Early morning at Pine Island beach, north of Tarpon Springs and south of Cedar Key. I had not spent any time in this area and it’s a beautiful quiet area. At least it was in October.
I was hoping to find some new shorebirds here but it was the same old ones that I can find in my usual spots near home.
Fiddler crabs along the shoreline.
Just me and my shadow on the boardwalk, looking out on the gulf.
This is a small beach compared to beaches in the Tampa bay area. It’s a little off the beaten path so it might not get the crowds in the summer that we see on Clearwater beach or St. Pete beach. It was a beautiful morning and I was glad to be out of the house and out on the road.
The drive into the beach is a long 2 lane road with marsh on both sides. The first two shots were looking right and the bottom two were looking left as you drive in. This is why they call this area the “Nature coast”.
Back in mid-September when things were quiet at Fort Desoto, I stopped by the pier to see if there were any dolphins swimming around. There wasn’t any dolphins this morning but the pelicans were diving for fish and the gulls were driving them crazy trying to steal a fish from them.
Harry, the usual great blue heron/great egret hybrid, was hanging out on the roof on the pier panting in the heat.
Not many ships passing by this morning.
Heading out to Chesnut Park in early April. There was hardly anyone there but someone had come before me laying bird seed along the boardwalk.
I didn’t see where this crow got this egg. He stopped in the tree right in front of me. It could be a turtle egg.
I saw this little sparrow deep in the bushes along the boardwalk. I was hoping it was something rare but realized it was just a chipping sparrow. Not rare but not extremely common here.
Dragonflies are everywhere now.
I was watching this guy skiing back and forth across the lake. Looks like a fun way to do social distancing.
Enjoying the quiet morning but since this park was open it started to get crowded pretty quickly. I left by 9:30 and headed to Possum Branch Preserve.
Almost no one here at the reserve. Not many birds either.
The sora rail was still here a few weeks after I first saw him.
A beautiful morning for a walk.
I stopped by St. Pete beach in mid July thinking that all of the skimmer babies would be almost grown up and starting to fly but there was one little baby still remaining. They were outside the roped off area near the seaweed line. The baby stayed close to Mom.
There was one other baby that was bigger but still staying close to Mom. All of the rest of the older babies were down along the water line practicing their wing flapping.
One of the laughing gulls had gotten a hold of a snack from someone and all of the other gulls were chasing him trying to steal it. Not even a cheese cracker is safe on the beach.
I stopped at Sand Key park on the way home and there were several eastern kingbirds near the beach.
A lone marbled godwit on the beach with a snack.
He’s cruising the shoreline looking for more snacks.
Another one flies in.
At first, the original godwit tries to chase the intruder away but after a few seconds they find their own space and both start looking for snacks.
A black bellied plover was also looking for snacks. I think that’s a sand flea. Yum…
Farther down the beach I find some dowitchers trying to nap.
The laughing gulls are getting frisky.
An old shell on the beach. It was still alive so I moved it farther into the water.
The great tree where the ducks hang out at the retirement home where Brett’s aunt lives. The shade is amazing and it’s always filled with birds. We spent some time sitting on a bench visiting his aunt.
Ducks on the way to nap under the tree.
While we were visiting, someone came to feed the ducks. They knew this women and came flying over when they saw her walking across the parking lot.
She fed them a little bread but most of it was cracked corn and seed.They ignored me standing over them taking pictures with my phone.
The laughing gulls and ibis were fighting over the bread.
When we got home, this new family was cruising through our neighbor’s yard.
Below is a public service announcement with a link below that from the Audubon about feeding ducks.
Don’t Feed The Waterfowl.
I wonder if this is the same cardinal that I also see looking at himself in the mirrors or windows of cars when I have visited before.
I can’t stop taking pictures of the wild nanday parakeets.
Laughing gulls fighting over a dead bait fish.
A snowy egret having a bad hair day.
This was the first time I had seen a spoonbill at the fishing pier. He was hanging out on the light post. He had a snowy egret join him for a few minutes. Funny how they put up those steel fringe things to keep the birds of the posts but the birds don’t mind them at all.
There were not many birds on the beach near the pier. A few laughing gulls and this lone black bellied plover.
Looks like this is a couple of laughing gulls flirting.
The rare hybrid great blue heron/great egret made an appearance at the pier.
This osprey was eating some yummy fish on the light post on the pier.
Another osprey was also eating. These osprey have been hanging out on the pier a lot lately. They are not skittish and don’t fly away as tons of people are walking by just below them.
It’s been a beautiful afternoon but I was hungry and had a 45 minute drive home so I left to get some dinner.