A quiet night at Fort Desoto

Coming in for a landing.

Cute little plover looking for a snack.

Snowy egrets and ibis hanging around the marsh.

High up –  loggerhead shrike, kestrel and a starling.

Great blue heron posing on a light post.

One I helped save and one I couldn’t. The first one was walking around on the pier. I had a bait fish in my hand and he walked right up to me. He was all tangled up in fishing line with a hook on his wing. I was able to borrow clippers and a nice man was able to grab him as I was giving him the bait fish.  While he held the pelican I clipped off all of the wire and the hook.  He seemed okay so we let him go. He gave me one last look and took of into the sunset. The other pelican was sitting on the ferry boat. His feet were tangled up in fishing wire but he was able to fly and took off.

I was able to head down to Fort Desoto for a quick walk before sundown in late October before the time changed.  Now it’s dark after work. Can’t wait till April.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

Birds at the downtown Tampa coastline

Willet, laughing gull, oystercatcher, young blue heron and cormorants can all be found along the water at Davis Islands, a small island next to downtown Tampa.

Loggerhead shrikes are most prevalent there. They were in the bushes next to the boat ramp, in the trees that lined the yacht basin and on the fence that lined the airport. The ones on the fence were a parent and young one that was still being feed.

Mangroves line the yacht basin and the sea grapes in were in full bloom.

At first glance, there aren’t a lot of birds at the south end of Davis Islands where the small private airport and yacht basin meet up. There are lots of bicycles, joggers, walkers, and dog walkers along the road, most are not paying attention to the birds. People look at me like “Why is that girl staring up in the tree?” When you look along the shore line and up in the trees you see lots of things.

Linking to Wednesday Around The World.

Birds in the city

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Lots of grackles and starlings around the park.

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For years, loggerhead shrikes have been hanging out along the fences at the airport on Davis Islands. Maybe they like the view.

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Pano of downtown Tampa, taken from Davis Islands.

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Pretty flowers in the summer heat.

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A juvenile little blue heron creeping down to the water. Then he flew over to the sign to remind everyone to slow down in the manatee zone.

More sights from my walk around Davis Islands in late July.

Same ole birds at Fort Desoto

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Wilson’s plover

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Sanderling

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Oystercatcher couple

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Bye, bye

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Grumpy snowy egret on a pile of seaweed.

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Great egret goes cruising by.

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“Hey, bring back that crab.”

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“Things are looking up.”

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“Sushi for lunch.”

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Loggerhead shrike on a wire.

Working on my tan at Fort Desoto beach.

Linking to Saturday’s Critters

Roosevelt Wetlands

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Yellow rumped warbler with a berry.

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This palm warbler flew right in front of me and started posing.

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This downy seemed to be friendly as well. He flew into the tree right in front of me and was banging away while he kept an eye on me.

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Same downy as above.

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One side of the wetlands has houses across from it. The other side has the garage for the county garbage trucks. They do maintenance on the trucks in big garages. I always see loggerhead shrikes hanging out on the utility wires running in front of the garage. I guess there’s a lot of worms that live there.

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This one had a worm hanging out his beak. He eventually swallowed it.

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There are still a few butterflies hanging around.

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Up close on the flower.

The Roosevelt Wetlands are close to where I work. In the summer when the sun is out late I stop by there after work sometimes. It’s really just a small pond with a path around it. It separates the neighborhood from the waste plant. I hadn’t been in months so I decided to stop by on a Saturday morning before Christmas to see if anything unusual was around. It was very quiet and very few birds.

Shine the Divine

Loggerhead shrike eating lunch

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We got to the fishing pier parking lot at Fort Desoto and as I got out of the car, I saw the above on a utility wire. Hubby had come with me this morning.

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Then we saw one in a tree by the car.

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Then I saw this one with a cool green bug on the ground in the parking lot.

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I’m surprised he didn’t fly off. They are usually pretty skittish.

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He let me get a little closer. Then flew over to a stump.

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He was holding his meal while taking a few bites and keeping an eye on me.

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He must have been hungry.

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At this point the head and most of the wings were gone. Yummy!

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Last wing. Do you think it taste like chicken? Maybe he would have liked a little buffalo sauce for his wings.

The gulf fishing pier at Fort Desoto is a pretty consistent place to find loggerhead shrikes. I think they stay there all year round. They usually hang out on the utility wires and eat dragonflies but if you get too close they will take off. It’s better to stop the car and get the picture from inside the car. Hubby and I had been at the park most of the morning walking around the trails and decided to stop at the pier for one more look of the brown booby. No luck on the booby on this trip. I’ve only seen him once so far but the parking lot was full of shrikes. The one eating on the ground was right in front of the main path to walk out on the pier. He didn’t seem to mind people walking by. After watching him pick apart that bug, we were ready to go eat lunch.

P.S.  Happy Birthday to my sister, Debbie.

Loggerhead shrike eating a dragonfly

“I need a little snack. I guess this dragonfly will have to do.”

“Taste like chicken.”

“I need to get some sauce to go with my wings.”

“Needs salt.”

“What’s for dessert?”

Says the loggerhead shrike while he’s eating a dragonfly. It was a dark dreary morning at Fort Desoto recently. I usually see a loggerhead shrike on the utility lines in the parking lot at the fishing pier so I passed this guy and didn’t even look up. Hubby, who was with me that morning said “Aren’t you going to take a picture of that bird?” I said “Nay, it’s just a loggerhead. I have tons of pictures of them and the light is really bad.” He said “It looks like he’s eating something.” Now I’m paying attention. I looked up through my 400mm camera lens and saw he was eating a dragonfly. He didn’t even flinch when we walked up closer to him. Just goes to show you that you should always pay attention or else you’ll miss out on a good dragonfly being eaten moment.