The cutest babies of all

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“I am Skippy the Skimmer and I am the cutest one here.”

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“Me first.”

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“This is my fish.”

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“I’m Sparky the Skimmer and I am a little bit older. I’m starting to get color in my feathers and my beak is getting longer.”

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“Where’s my  Mom?  You’re not suppose to bother me, Least tern.” said the baby skimmer.  “But you look tasty and I’m hungry” said the juvenile Least tern.

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“Stay away from my baby!” said the adult skimmer.

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“You stay away as well”

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“I’m sticking close to mom”.

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“Who me? I’m not going anywhere.”

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“Mom, where’s my fish?”

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“I pretend to be brave but now I’m scared and running to hide under Mom.”

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“I’m Stanley, one of the oldest babies skimmers here. I’m almost grown up and just learning to fly. I’m also learning to brake.”

I didn’t make it to see the baby black skimmers until late July. I was expecting to see them all grown up but this was a late year and there were still many tiny babies.  The babies have a lot against them.  Between the tourists getting too close, the crows and laughing gulls trying to get a meal and the risk of high tide, it’s a hard knock life for a little bird. If the tiny babies wander away from the roped off area, a tourist could easily not see him blending into the sand and step on him. If we get another bad storm like Colin back in early June, the tide could get too high and the little babies can’t swim yet or fly away. But, hopefully most make it through.  I took so many pictures of these cute little guys so there are tons more to come.

Linking to Saturday’s Critters

At the fishing pier

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These two female red breasted mergansers are still hanging around the fishing pier. They should be north for the summer by now.

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A ruddy turnstone on the rocks.

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A royal tern brings her a fish. Since she’s eating it, I guess they are an official couple.

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The laughing gulls are pretty this time of year.

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Having a conversation about something. All of the gulls are pairing up.

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The juvenile reddish egret is still hanging around the pier.

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Two baby osprey on the smokestack tower nest.

 

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Someone got their snack stolen. Or maybe, the bird is being paid to advertise.

Saturday morning at Fort Desoto.

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Rainy stop on Gandy beach

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Royal terns coming in for a landing.

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A least tern on the beach.

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A banded royal tern. I think this is a juvenile.

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“Make room for me!”

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Taking a bath.

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A juvenile least tern. Probably born a few months earlier.

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Another one screaming at the parent to be fed. Even though they are flying now, they are still being fed by the parents.

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A least tern taking a bath.

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Flapping hard.

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Getting the underarms.

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Oystercatcher flying right over my head.

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Laughing gull coming in for a landing.

It had just stopped raining when I left for work in late June but still drizzling just a little. Since traffic was bad I decided to stop on the Gandy beach and see if there were any new shorebirds around. I figured the rain would have kept the people off the beach. There were a few cars on the beach but none were at the end near the walled off sanctuary. Nothing unusual there but there were a few of the baby royal terns and least terns. They were just starting to fly and will hang out on that beach for a while before they are gone for good. All grown up and somewhere to go.