I made another trip to Fort Desoto Park in late April. I was hoping there would still be some migrating birds stopping by. There was a small chance of rain even though it looked like it would pour at any time.
The only migrating bird I found was a Cape May warbler. There were several of these cuties in the woods near the ranger’s house.
Heading to the gulf fishing pier.
The usual birds were at the fishing pier including a ruddy turnstone showing me his missing foot and great egrets.
The laughing gulls were putting on a show on top of the shelter on the pier.
I thought maybe the sun would break through but it stayed cloudy.
Pelicans hanging out on the jetti next to the pier.
A quick shot of a red breasted merganser that was still there. They spend the winter here but usually leave in March.
It was still a nice morning out even though it wasn’t very birdy or sunny.
I was out for a walk at the end of September and the tide was super low. I could see the gulls eating some type of puffer fish that was stranded in the grass beds. Although I never did actually see the gulls eating them, they just kept picking them up and playing with them. Maybe they were waiting for them to deflate.
An osprey cruises by with a tiny fish in his feet.
The little blue heron was busy eating.
There were several snowy egrets looking for food.They look so pretty against the blue water.
This boat must have lost anchor during Hurrincane Ian. It’s still there, stranded near the Dunedin causeway. It’s in pretty bad shape at this point.
I was heading to the beach on the Gandy causeway early one morning looking for a new bird. A gull billed tern had been spotted there for several days. I parked and walked along the sand closely looking at every gull or tern. Was the above the new bird? I couldn’t tell when they were preening but when they stopped I saw that yellow tip on their beaks and knew they were just sandwich terns.
I know this little cutie is a black bellied plover.
Also not the bird I was looking for. This was a juvenile least tern.
A least tern out taking a bath.
The laughing gull is easy to spot. He was taking a bath in a puddle on the beach.
It’s past nesting season for least terns but these guys were trying to get the other tern to take the fish. The lady in the bottom was not interested.
Another least tern chasing after an adult with a fish.
I did not find the gull billed tern. I was a day late. But it was still a beautiful morning. The sun was coming up high towards Tampa and it was time to head home.
Looking towards the gulf the storms were starting to move inland.
It was a gorgeous morning to be out on the beach in early April.
Far out in the water I could see a willet with a snack.
Terns were cruising by.
Laughing gulls were pairing up.
The rare kittiwake was still on the pier, a week later than when we first found him.
I still kept seeing the same warblers on the trails, a hooded and a black and white. I kept telling myself it was still early for migration here.
After a quiet morning at Fort Desoto Park I headed home but not before stopping by Possum Branch Preserve for a quick walk. Two red shoulder hawks were sitting on the big dead snag outside of the preserve. I guess the hawks are pairing up as well.
A green heron trying to hide in the marsh.
It was pretty quiet at this park as well. I started taking pictures of butterflies since they are starting to be more plentiful. At least I got a good walk in before heading home for lunch.
I was out early one morning right before Christmas. My first stop was the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular but thought I would do a quick lap around the gardens. The gardens were decorated for Christmas and you could see the lights all over the bushes and trees. I thought this owl statue was cool and would have loved to see it all lit up but I didn’t make it here for the night holiday lights this year.
The usual birds were in the main pond. A green heron at attention, a wood duck (the entire family was floating around the pond) and there were lots of moorhens.
After the botanical gardens, I stopped at nearby Largo Nature Preserve to see if there was anything new. A grebe spent some time preening close to the boardwalk and there have been some northern shovelers there for several weeks now but nothing new or different.
My last stop before heading home wasn’t really a park but the Dunedin marina. I was hoping to see dolphins or manatees hanging around the marina but I didn’t see any on this trip so after walking around for a while it was time to go home for lunch.
No, I did not take these this weekend. We avoid the beaches on holidays. We are fortunate enough to live here and can go to the beach any time so we don’t go during the busiest times. This was a beautiful Saturday morning in early May.
The wind was blasting and you could see all of the kiteboarders bobbing up and down across the water near the Sunshine Skyway bridge.
The usual birds near the fishing pier included a ruddy turnstone taking a break, a gull who was cruising the wind and a black bellied plover.
One last look for migrating birds at the ranger’s house came up empty. Only a young great blue heron and a white ibis in the fountain.
This osprey had built a nest right on the trail and was giving me the stink eye when I passed by. Luckily there isn’t much traffic on this trail when the heat sets in.
It was a cold quiet windy day at Fort Desoto in early January. I walked out to the north beach and saw nothing as far as the eye could see. Then this flash of movement caught my eye. A lone female red breasted merganser. She didn’t stay long and neither did I.
I headed over to the fishing pier and found a ring billed gull with a snack. The laughing gull was trying it’s best to steal it away but he wasn’t successful.
This was a scene all over the park. Osprey getting ready to start nesting and were coupling up. They both were eating fish.
Far away I could see skimmers, gulls and terns flying around.
The Clipper was cruising by the fishing pier.
It was a little creepy out on the beach. I only saw a few other people. We were all bundled up this morning.
It was extremely low tide. The clouds were getting darker so I decided not to head out on the spit. Even with the low tide I’d have to slosh through some water and wasn’t up for having cold feet this morning. I still love the beach here even on a day like this.