Honeymoon Island “Dead Tree” trail.

Out on the nature trail at Honeymoon Island, there had been a prescribed burn recently. I didn’t see a date on the sign but green was already starting to sprout.

There are a lot of dead trees all along the trail now. The pine trees seem to dying quickly. This trail use to be shady but now it’s mostly in the sun (although there wasn’t much sun the morning I was there).

I saw very few osprey. Years ago I would walk down the trail and see 20 to 30 osprey. Most of the nests were gone as well. They should change the name of the trail from Osprey trail to Dead Tree trail.

There was still a lot of color though. It was a quiet day. No sign of the eagles or owls. Only the 3 osprey I saw and a few catbirds. Maybe I just hit it on a tough day.

SkyWatch Friday

Cold and windy at Honeymoon Island

A lone ring billed gull braving the wind on the beach.

A few things on the beach including a large sea sponge in the first shot. The horseshoe crab and starfish were still alive and the tide was coming in fast so they would be gone soon.

A few people were out trying to surf but there really wasn’t any big waves. For a while I watched them sit on their boards. This guy tried once but didn’t stay up long. There just wasn’t enough wind in the gulf.

I came out to Honeymoon Island to walk on the nature trail in the woods but stopped by the beach before leaving. It was drizzling on and off so there were very few people there except for the ones bobbing up and down on their surfboards. Even on a cold windy day it was fun to be out on the beach.

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No rain or sunset on Honeymoon Island.

Late on a Saturday night, Brett and I were heading to Honeymoon Island for a party at the end of June. Seeing the clouds on the way in, we were expecting rain.

The rain was far off in the gulf and stayed out there the entire night.

Crazy grackles hanging out at the pavilion we were at.

The sun peaked out right before it went down creating an orange glow.

A few more clouds rolled in right before dark but the rain held off all night.

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A new bird for the new year

There was a Hudsonian Godwit reported at Honeymoon Island in early fall. Since I had never seen one before, I headed out hoping for the best. I was totally prepared to spend the morning looking and coming up empty-handed since that is what usually happens. This morning was different. There he was, strutting around in front of a handful of photographers. He was feeding right along the shoreline. They are very similar to the common marbled godwit but are slightly smaller and have a slightly different coloration. The beak looks the same though.

Other birds close by were a swallow on a sea oat and a killdeer in the parking lot.

 A few moths on the way back to the parking lot.

Linking to My Corner of the World.

Checking on the nests at Honeymoon Island

True to its name, the Osprey Trail on Honeymoon Island is known for having a lot of Osprey along the trail. There are many nests along the trail and when I was there in late January, the osprey were working on refreshing the old ones.

Both eagles were sitting in a tree near the nest which was a bad sign. They were sitting on eggs earlier so something must have happened to cause them to abandon the nest. They might try again. It was still early.

Towhees, catbirds and yellow rumped warblers were all along the trail.

Lots of vultures here.

New growth in some of the prescribed burn areas.

This guy walked right in front of me on the trail.

I hadn’t been to Honeymoon Island since last spring. I wanted to see if the osprey were nesting yet. Honeymoon Island is a barrier island north of Clearwater Beach. In the 1940’s the island was a place known for people to spend their honeymoon in the cottages on the island. Once World War 2 started people stopped coming to the island and later the cottages were torn down.

Linking to Wednesday Around the World

Honeymoon Island beach before the tourists get here.

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After walking the nature trail at Honeymoon Island State Park, I headed over to the beach to see if there were any shorebirds hanging around.

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The usual birds were there: marbled godwits, royal terns and dowitchers.

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The waves were splashing over the jetties. It was fun to be out in one of the last cool windy days before the heat sets in (and the tourists).

SkyWatch Friday

Trail full of birds

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There were a few tiny birds at Honeymoon Island Park at the end of January. Tons of yellow rumped warblers and the last one is an eastern towhee.

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The parking lot was full of yellow rumped warblers. They thought the cars were something to play on.

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A very young bald eagle flew by as I headed out on the trail.

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I always see kestrels in the winter here.

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The trail was full of osprey. They were eating, preening and doing a few other things. That last one I took directly in the sun but it was too funny not to post.

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I found a headless osprey in a tree.

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Oh wait, he was just turned around.

All of the usuals at Honeymoon Island State Park.

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