A quick stop at the Safety Harbor fishing pier

DSC_0263

 A common loon floating around the fishing pier.

DSC_0291

The red-eyed horned grebe is back at the fishing pier this winter. There were 4 of them floating around but stayed away from each other and the other 3 were pretty far out.

DSC_0295

Common tern fly by.

DSC_0300

Pelican going in for a fish.

DSC_0319

Head first!

DSC_0303

Synchronized fishing.

DSC_0299

There’ s always a laughing gull trying to get a freebie from the pelicans.

DSC_0315

“I’m outta here.” says the pelican to the gull.

Another sunny morning stop at the Safety Harbor fishing pier. I did not see any manatees this morning but a few dolphins were far out.

Check out more pictures at Our World Tuesday  Our World Tuesday Graphic

Also, check out more birds at Paying Ready Attention for

More pelicans and other stuff at Safety Harbor

DSC_7957

My first common loon of the season. He was floating all alone far off the fishing pier.

DSC_7963

I was surprised to see manatees at the fishing pier. Usually this time of year they all head over to the electricity plant to swim in the warm water around the plant. Since the weather here has still been warm, I guess they are hanging around longer. There were at least 6 manatees at the fishing pier.

DSC_8006

The trees around the parking lot were full of starlings. They were very loud.

DSC_7859

More pelican fun. They have such amazing color on their faces. With that pink and blue around the eyes and bright orange beaks.

DSC_7904

He looked happy with his fish part.

DSC_7916

This one is a juvenile. Maybe not a year old and hasn’t got his color yet.

DSC_7996

Another one enjoying his prize.

DSC_7991

“Gulp!”

Just a few more things I saw at the Safety Harbor fishing pier.

LorikArt

Blurry ducks (two lifer sightings) and a sunset – Skywatch Friday

My first common loon. I’ve been seeing these guys floating out in the bay from very far away but I wasn’t sure if they were really loons. They just looked like little black blobs floating. As I was driving on the access road along the causeway, looking for the long tailed duck, I saw this guy floating close to the causeway. It was the first time I had seen one that close. Of course, I took this picture right into the sun but I was excited to see a new bird.

Early on Saturday morning, right after I saw the loon, I came across this group of cormorants floating together out in the bay. At first glance, I thought it was a big log or something floating along. Then when I held my camera up and zoomed in I realized it was a flock of birds. They seemed to be in a hurry swimming across the bay.

Still looking for the long tailed duck, I see this duck swimming alone in the waves. I can’t tell what it is all curled up like that.

She looks up! It’s a female lesser scaup. She was all alone.

Finally, after work I find the long tailed duck. I started seeing posts on the Florida Bird Brains forum about this rare duck around 2/21. It took me a couple of days to get out there and two trips to find it. It was very far out when I first got there and could barely see it. I looked it up before I headed out so I would know what to look for. At first I thought I would not be able to even get a remote picture of it but then it took off and started flying towards the causeway. He headed west of me so the above it still very far away and heavily cropped. It was a lifer for me and I may not ever see one of these again so I kept this one. I’m going to try to look for it again though.

It started to get dark so after seeing the long tailed duck I head home. The above view was in my rear view mirror so I pulled off on the access road and snapped a few shots of the sun going down. This will be my view home from work until the time changes.

Check out more sky pictures at  Skywatch Friday Skywatch Friday.