Shorebirds in November.

DSC_4030

DSC_4033

DSC_4034

DSC_4035

I always love watching skimmers take a bath.

DSC_4045

DSC_4047

DSC_4049

The royal terns are pretty funny as well.

DSC_4064

I think this is a young herring gull.

DSC_4135

Another ruddy turnstone missing most of his toes.

DSC_4027

They were all busy preening early in the morning.

Shorebirds I found hanging around the beach near the fishing pier at Fort Desoto.

Right before spring break at the beach.

 

DSC_3365

The laughing gulls were pairing up. Chasing each other and fighting over the ladies.

DSC_3360

Young herring gull with a snack.

DSC_3288

Blurry picture of a barn swallow. These guys rarely sit still. I saw him from across the lagoon.

DSC_3381

The dolphins were active this Saturday morning.

DSC_3376

Heading towards the pier.

DSC_3340

One of the bird steward volunteers at the park. He was checking out the roped off area for nesting birds. They work on keeping the tourist out of the nesting area and answer questions about the birds.

DSC_3351

Rush hour  traffic in the bay.

DSC_3371

Having fun on a boat ride.

A few things at Fort Desoto Park in mid-March.

 Skywatch Friday

Looking for a new gull.

DSC_2301

“Excuse me, are you guys Franklin’s gulls?” I said to these two. One gull said “Almost. Franklin’s gulls have a white chest and more black on their head.” The other gull said “And they have a little shorter beak than we do.” “Yea, we’re just plain ole laughing gulls that haven’t grown up yet.”

DSC_2289

“Excuse me, can you stop preening so I can see if you’re a Franklin gull” I said. He said “I’m not one either lady.”

DSC_2439

I kept looking in the big flock of birds on the beach. “Hey, you look different” I said to this one. He was half asleep.

DSC_2434

“Hey Franklin gull, wake up. This lady’s been looking for you” said the laughing gull.

DSC_2429

“Another fan. How boring.” said the Franklin gull.

DSC_2423

“Okay lady, get your picture.”

DSC_2412

I said “Can’t you at least stand up for a minute?” He said “Nope, I’m going back to sleep.”

DSC_2419

At least the big herring gull stood up for me.

DSC_2320

This juvenile herring gull was picking at a dead fish.

DSC_2314

“Don’t take my breakfast, lady.”

DSC_2267

A ring billed gull flies overhead.

DSC_2260

Not a gull but a dowitcher. There were a lot of these on the beach.

It was a foggy Saturday morning. I went down to Fort De Soto because I heard there was a summer tanager and a few western kingbirds hanging around the parking lot area near the fishing pier. I got down to the park around 8:30am and there were already a lot of birders looking for both birds. No sighting at that point.  We all walked around for at least an hour with no luck so I decided to run over to the beach and see if by miracle the Franklin’s gull was there. This was my 4th time looking for that silly gull. I didn’t see him anywhere near the pier. I walked back over to the wooded area where the other birds were seen and the tanager had just been sighted (more on that one later). We were all standing there staring up in trees when someone said they had just seen the Franklin but he was much farther down the beach. After taking a handful of pictures of the tanager, I drove down to the other end of the beach and walked around looking for him. This time I got lucky. A huge flock of gulls were sleeping together and there he was with his dark head. It was nice that the sun came out for a second right when I saw him. By then it was lunchtime so I snapped a bunch of pictures and headed home.