A quiet night at Fort Desoto

Coming in for a landing.

Cute little plover looking for a snack.

Snowy egrets and ibis hanging around the marsh.

High up –  loggerhead shrike, kestrel and a starling.

Great blue heron posing on a light post.

One I helped save and one I couldn’t. The first one was walking around on the pier. I had a bait fish in my hand and he walked right up to me. He was all tangled up in fishing line with a hook on his wing. I was able to borrow clippers and a nice man was able to grab him as I was giving him the bait fish.  While he held the pelican I clipped off all of the wire and the hook.  He seemed okay so we let him go. He gave me one last look and took of into the sunset. The other pelican was sitting on the ferry boat. His feet were tangled up in fishing wire but he was able to fly and took off.

I was able to head down to Fort Desoto for a quick walk before sundown in late October before the time changed.  Now it’s dark after work. Can’t wait till April.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

The dolphin show at Fort Desoto.

Lots of dolphins at the fishing pier at Fort Desoto in early October.  They all had different scratches and markings on their fins.

They were buzzing around the fishing pier and at some points swimming right underneath where I was standing.

The people fishing were not happy that the dolphins were trying to steal their fish. I’m sorry but I think it’s the other way around.  People are trying to steal the fish from the dolphins.  Don’t the dolphins live in the water?  It’s not like they can stop by the grocery store on the way home and get their food. One guy was cursing the dolphin and I said “You are welcome to go fish somewhere else.”

A new bird blown off course

Right after Hurricane Irma came through someone had posted that they had seen a golden plover at Fort Desoto. I have never heard of a golden plover being anywhere near here and someone else had said they are never seen in Florida so this one must have gotten blown way off course from the storm. Everyone was questioning it until some expert birders had gotten pictures of it. After a couple of days I was able to run down to the park after work one night. I had about an hour before it got dark to find it. The bird was easy to find and  close to were people had seen it days before. It was feeding along the rack line so I sat down on the beach and took some shots with my 300mm and extender. The little bird seemed curious and kept getting closer to me. I kept getting up and backing up. He looked okay and was running around feeding but I couldn’t help wondering if he was trying to tell me something. A few days later a rehabber picked him up and he’s been recuperating since then. I last heard he was doing much better and should be released soon.  We get a lot of black bellied plovers in the same area. See below for recent pictures of those.

Two black bellied plovers above.  The top is during the breeding season and the bottom is in the winter. The golden plover has a lot of brown on his head that shines.

A few things I saw near the golden plover that night.  The tide was so low that you could see the crabs in the crab trap.

Linking to Wednesday Around the World

Pelican convention at the fishing pier.

Busy day at the fishing pier for the pelicans.

The above got a fishing hook stuck on his feather.  The fisherman started to bring him in and  when the pelican took off the feather just got pulled out with the hook. It looked like it was a clean pull.  Off pelican went and the fisherman had a really big feather stuck to his hook. This bird was lucky.

This one had a big hook stuck on his leg. The lifeguard swam out to him with a big net but the pelican took off flying.

A few of the pelicans hanging out on the jetty next to the pier. The one in the bottom picture has a band on his leg so he’s probably been in a bird hospital before.  They usually band them before they release them back out in the wild.

I walked up to pier to see a lifeguard and park ranger cutting the fishing wire that had been wrapped around this pelican’s legs and wing.  It’s a sad thing to say but these guys are experts. They had him caught, cleaned up and released in minutes. They must do this a lot.

The pelican gave them one last look before taking off.