A quiet morning at Fort Desoto

Someone had staked out their spot on the spit island just off the north tip of the beach. By early November, the red tide algae bloom was mostly gone from the beach but there were still some spots that smelled of dead fish. The water looked clear but the bloom came back later for a short time after a big storm. The morning I was there was clear.

The birds on the trails were scarce with the exception of a few common ones including a northern parula and many of the state bird, the mockingbird.

The usual waterbirds were also around.

Frigatebirds were flying high overhead.

On my way out of the park I saw a bald eagle sitting on a utility tower. All of the eagles are back for the winter.

Big birds and little birds at Fort Desoto

The nanday parakeets are always goofing around.

A male and a female ruby throated hummingbird.

A great egret going by with a snack.

Little critters in the park.

A manatee cruising by the fishing dock.

Big boats going by.

From the fishing pier at Fort Desoto Park.

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Another walk on Alligator Alley

All lush and green, this was taken in early April before the drought started taking a toll on the marsh.

I did not change the color on this glossy ibis. They were in their breeding feathers and the colors were so deep. When the sun hits them you can really see the patterns.

So many purple gallinules lately. They are so much fun to watch.

One lone baby limpkin. Mom was close by looking for food.

Far out in the marsh, this great egret caught a stick with his fish.

Mom moorhen feeding the baby.

Now that’s lunch! He caught the fish but then moved locations. I caught him right as he was swallowing it.

Early April at Circle B Bar Reserve.

SkyWatch Friday

All the usual suspects at the “Bar”

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A green heron hiding in the grass.

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This red shoulder hawk flew into a tree right over my head, grabbed a branch and flew off. He was working on a nest across the trail.

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Right when I saw this great egret with a fish, someone was coming down the trail and he took off to eat his lunch alone.

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A pileated woodpecker high up in a dead tree.

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An eagle soaring far away.

There was nothing new at Circle B Bar Reserve in mid- January. I at least got a good 3 hour walk in and the usual birds there were busy eating and getting ready to nest.

SkyWatch Friday

Random birds and a big baby hawk

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A carolina wren working on a late nest.

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A young cardinal sitting on the boardwalk.

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This male cardinal was deep in the bushes. Not a good picture but it was funny to see him with that caterpillar squished in his beak.

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A grackle on the boardwalk.

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She came over a little closer, checking to see if I had a snack to give her.

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A very young cooper’s hawk. Just starting to leave the nest.

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The nest was a few trees back in the woods. For the last couple of weeks, we could hear the babies screaming for food but it wasn’t until the babies started hopping around and branching closer to the boardwalk that we could see them.

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A great egret flies by the boardwalk with a snack.

Besides all of the little critters and four-legged ones, there were a few birds at Chesnut Park in mid-July. Nothing unusual but it was great to the see the baby cooper’s hawk after hearing them scream for weeks and not being able to see them from the nest.

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