recent Saturday morning I was about to get in my car when I saw flashes of green moving on the ground near the flowers. The parakeets were eating the seeds out of the dead flowers. There were 10 of them munching away and keeping an eye on me.

Others were grabbing a flower and flying back up to the utility wire to eat. They really are pretty even though they are loud and can wipe out a flower bed in minutes.

Photographing New Zealandhttp://myworldthrumycameralens.blogspot.com/

Growing up in a tree.

One of the great horned owl parents keeping an eye on the nest.

The baby great horned owls are very cute at this age. They were very curious and would bob their heads when a mockingbird or osprey flew by. They spent a long time looking around and then finally facing Mom in the other tree. They eventually dozed off.

Mom didn’t move all morning.

These were all taken in mid-February with my zoom lens and extremely cropped.

Early morning at Fort Desoto

Terns, willets and laughing gulls out on the beach.

A lone prairie warbler on the trail.

Someone caught a creepy crab while fishing on the pier.

A common sight around the fishing pier, a snowy egret hitching a ride.

The morning started off cloudy, looking like it was going to rain but the sun came out before noon.

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It’s the start of osprey nesting season.

On a Saturday morning in February, I walked out on beach trail and saw this massive osprey nest above. It must have been here for years but on this particular morning, I noticed how much bigger it had gotten. Maybe it was sinking in and the osprey kept adding to it. On Sunday, someone had posted on the Facebook Fort Desoto site that the nest had completely collapsed and fallen to the ground. The osprey couple did not let this get the best of them. They spent an entire week bringing sticks back to the nest, starting from scratch. They were seen all over the area bringing sticks back (although if they were that smart they would just fly down to the ground underneath the tree and bring the same sticks back up). The next Saturday morning I went back out on the beach and saw the below.  The birds had already built a pretty good size nest.

Even a week later, they were still flying in with sticks. They didn’t want to waste anymore time. As I was leaving and heading back to the parking lot, I took one last glance back and saw they were mating.

Farther down the trail, this guy was just starting breakfast and didn’t seem to mind me standing on the trail watching him eat.

Photographing New Zealand

 

Fort Desoto in early January

Little birds along the shore at Fort Desoto Park.

Weird sea slugs that were on the sand at low tide. The muck was full of these.

The tide would be coming in soon to wash this guy back into the water.

A very large raft of ducks far out in the water near the Sunshine Skyway bridge. I think these were mostly ring neck ducks.

Scenes from the beach.

In early January I was walking the trails and noticed an owl sitting in an old osprey nest.

Not a bad way to be stuck in traffic. On my way home I got stuck on the bridge for a few minutes while the bridge was up waiting for some tall boats to pass underneath.

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Flying across the water.

I wasn’t do the flying. I was taking pictures of the kiteboarders at Fort Desoto on an early morning in early January. It was cool and the wind was blasting so I wasn’t surprised when I walked out on the north beach and saw all of the kiteboarders flying across the water. That water was cold. They all had on wetsuits, some were more covered up than others. I think I was having as much fun watching them and taking pictures as they were (okay maybe not but they make it look so easy). At least I was warmer.

It’s rare to see women out there doing it. This girl was killing it!

Catching them coming back on the beach.

There was a lone kite surfer as well.

I love these quiet cold mornings at the beach.

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The “snow” birds have arrived

I had heard the white pelicans had come down to south St. Petersburg for the winter. They had been recently sighted at Fort Desoto near the north beach tip. The big white pelicans only spend part of the winter in the area and leave in early spring. I headed down in mid-November to look for them and after looking everywhere for them I was about to leave. I stopped at the East beach turnaround before leaving to see if any new shorebirds were there. I noticed something white behind the tall overgrown mangroves. There in a small lagoon, hidden behind the mangroves was a small flock of them. They were busy feeding and didn’t notice me standing in the mangroves across the lagoon. I watched these big beautiful graceful birds feeding together. They would fly in and together, a small group would swim around scooping up the fish. I’m hoping I see them again before they leave.

Beautiful birds and a beautiful morning.

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